Are you planning to have updated portraits taken during your family reunion this year? One of the most popular questions I get is, “What colors should we wear?”
As one of the top family photographers in the Upper Peninsula, we have lots of experience helping families plan their sessions. This post will share the most popular family reunion colors, as well as how to decide what colors to choose based on your location.
What Are The Most Popular Family Reunion Colors?
The first thing to consider when planning any portrait session is where you plan to display your portraits in your home. In order to have a pleasing, cohesive room design. For example, if you have a downtown session with lots of red brick buildings as the background, this would clash with a light and bright living room full of soft pastel blues and pinks.
With family reunions, the likelihood of four+ families having their homes painted in similar color schemes is quite low.
In our experience, the most popular family reunion colors for portraits are blues, greens, and neutrals.
Blue is the most popular color for family pictures because everyone has some shade of that in their closet – even jeans. When planning family pictures it’s not necessary to match colors exactly. In fact, we actively discourage exact matching because most people don’t dress to match on a daily basis. Additionally, having a variety of shades and textures helps to create visual interest in the picture, and also allows each family member to show a little more personality. The days of matching white polo shirts and khakis are long gone!
How To Decide What To Wear Based On Location
Something important to consider when planning your family reunion pictures is where the session will be held.
Are you having a photographer come to your backyard? Select a color that will stand out against a background of green grass and trees: blue, pink, or light neutrals.
Are you meeting a photographer at a local beach? Select a color that matches the summery feel of the day! Blue is still a great option, but yellows and greens look great against a water background, too!
No matter what the Pantone color of the year is, the most popular family reunion colors are ones that don’t go out of style quickly. Most families update their pictures every 3-5 years, so plan to wear clothing that leans more timeless than trendy.
What NOT to wear for your family reunion pictures?
While it’s incredibly important for you to feel comfortable during your family pictures, please also take into consideration how different items will photograph.
First, I recommend you steer clear of neon colors and shiny polyester fabrics. Light reflects from your shirt to your face, especially under your eyes and on your neck. If you wear a bright orange shirt, you will end up with funny color casts on parts of your face that take a lot of extra time to fix in editing. This can happen even with a cotton shirt, but is even worse when wearing other more reflective fabrics. Many fast fashion brands make women’s blouses out of thin polyester fabrics meant to replicate the look of silk. This enhances the chance of color casts and light reflecting in unflattering ways onto your face (or even your spouse’s face)!
Next, especially for the guys I recommend – no – implore you – to stay away from dress shirts with really fine pinstripes or checked patterns. When photographed this often results in a moire effect. This unnatural, wavy pattern is very distracting in portraits! Although we have ways to reduce the effect during editing, it’s not 100% perfect. Please, please put that shirt back on the hanger and select a different one!
Lastly, I recommend against wearing too much black in your portraits. While it would seem that black would be a common and therefore one of the most popular family reunion colors for pictures, it isn’t the best option for portraits in the Upper Peninsula.
Both in the Keweenaw and in much of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, we have lots of pine trees. While these are quite enjoyable to look at, they are also already dark! As you browse my website, note the light and bright images that fill each page. You probably notice not many families are wearing dark browns and blacks – and that’s by design!
You’re having family pictures taken to make your family stand out. Don’t blend in by accident!
Deciding what to wear in family pictures can feel like a daunting task, but it’s a lot easier when not left to the last minute. Be sure to communicate with each family group on clothing choices at least two weeks ahead! This way everyone has time to go shopping if needed.
Ultimately the decision on what to wear is up to your family, not me! I strive to give enough ideas to help you find what works for you.
For even more information on what to wear in your family reunion pictures this summer, click the button below.
Remember: You’re Never Fully Dressed Without a SMILE!
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