For your family portraits first think of the style of portrait you would like (are you aiming for something formal, casual, or contemporary?) and choose your clothing accordingly. For unity, I recommend coordinating your clothing across the top and across the bottom. This applies to color and tone. For example, each person wears a black top and jeans, as opposed to one person wearing a white shirt with jeans and another wearing a black top and jeans.
It is best to stay with solid colors instead of patterns, especially when there are small children involved. This allows for more retouching options such as combining images for the best expression of each child (also known as “head swapping”). If you would like to individualize a bit more, think about adding accessories. Scarves, hats, jackets, and jewelry can dramatically affect the stylistic feel of the portraits.
If there will be young children, consider their tolerance for the outfits you are planning. It helps to have them as comfortable and relaxed as possible.
Although I do have space for dressing yourselves and/or children available, I have found that some children (especially in the 18-36 month range) are easily overwhelmed with the portrait experience.
If you think this may be the case, you may want to dress the child at home or in the car before coming into the studio in order to ease any possible upset clothing changes may cause.
Infants do best with clothing without loose collars or panels that may pop up and cover their faces, especially if they are unable to sit up unassisted. Overalls are best reserved for children who can sit well or even stand, as young infants tend to “sink” into them.
Try to schedule your portrait session for your children during a time of day that works best for your young ones.
Bring a snack or drink just in case, and throw in a few favorite toys or comfort items that you don’t mind including in the portraits if that should become necessary. Let me know about any likes or dislikes your child has that we should be aware of.
Above all, try to relax! If your child senses that you are stressed, they are more likely to become anxious about the portrait experience. I love children and understand their individual complexities and will do everything I can to bring out the best in your child.