The most commonly asked question we get is “what should we wear?”. Ultimately it is up to you and your family to decide the overall look and feel of your portrait. If you wear what you feel comfortable in, it will show in the photos. Still want some help? Here’s a few simple guidelines for you:
Do you have a very traditional family? Try the classic white shirt and khaki pant. It’s classic for a reason, it looks good. It’s comfortable. It’s easy to match everyone. You cannot go wrong with this option and the results will be excellent.
But lets say you are the type of family who likes to step outside the traditional box (you know who you are, don’t be shy) and introduce a little color into your lives. Pastels and light colored jeans are your friend. If you are a large group you can have each family dress in a different color, or your family can pick one color and have each person wear a different shade of that color. But don’t think you all have to match in order for the pictures to turn out well. Maybe everyone wants to wear whichever color they feel flatters them the best and you end up with every color of the rainbow. As long as everyone sticks to the same “niceness” level (everyone in polos or the guys in button downs and ladies in blouses) then you all will match and look great as a group.
Since I just mentioned niceness level I will elaborate before moving on. Ladies, you usually have no issue dressing up and looking nice, but if you are in your fancy new sun dress and your man is wearing a skater t-shirt and ratty jeans it looks pretty mismatched. You can go as nice or as casual as you would like, and as long as its uniform across the group you will all look great in the photo.
What about your feet? Most of the time I say leave the shoes at home and get that sand between your toes! There are a few times, specifically the middle of the day shoots, when the sand can be REALLY hot and painful to step on. For those times flip flops or sandals are great. I would advise against tennis shoes as they aren’t beach attire and can look out of place. And lastly, as with the rest of your clothing, as long as you are all doing the same thing it’ll look great.
Things to avoid: Dark colors. The darker the color you are wearing the paler you look in comparison. Everyone at the beach wants to look like they have a tan, so try and stay away from black and navy and the like. Another one to avoid is really bright or neon colors on a reflective fabric. If you have a neon orange shiny shirt, the sun will reflect a not-so-lovely orange glow across your face. We want to keep the focus on you guys having fun, not have the first reaction to looking at the picture be “Wow, so-and-so looks like an oompa loompa!”
A couple more things to keep in mind and possibly avoid: Overly loose fitting clothing and short skirts or dresses. There’s no such thing as no wind on the beach. And while you may be picturing your skirt or blouse beautifully flowing in the breeze, you might end up with a very unflattering “billowing” effect. Also, keep in mind that for some of the poses you will be sitting in the sand, jumping, building a human pyramid, or even just walking down a windy beach. We want you to make sure everything that needs to be covered stays that way so you don’t end up flashing the beach or the camera. I’m not that type of photographer =)
Speaking of a windy beach, hairspray is your friend. You really cannot use enough. Another option would be headbands or hair ties, really anything to avoid having a tangled mess flying in all different directions. Your face is the most important part of the photo, after all.
My last little peice of advice for you: I would highly recommend linen if you can find it in your color scheme. Its a light and breathable material that you will thank me for when its 100 degrees on the beach. As a matter of fact its all I wear all summer long.
I hope this little guide is useful, informative, and a little whimsical. But as always, if you have any questions or ideas please do not hesitate to ask. And when picking your outfits, remember the three simple rules: be comfortable, have fun, and relax!