Montreal Photographers: Studio Iris Photography
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5 Tips for Great Family Portraits

5 Tips for a Great Family Portraits


1. Choosing What To Wear


New Clothes a Good Idea: Try to dress your family in new (or nearly new) clothing for your family portrait session. New clothes come out crisp and neat in photographs, while old clothes tend to look slouchy and... well.... old. 


The Clothes Should Never Overwhelm the Faces: Keep it simple. Your family portrait session is not the time to wear your metallic gold dress or leopard-skin top hat. Classic, understated clothing in simple elegant styles work best. 


Black Works Well for Classic, Timeless Portrait: For a truly classic portrait, simple black clothing works best. It focuses all the attention on the faces, and the clothes will fade into the background.


montreal family photogrfapher


"But I want to wear something colorful!" If you have your heart set on colour, that's fine too-- hey, it's your portrait! Just make sure that everyone wears the same or similar colours. What you don’t want is 6 people in green and one in hot pink.


Keep it Neutral: Rich browns, khaki, grey – all these look great in a photo. As do blues and greens. Burgundy is also great, but never red. It just never photographs well. White or cream is fine too.


Solid Colours
: No busy prints, plaid, checks, or shirts with big, bold lettering. The emphasis needs to be on the face, not the clothes.




Long sleeves: Long sleeves are best. Showing the skin on your arms draws attention away from the face.


Freshly-Pressed Clothing: Make sure the clothes are beautifully ironed when you come in for your family portrait session. For clothes that wrinkle easily, iron them before the shoot and carry them to the studio.



Understated Jewellery: Keep the jewellery simple, elegant and understated. You don't want anything that will pull the attention away from the face.



2. Hair and Makeup


Hair Cuts for All

Make sure everyone's hair is be cut at least a week before the shoot so it doesn’t have the dreaded “I’ve-just-been-to-the-barber” and “my-hair-is-a-bit-too-short” look. 


Men - Great Shave the Morning of the Shoot 

Dad’s and teenage boys should shave really, really well the morning of the shoot. 


Women - Professional Hair & Makeup

Mum’s and daughter’s hair should be clean and styled the morning of the shoot. Doing it at home is fine, but the girls in the family want to bring it up a notch, they can get their hair hair and makeup professionally done at Au Premierjust a 5-minute drive from the studio. 




3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep the Night Before

If you (or anyone else in the family) wakes up the morning of your photoshoot feeling tired and sick, call us and cancel. 


Don't worry-- we won't charge you a penalty for this. We want you to be happy with your photos, and if someone looks exhausted in the pictures, you will not be happy. We can retouch a lot in Photoshop, but tiredness isn’t one of them.


4. Eat a Good Breakfast

Eat a nice big breakfast before you come down to the studio. Fruit, cereal, yogurt, a big cup of coffee-- go for it! We want you to arrive in a great mood with lots of energy for your photo shoot.


5. Bring bribery items for little ones

If you have small kids, bring some candies / chocolates/ rewards / bribery items. We don't always need them, but they are nice to have on hand if we do. 



Still Have Questions? Drop Us a Note