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Author Topic: Matching outfits for photos  (Read 17599 times)

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Lynn2000

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #75 on: June 30, 2011, 11:03:46 AM »
To me, the request in the OP, which was to wear certain colors and not specific pieces of clothing, is very similar to the attempts that some people make to coordinate the colors in wedding photos. Some people don't mind who wears what, and others would prefer that the MOB and MOG wore colors that coordinate, or at least don't clash, with the wedding party colors. It's an attempt to make the picture be a bit more balanced, without having a loud or shocking color that draws your eye to it immediately.

In the OP, there was a professional photographer coming. I can see why the person coordinating this, and spending the money on the photographer, wanted to get the best possible picture, according to her own standards of "best possible picture."

And I totally agree with that--the people paying for the picture get to set the rules for the people in the picture. If the grandparents (who are paying) really want everyone to be dressed in clown suits for the photo, then I think everyone who agrees to participate should participate fully and wear the clown suits. (Now THAT would be a great picture to see, actually!  ;D  )

But my question is, how does the person who does NOT want to participate--no matter how reasonable the requested clothing seems to others--politely decline?

Also, I think this question could be expanded to include other activities that are traditional/reasonable to one family, but that seem less so to an incoming person (serious SO of a family member, perhaps). If the family has an annual softball game but the SO isn't athletic, or they like to get up at 4am for the Black Friday sales and the SO isn't a morning person and doesn't like crowds, say. I do know that some people have a personality such that they will give it a go even if that activity wouldn't be their first choice; other people are just less willing to leave their comfort zones, or understand that the activity would exceed their personal limits ("crowds aren't really my favorite" vs. "crowds give me a panic attack"). Now granted this may not endear them to their potential future family; but can they at least say that they did everything in their power to be polite about declining to participate, or is there really no other polite option than to go along with the family's plans?
~Lynn2000

It's good to be Queen

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #76 on: June 30, 2011, 02:06:26 PM »
Our last family photo ended up with everyone wearing either dark red or black - it wasn't really planned so that was wierd!  The nice thing was that since we all coordinated, the clothes aren't the focus of the picture.  You really tune them out and just look at the faces.

mj

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #77 on: June 30, 2011, 02:32:43 PM »
Lynn2000, I'm right there with you on these questions!  My DHs family does this and it's getting to be about the time the redo the Family Portrait and this is the first time I'm family.  There is just something about it that really turns me off and I haven't been able to pin it all exactly down.  I don't think it helps that I am a picture person to begin with :(  I do wonder if this is something that can be turned down politely, I do feel that strongly about it.

Lynn2000

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #78 on: June 30, 2011, 03:10:52 PM »
Our last family photo ended up with everyone wearing either dark red or black - it wasn't really planned so that was wierd!  The nice thing was that since we all coordinated, the clothes aren't the focus of the picture.  You really tune them out and just look at the faces.

See, I think that's nice. Obviously you can't rely on luck every time, but for me personally, I would be okay with a vague suggestion like, "Please wear all dark colors" or "Don't wear patterns because they'll show up weird in the photo." To me that's on par with, "Please dress up," which is a pretty standard direction for professional photos, I think (and why I always hated them as a kid! ;) )

And then there's also the idea that if Aunt Milly forgets and shows up in a white peasant blouse and a pink-and-green paisley skirt, are people going to shun her from the photo because she doesn't match, or are they just going to say, "Oh, that Milly," and maybe try to arrange her so her outfit is as hidden as possible? If a hypothetical family insisted upon the super-matching outfits, it would feel negative to me. For me that starts to evoke the idea of choosing one's bridesmaids because of their physical appearance--all petite blonds with short hair, for example--rather than choosing the people you feel closest to. Is it about getting everyone in the family together in one photo, or is it about making a photo with a particular artistic vision? Either way is fine of course, but sometimes I feel like it's billed as being the former, but is really more about the latter. And if it's about the latter, I think people should be able to politely opt-out without earning the eternal wrath of the whole family. (They should be able to politely opt-out of the former, too, IMO, but I can see how that would be more awkward and hurtful.)
~Lynn2000

Master_Edward

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #79 on: June 30, 2011, 11:14:36 PM »
Rosey, I'd try to get out of being in the picture. Hey if you want people to all be dressed alike in your photo (I think that's boring) then that's your right. But if I don't like it and I'm not comfortable with it I have a right to say no I'm not going to be in your picture either.

