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Clothing Choices for Your Family Portraits

So, you’ve decided it’s time to take that family photo you’ve been talking about for so long. You’ve scheduled an appointment with a photographer and your family has set aside time to participate. Now it’s time to start planning what you and your family will wear. Take a look at some of our suggestions on what to do and what to avoid doing when it comes to clothing choices for your family portrait:

  • Dress yourself first – If you’re the one who planned the whole family photo session, you should choose your outfit first. That is, choose something you look and feel good in, and have your family dress themselves accordingly.
  • Create a Color Scheme – Select a couple colors you like or that look good on you and create a color scheme based on your choices. The accent color, or the brightest, should not be overused.
  • Add some personality – You and your family should not all be wearing matching outfits. This idea is outdated and it looks more creepy than welcoming. As previously stated, whoever organized the photo session should dress himself or herself first. The rest of the family should then make their own outfit choices based on what you’ve chosen first to wear. All the outfits should complement each other, while allowing each family member’s unique personality to show. Wearing the same matching clothes takes away from this effect.
  • Location – It is important when considering the colors your family is going to wear to also consider where in the house the family photo will be prominently displayed. Typically, family portraits go somewhere in the living room, either hanging on a wall or on the mantel for everyone to see. It is good practice to coordinate the colors you and your family choose to wear with the color(s) of the room.
  • Accessorize – Accessories help complement outfits, just be sure that the colors of the accessories match with those of your clothes.
  • Layers: Fashion with a Function – Layers are both functional as well as fashionable; they keep you warm and also help you make clothing combinations that look great.

What you wear in the family portrait makes quite the impression on your house guests. You want people to easily recognize your beautiful family, and wearing color-coordinated outfits does the trick. Choose your outfit first, something from which everyone else can build their own outfits.

Family Portrait Prep

Family photo day is right around the corner . Are you and the rest of your family prepared? Have you picked your outfits? Is everyone excited, or do you get annoyed, unenthused groans? Will you have enough time before the session starts to get dolled up, so that the beauty and confidence you exude will reflect upon the rest of your family? There are many factors that go into taking the perfect family portrait. Here are just a few:

  • Full, Fat, & Happy – One of the most important things to remember is to make sure everyone, especially the kids, have been fed before you even leave the house. Nobody is comfortable on an empty stomach, and this will show through the strained, lethargic, and frankly lackadaisical poses and smiles on the faces of your otherwise beautiful family.
  • Outfit Choice is Key – A beautiful smile is not the only factor in your family’s outward appearance. Choosing the right outfits, ones that go well together, but which allow each member of your family’s personality to shine through, is of utmost importance. Everyone should look comfortable and, more importantly, attractive. Your outfits should not match, but the colors should go well together. This allows for both accessorizing and adding some personal flair, whatever that may be, so that the different styles of your family members come together to show that your family has some personality.
  • Make Dad the Mascot – Assuming yours is the stereotypical family, – a mother, a father, kids, and maybe even pets – then I’m going to take a wild guess and say that Mom did most of the work in organizing the family photo shoot. Now it’s your turn, Dad. Take the initiative. This is your time to shine. Fathers, try to make the photo session exciting for everyone involved. Be a little goofy and get everyone in a good mood. The honest smiles from laughter and fun will make for a better family portrait.
  • Make the Most of the Session – As previously mentioned, genuine smiles are a product of a good time. Make sure everyone is having fun and being themselves. Crack a joke, tell your husband you love him for all his valiant efforts, admire the beauty of your family. Doing these things and more will help the photographer snap some awesome pics from which to choose the perfect family photo.
  • Don’t say “Cheese!” – In the wise words of Krista Campbell, “Cheese is for crackers.” There is a noticeable difference between smiles that are forced and those which are genuine, and people will be able to tell the difference. Smiling faces caught in the moment make for a happier-looking family.

By following these tips and many others, your family photo shoot should go pretty smoothly, and you’ll get a great family photo with which everyone is happy and of which everyone is proud. This should be an exciting time for your family, and the photo(s) you select should reflect that excitement.

Louise Michaud and Salem State’s Expect Program

At Salem State University, the Expect Program is one of the University’s newest and most beneficial courses for students that are studying communications. The course was created a couple years ago by Robert Brown and Rebecca Hains to help students who are nearing graduation and preparing to enter the real world. At the beginning of the semester, students are separated into groups and are assigned a client. They work and communicate with their client on different tasks in order to market their client’s brand or business. Ultimately, their work leads up to a final presentation of their work with their client throughout the semester.

I have been working closely with the team assigned to my photography business. This team includes Joe Kasper, Danielle Pieroni, Nikki Vergakes, and David Lebrassuer. At the beginning of their semester, I explained how I was in need of something new. Since my focus has been wedding photography for years, it was time for something new. Now, I am mostly focusing on fashion-inspired contemporary portraits. I also showed my team the work I have done with the 99 Faces Project, which will be on exhibit this May at the Museum of Science. This project is a great way to raise awareness of mental disorders by portraying individuals who suffer from them by photographing them and their loved ones.

My team has used social media, blog posts, promotions, and different types of media relations to get my business shared with the public. They shaped each post with a contemporary portrait angle to re-brand my name. Since the start of the semester, my Instagram page has gained many new followers and has opened a new window of communication for me. The blog posts have focused on the people I am teaming up with and include specific work I have done. Also, they are currently in communication with local newspapers and magazines on my behalf.

It is safe to say that my Expect Team has made steady progress obtaining the goals that we set together. Luckily, they have a great team chemistry and work well with each other and with myself. It has been a pleasure working with this team! I am glad these students have had a chance to experience working in the real world. They have done so much for me and my business. I also am grateful for the progress we have made together!

Tired of seeing a brick wall for your portrait background?

Us too. Here at Louise Michaud Photographer we custom design some of our backgrounds for your portrait. I love having a unique background to offer my clients. It’s exciting to make something one of a kind that my clients can only get from me! I got my inspiration to paint this background from Annie Leibovitz’s legendary body of work. I am most inspired by her Vanity Fair style fashion shoots. You’ll be seeing some portraits using this Oliphant style canvas backdrop. It helps having a BFA in Visual Design!

A Kind Word

It is always so gratifying to receive wonderful feedback from a couple that we photographed. Liz and Jesse were a pleasure to work with. You can check out this past Facebook post for a little peak at what we did for them. This bouquet shot is still one of my favorite detail shots to date:

Louise Michaud Photographer, Salem MA Wedding Photography, Boston Wedding Photography

“This review is long overdue. My husband and I got married on June 27th, 2015. Louise was our photographer and she and her partner, Mike, did a phenomenal job. Our pictures are beautiful and they both did an amazing job capturing perfect candid moments as well as posed photos that came out beautifully and unforced. Louise was involved with our planning process, listened to what we wanted and did an incredible job making our “amateur” photo ideas come to life. Louise and Mike were also wonderful making everything happen the day of. My bridal party and I were running about an hour behind getting ready. Louise and Mike got everything done quickly and efficiently, without making us feel like we were out of time. I would recommend using Louise without reservation. The photography was beautiful and we will cherish the photos for the rest of our lives.”

Thank you, Liz and Jesse!