The most important thing necessary for a good shoot is to have a good time. Nothing should ever top that as more important because if you are having fun then the pictures will show it. Second to that, the next most important thing is probably the clothing. The clothes you wear are like decorations all around you that will either accentuate the mood or detract from it. I’ve been thinking about clothes and pictures for years and it is still hard to verbalize such an intangible, subjective thing but I will try to help you. The target we are aiming for is clothing that looks well thought out and well put together. “ok, but what does that mean?” Here is my best explanation…

1. Layer and accessorize. In South Florida it is hard to layer because of the heat, but do what you can. Be creative. Layers add visual complexity to the image and add interest. Layers could be: open blouse tied with a knot with t-shirt inside or add a jacket or add a knit top that we can see through to a different color underneath. Accessories can be: hats, ties, scarf, necklace, bracelets, etc.

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2. Please do NOT wear white tops. Avoid a plain, solid top, especially white. White button up shirts (or any solid color shirt) are too plain and therefore feel boring (unless they are a layer). Because they are simple they don’t do much to accentuate anything or give the viewer anything interesting to look at. The exception would be if you use a solid color shirt as a LAYER that adds complexity to the image as in for example a solid color shirt with t-shirt underneath or solid color shirt with scarf on top.

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3. Do not be like twins. You don’t have to wear the same exact color. A little color variety is good. Color “loudness” is more important. Every color has a “loud” level to it. Some colors are quiet like pastels, some colors are loud like bright red or bright blue, some colors are silent like white, beige, gray, brown or black (neutrals). Neutrals should not be used by themselves or your picture will look drab. You need some color. Pick colors that are the same loudness. You can’t wear bright red and then your husband light blue because your color will be louder than his. You don’t all have to wear the same color but they should be the same loudness. If you want to be more subtle then pick softer colors like pastels and keep it limited to a small range like 2-3 colors for the family. If you want to be more bold then pick brighter (louder) colors and pick more of them. Use neutrals along with your chosen colors to complete outfits without introducing any more unwanted colors.

This family is not wearing the same colors and they look great. All their colors are different but the same volume.

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This family wanted to match a bit more using pinks as a theme. Notice they are all wearing some pink but yet they each look like individuals. Having a color throughout the family is good but not when its identical. If its a bit different you look well put together. If its the same then it looks cheesy.

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4. Avoid words or writing on your shirts. If you do then that is all we will see. The viewer will no longer look at your faces but always be looking at what your shirt says.

5. Patterns…some patterns are good and some are bad. If the pattern is like paisleys or giant swirls then it maybe too much. Smaller patterns or patterns that blend in more are good. For example polka dots are good. A striped shirt is good. A checkered shirt is good.

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