Ed.

Brentwood

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #80 on: June 30, 2011, 11:23:20 PM »
As a portrait photographer, I always advise families that solid, matching colors look best. For the reason mentioned before, the portrait is of the people, not the clothes and having a rainbow of colors distracts from the faces.
However, everyone in crazy sweaters or something else fun is a blast to photograph!

My family did not coordinate once and it turned out horrendous. The picture is hidden down a seldom used hall, and if it wasn't the only picture in an 8 year range I would have it burned. After a few of those experiences, I could see how the matriarch would start declaring a uniform.

I would have no problem with a color theme that incorporated complementary colors (I did that once with my own family of five - we wore autumn colors. My two younger kids wore a harvest orange that I would have looked terrible in. My husband wore sage green, and my oldest daughter and I wore brown), but the "everyone must look exactly alike in this color shirt and this color pants" drives me crazy.

Wendy Moira Angela Pan

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #81 on: June 30, 2011, 11:37:07 PM »
Rosey, I'd try to get out of being in the picture. Hey if you want people to all be dressed alike in your photo (I think that's boring) then that's your right. But if I don't like it and I'm not comfortable with it I have a right to say no I'm not going to be in your picture either.

Ed.

Me too. Matching outfits creeps me out so much. I don't really like to be photographed, and being required to wear a uniform for the photograph would make me feel even more uncomfortable.

Klein Bottle

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #82 on: July 01, 2011, 02:17:50 AM »
I don't see anything wrong with it.

For many years, my parents paid for a professional photographer to come each summer, while we were all gathered at their home, and take a picture of all the grandkids for their annual Christmas card.  Photos of individual family groupings were also taken, (just the grandkids, not any of the parents), and the photos were presented as part of my parents' Christmas gift to each family. Everyone wore either blue jeans and khakis, and a shirt in white, green, or red.  That was enough leeway to allow for some individual choice, while giving the photos a uniform and "Christmasy" look.  (My parents would also provide a nice meal as part of this family gathering.)  They have not done this in several years, as we are all so scattered now and the grandkids are mostly high school/college age or young adults out on their own, but those photos are priceless. 
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Talley

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #83 on: July 01, 2011, 03:17:59 AM »
I would definitely try to get out of being in the photo. My reason is that I simply do not like being told what to wear. Not by my DH, not by my family, not by my in-laws, not by anyone.

And I find matching outfits for families rather creepy too - not sure why, it just looks wrong to me. My style of clothing is, hm, individual, and I like seeing what kind of stuff other people wear because to me it reflects part of their personality.

Luckily I am in Europe, and this sort of thing does not seem common here. Now, I could see certain member of my family think this is a brilliant idea and try to have a photo taken where everyone wears matching outfits. But with some other people in the family this would go down like a load of bricks and lead to full-scale rebellion (yes, I'd be one of them... :P). Which might actually make some truly hilarious pictures with one half of the family in matching outfits, the other half wearing horribly clashing colours or showing up in Halloween-type costumes... :D


The Legend of Daisy

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #84 on: July 01, 2011, 03:55:58 AM »
Regarding matching outfits, I would definitely say that you shouldn't knock it until you've tried it. About every 5 years I insist on getting a family portrait of our whole extended family. This last one coincided with my sister's wedding which was an informal garden party where everyone had to wear white. I gotta say, it looks amazing! Very much like that modern family portrait without the mud. The previous pix where we were all wearing what ever we want do look really distracting and disorganised and the one where we're all wearing mostly white (some people are wearing khakis or cream linen, one sister had on a pale yellow jacket) just looks way more coordinated, professional and artistic.

