What to Wear in Your Seattle Family Portraits - Poplin Style Can Help

What to wear for family photos? Mellicia will help you. My wonderful friend and business buddy, Mellicia Marx is the owner of Poplin Style. She empowers people to live their best lives, embracing fashion as a beautiful way to explore and express personal identity and creativity.

After you scroll through these photos I just took of Mellicia’s family, head over to her blog and read this: 5 Questions to Ask When Choosing What to Wear in Family Photos

On the morning of Mellicia’s family photo shoot, I was soooo beyond excited to see what she would be wearing when I showed up at the King Street Station in Pioneer Square. This family is stylist AF so my camera and I were EXCITED. Clothing makes a HUGE difference in family photos, taking images from good to great. Most of my clients take time to plan to outfits before their shoots, sometimes sending me photos of the clothes laid out on the bed the night before. I get lots of emails asking what to wear and my best advice to is to check out our outfit advice blog post, study photos on our blog and ask Mellicia at Poplin Style. haha

For Mellicia’s photos, I LOVED how her bright orange blouse brightened up all the photos, which were taken against monotone backgrounds (marble and cement). The boys were in rich dark blues which also made them POP off the lighter colored backgrounds.. Yummy for eyes because the clothing not only communicated this family’s individual style but it made them stand out. When taking photos, I’m always looking for ways to shine a spotlight on the people; sometimes it’s literally the light that is shining on them, making them brighter than everything else in the photo, sometimes it’s putting negative space around them so they are standing inside of a frame and sometimes it’s great outfits that catch us like eye-candy. Enjoy scrolling through the beautiful photo collection and seriously, email Mellicia if you want help with looking and feeling fabulous at your next photo shoot or just in life in general. She’s bomb and you can’t be around her for long before you feel bomb too! ;)


Photographer: Chamonix
Time of Year: November
King Street Station, Pioneer Square, Seattle
Activity: Exploring the Train Station

How to Take More Professional Looking Family Photos with "Even Lighting"

I was up to my knees in ivy and the Moreano family was balancing together on top of a hill as I shouted up at them: "3 inches to the left...take one step steps woops, one step back...RIGHT THERE DON'T MOVE!!!" This is what it's like when I'm photographing a family on a sunny day - especially in the forest with all the trees casting dappled shadows. 

As a Seattle family portrait photographer, I'm am constantly on the hunt for "even light". This is the secret to creating beautiful professional-looking family photos. With my camera up to my face, I'm constantly watching the bright light shined down on my client's faces and bodies. I'm on the lookout for the harsh shadows and always aware of the patterns in the shadows (coming from leaves, fences, clouds etc...). Most of the time, we're avoiding shadows all together but sometimes, we either have no option (because we're working with limited backgrounds) OR the background that we LOVE is crappy lighting. 

You'll notice in these portraits of the Moreano family (taken at Robinswood Park in Bellevue, WA) that many of the photos have patches of bright light and shadows on their faces and bodies (especially in the ivy). We were taking pictures in the forest just before sunset - the light is beautiful but tricky to work with. That's why it's a perfect example for hunting for 'even light'. Notice how some of the pictures have bright spots of light on their clothing (and a little bit on the faces). This was hard work for me to get it to this point. If I had just taken pictures right away (without making lighting adjustments) there would be "lighting chaos"!

When even light is 'impossible' prioritize getting the light even on the face (even if you have to have bright spots on the clothing). One absolute no-no is to have one person's face in the light and other person's face in the shade. That's the #1 priority - even light on all the faces. This is so important because portrait photography is primarily about faces and family portrait photography is about those faces being together as a happy little unite. Something as simple as having one face in light and one face in shade subconsciously separates the two faces so they don't feel like a cohesive family unite. It distracts from the emotion behind the image with is to be ONE united happy family.