1. First decide on a color scheme

What is the purpose of the photo? If it is for holiday cards, then you may want to use colors that coordinate with the card of your choice. If you want a nice family portrait to hang in your living room, then use colors that will look nice in the room.

2. Clothes should be coordinating but not necessarily matching

Avoid dressing in the same outfits, for example. Use different pieces of complimentary styles and colors. Instead of all jeans or khakis on bottom, add dresses or skirts on the girls.

3. Pick clothes that are comfortable and flattering for everyone wearing them.

Your clothing choices should allow you to be comfortable and to feel good.

4. Favor solid-colored clothing rather than clothing with patterns.

Textured solid clothing looks much better in photographs than busy patterns or prints. Subtle patterns or prints are OK but avoid wide stripes, loud plaids, repetitive patterns, and large logos.

5. Pick 2-3 colors to work with as the main colors

Consider grays, blacks, browns and whites as "freebies" then pick 1 or 2 as your “base” color (s) that work well with your main colors. Then pick 2-3 main colors that look good together. They may be three different shades of the same main color OR three different colors that go well together. The main colors don't all have to be on top. White tends to wash people out so stay away from solid white on top. Use some color OVER white like a cardigan or vest or blazer.

6. Select one focal piece and work around it

Remember that the clothing doesn’t HAVE to be all solid colors. If there is a patterned piece that you LOVE, then use it as your focal piece, providing that the pattern is not too distracting (for example, a subtle floral dress). Then balance it out with simple solids or even a small striped shirt.

7. Use layers, textures and accessories

Things like colorful undershirts, cardigans or vests, necklaces, scarves, hats and ties add dimension and pop. Look for clothing that has texture, rather than patterns.

8. Avoid wearing solid black or white clothing for black and white images.

When an image is rendered in black and white, it is the contrast of colors that make the photo interesting.

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