Monday, October 29, 2007

Coordinating clothing

The most amount of time I spend with clients prior to a session concerns clothing choices for their family. I'm of the school of thought that while putting the whole family in white shirts and jeans isn't a horrible choice, it's not necessarily the best choice, either. I don't think I've ever run across someone who said, "White is my child's best color." And generally, what's the best color choice for one child isn't necesarily the best color choice for another.

With November's holiday sessions about to begin, I thought I'd make a few suggestions for families, not only for holiday cards and portraits, but also just some general suggestions for other times of the year, too. If you're doing a holiday session with me, it's more than fine if you want to do traditional reds and greens, or sweaters with snowflakes and reindeer, but also remember that if you get a photo you cherish and want to hang on your wall or set on your desk all year, do you necessarily want to be staring at an embroidered picture of Rudolph?

I'm a firm believer in keeping things simple. If you want a pattern, try to keep it to one person in the family and coordinate with solids for the other members:

Vest from Gymboree, sweaters from Old Navy

Remember, with patterns and family photos, the simpler the better. I especially love argyle, polka dot and fair isle patterns. or just the simplicity of solid colors with a woven pattern, like a matching cable knit. Wonderful, whole-family coordinating looks can be found at such places as Hanna Andersson, Gymboree and Lands' End. Please remember, try to stray away from ginghams and smallish stripes--they tend to photograph oddly from a distance.

Styles from Hanna Andersson

Styles from Lands' End

For other family looks, try places that sell clothes for the whole family, like Gap or Old Navy. Generally, tones tend to match from department to department. Good coordination occurs when tones match--not necessarily the same colors. For example, khaki, creme, brown, lighter to medium shades of blue or lighter to medium (or dusty) shades of pink look great together. As do browns coordinated with burnt oranges or rusty reds or olive greens. Try to match your tones to your environment, too: If we'll be planning an outdoor session, stick with your earth tones this time of year (which is why I've been showcasing a lot of browns), or colors that look great with browns.

Styles from Gap

Styles from Old Navy

Finally, I always tell my families to dress like yourselves--kids in uncomfortable clothing tend to be miserable and uncomfortable, and no amount of retouching (or your bribery) is going to erase that. Also remember, I almost always pose families with smaller children on the ground, and this time of year, the ground can tend to be soggy for days. Please be prepared to sit (and maybe even bring along a small, solid colored blanket that you don't mind if it gets dirty).

As always, contact me with questions. :)

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