Shores

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #85 on: July 01, 2011, 07:18:35 AM »
I've always thought matching outfits in group pictures was kind of weird. Personally, I'd try to get out of it. Just my opinion.

Ed.

Well that's good! I'd hate to think you were posting someone else's opinion! :D
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Shores

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #86 on: July 01, 2011, 07:20:30 AM »
I'd do it. I may not like it, I may be annoyed at buying a new outfit, but in the end, it's my family and (assuming I can easily afford the new item), it's a small price to pay to make someone I love happy. Plus years later, when people are gone, I may greatly treasure that photo that seems so silly now.
Wherever you go.... there you are.

TamJamB

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #87 on: July 01, 2011, 07:46:26 AM »
This sounds like one of those 'individual family' things.  My family didn't roll that way, so it seems a bit off to me, but if I was marrying into a family that does this, I would go along with it and accept it as one of my new family's 'things,' same way I expected my new husband to accept my families quirks.


Bibliophile

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #88 on: July 01, 2011, 08:18:47 AM »
I googled a bunch of family pics to compare...  The pics with match color shirts or some attempt at a coordination just look more put together & cleaner.  Without the coordination, it's just a bunch of clashing colors & the overall effect isn't at all pleasing to the eye.  

For example, below are 2 links - the first just looks better (sorry for the super long links):

Family in black shirts, not the same, just same color: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://hopkinsportraits.com/Family%2520portraits/large%2520group%2520family%2520reunion.jpg&imgrefurl=http://hopkinsportraits.com/families.htm&usg=__qsoF2wBUe9v2zQvrBprXu0Ug_kk=&h=340&w=509&sz=241&hl=en&start=0&zoom=1&tbnid=JM9bFDTf-h2wGM:&tbnh=141&tbnw=188&ei=R8cNTsLxKYPJgQeQ8tHaDQ&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dphotos%2Bfamily%2Blarge%26hl%3Den%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox%26biw%3D1600%26bih%3D759%26tbm%3Disch&itbs=1&iact=hc&vpx=1278&vpy=461&dur=78&hovh=183&hovw=275&tx=222&ty=127&page=1&ndsp=28&ved=1t:429,r:27,s:0&biw=1600&bih=759

Without matching shirts: http://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http://cdn.babble.com/being-pregnant/files/2011/05/large-family-300x225.jpg&imgrefurl=http://blogs.babble.com/being-pregnant/2011/05/26/large-families/&usg=__H_ypzgwJ7gAES4CETh04WaXjngw=&h=225&w=300&sz=30&hl=en&start=127&zoom=1&tbnid=MwdbptufIB6SIM:&tbnh=127&tbnw=169&ei=R8cNTsLxKYPJgQeQ8tHaDQ&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dphotos%2Bfamily%2Blarge%26hl%3Den%26rls%3Dcom.microsoft:en-us:IE-SearchBox%26biw%3D1600%26bih%3D759%26tbm%3Disch&itbs=1&iact=rc&dur=62&page=5&ndsp=32&ved=1t:429,r:11,s:127&tx=84&ty=69

I don't think it's rude to do it either way & if someone doesn't want to participate, then don't.  It would be another topic entirely on how to politely refuse & yet another on how to politely accept the refusal...  

I also googled class pics - I like the ones where everyone is in the same color on those too - your eye goes to the face rather than to the color of the shirt. 
« Last Edit: July 01, 2011, 08:20:37 AM by Bibliophile »

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Oxymoroness

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Re: Matching outfits for photos
« Reply #89 on: July 01, 2011, 08:23:06 AM »
Also, considering all the threads we've had about family pictures and who is asked to be in the pictures (i.e. not engaged, married, or living together), I would take it as a kindness that they wanted me to be in their family pictures in the first place, as I definitely wouldn't expect it at that stage.
I was thinking the same thing.