Ashley MacInnis: The Frenzied Fashionista


Follow These 3 Rules For Great-Looking Family Photos

Avoid the Ire of the Ages, and Look Great for Generations to Come

This is the third year in a row that my son and I have done our family photos around the Thanksgiving weekend. The fall colours are so lovely, and when the weather cooperates, autumn is the perfect time to be outdoors. I typically spend a bit of time contemplating what we’re going to wear for our photos, and in 2012 and 2013, we both wore a lot of blue.

Six Tips For Better Family Photos

If, like us, you’re gearing up to do your family photos, I have 3 simple tips for you to follow for dressing for your upcoming shoot!

1. Coordinate, but don’t match:

Instead of putting the entire family in matching gingham shirts, make sure that everyone has a cohesive look by sticking to a similar colour palette. Avoid white, though, as you can sometimes fade into a backdrop and it may appear stark in photographs. If you are wearing white, top it with a coloured blazer or sweater. *F and I wore a blue and white pattern in both 2012 and 2013 (when we also wore similar Converse sneakers). This year we did neutrals.*

2. Skip graphic designs and busy patterns: 

They can distract from your smiling faces, and busy patterns can be confusing to the eye. Stick to simple or plain clothing (a thin, vertical stripe as opposed to thick, horizontal stripes) and remember the above tip to keep your family's look cohesive. *I put F in a blue and white patterned shirt in 2012, which was quite faint. In 2013, the plaid was more vivid, but the rest of our clothing was plain.*

3. Wear what you actually wear: 

Have you ever seen a photo of someone that looks so unnatural you can’t even believe it’s them? Don’t be that person! Wear clothing that showcases your personality—photos should be a moment preserved in time. Make sure it reflects YOU. *The dress I wore for my photos this year? I wore the exact outfit for my recent professional photos. It's my new favourite.*

Now, I’m not a professional photographer. I’ll freely admit to this. But I am pretty good at setting my camera up on inanimate objects (instead of purchasing a tripod, I use rocks or my car) and setting the timer and running like ain’t nobody’s business to get in the shot before the first *click* can be heard. When it comes to the actual photos, I stand by these simple rules:

5 Steps To Take The Perfect Family Photo

  1. Have fun.
  2. Everyone doesn’t have to look at the camera.
  3. Be yourselves!

My favourite photos of F and I are usually the ones that happen when we forgot that the camera was clicking, because they’re the photos that really show us. Sure, they might be a little blurry and one of us might have one eye half-cocked, but that’s OK.

Life isn’t perfect and our photos don’t need to be, either.

For tips on how to capture your family’s perfectly imperfect moments, follow my friend Melissa!