The dos and don’ts of family photography fashion.

The portrait hanging above the TV in your parent’s lounge room can evoke a whole lot of emotions. You’re probably about 12, all dolled up in your Sunday best. Your teenage brother brushed his hair for the first time that year and even dad’s smiling at the camera!

It’s pretty cute … the whole family together, back in the day. Your mum adores it of course and it is one of the most treasured things in her house.

A family portrait in your home is an absolute must and is something that will only ever increase in value. In an emotional kind of way of course.

The thing is, getting the whole crew together is fraught with many risks and one of the biggest problems of all is WHAT ON EARTH WILL WE WEAR?

Cast your eyes back to that canvas in your mum’s house.

What do you see?

Family portrait trends have most certainly changed over the years and we’d like to say, THANK GOODNESS FOR THAT! If you’re a child of the 80’s or 90’s, I really don’t need to say much more. Apparently they called it fashion. No judgement.

The good news is that we’ve learnt from our mistakes of the past and now realise that if we are going to take a family portrait that is going to hang on the walls of our house forever more, it’s important to get the clothing situation just right.

Yeah yeah, I know. What looks great now will of course date over time. But there are some cardinal rules that you really should follow. Trust me!

Melbourne Newborn Photographer Aurora Joy Photography

The dos and don’ts of family fashion

DON’T – Matchy matchy is out folks.

We all did it. Jeans and white t-shirts for the whole family. Or heyyy guys! Everyone wear head to toe navy blue. That’s safe! The truth of the matter is, not everyone looks good wearing the same outfit. Which is why it just kind of doesn’t work. So even though it’s a family classic, I’d probably avoid this option if I were you.

DON’T – Bold t-shirts and slogans.

Oh this is an important one! If you can, try and steer clear of any over the top words on your outfits! Particularly the huge, slogan-y types. They detract from your lovely smiling faces and lose meaning over time.

DON’T – Reds, whites or brights.

When you’re choosing colours, it’s best to avoid anything too in-your-face if you know what I mean. Block colours are ok here or there but super bright reds, oranges, fluros or even a dress that is completely bright white is going to cause havoc in camera and might not look as great in print.

DON’T – Too fancy.

This of course depends on the kind of family that you are. If you love dressing up in your absolute best for your family portrait, go for it. But generally, a classic ‘smart casual’ kind of vibe works best. Think, an afternoon wedding by the beach and you are probably headed in the right direction. A little bit tailored, a tiny bit pretty, comfy but casual in a Grandma-would-approve type of way.

DO – Mix block colours and patterns

Yes! The best way to blend a whole group of people perfectly into a family portrait is to carefully curate a mixture of block colours and patterns into your outfit selections. Pop dad in some nice jeans with a patterned button up top, your daughter in a flowy dress with a couple of frills. If you’ve got a navy skirt on, select a shirt for your son with some navy features in it. Everyone should be connected through colour one way or another. Sounds hard? Don’t panic, we’ll post some examples below that should help!

DO – Wear what makes you comfortable

This takes us back to the white shirts & jeans era. The same outfit for everyone just doesn’t work for all body types or personalities. It’s really important that everyone feels happy with how they look so don’t try and force your husband into a suit if he’s a tailored pants and collared shirt kinda guy. Try and be as authentic as possible so that the memories that we capture for you are real!

DO – Stick to a limited colour scheme

It’s a great idea to choose 3-4 colours max when you are finding outfits for your family. Any more and things start to look a bit hectic. Choosing one signature colour (like navy or pink) is a good place to start and build from there!

A few of my favourite combinations

Need somewhere to start? Try these …

Navy, white and mustard

Denim, blue, pink and white

Peach, cream and green

Grey, yellow and navy

Still confused? Don’t hesitate to pop me a photo of what you are thinking and I can send you some examples. Or take a peek at the portraits below and let these fabulous families inspire you!

Aurora Joy Photography – Melbourne Newborn Photographer

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December 28, 2020

Emma Baker




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