WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR?
The most common question I get before a family session is, “What should we wear?” I get it — picking outfits for your annual family photos is more complex than just grabbing some trusty faves from the depths of your wardrobe. Your family pictures are an investment and your outfits should reflect that!
I’ve put together the ultimate style guide to help you look your best for family photos while keeping your family’s personality intact. The full style guide is available to all my clients, but I’ve pulled the 10 most helpful hints together for you right here.
NO. 1 — CONSIDER YOUR LOCATION
Even before you start with shopping for your outfits, you’ll want to consider the location and the vibe of your session. If you prefer a boujee urban feel for your portraits, the outfit choices will differ from those if you opt for an organic, ethereal session. Location actually matters a lot when it comes to what you should wear.
NO. 2 — START WITH ONE
When starting the process of choosing outfits, starting with one person and building on that choice is your best bet. My best advice for moms is to start with a dress in your favorite color or print. Not only are dresses flattering on every body type, the fabric creates flow and movement that is imperative in portraits for families. If mom hates dresses, think about a skirt/top combo, but choose something dressier than your everyday look.
NO. 3 — COLOR PALETTE
After you’ve got mom’s outfit set, think about 2-3 coordinating colors as well as some neutral tones that bring the outfits together. I recommend looking at the patterned outfit and pulling colors out of that pattern to select solids for your other family members in those colors. That creates a coordinated effect.
NO. 4 — THINK MUTED
Avoid overly bright, neon, or primary colors. Look for the muted version of that same color. SAY NO TO NEON. Just don’t do it. It color casts onto your skin making you appear a different color than you are.
NO. 5 — COORDINATION, NOT MATCHY MATCHY
Gone are they days where everyone wears a white shirt and jeans for annual family portraits. Pulling coordinating pieces together to create a cohesive look is where it’s at these days. Add variety with layers and textures. Avoid putting girls in matching dresses or boys in the same color top and bottoms.
NO. 6 — DRESS FOR THE WEATHER
Cranky kids means a session can fall apart fast. Cold kids = cranky kids. If the evening is going to be on the cooler side, opt for layers to keep the little ones comfortable.
NO. 7 — REMEMBER THE SHOES
Shoes have a unique power to make or break an outfit. That seems dramatic and while your daughter lives in her Disney Princess dress shoes, simple leather shoes are easier on the eyes and make the entire outfit look completed.
NO. 8 — NO CHANGES NECESSARY
Look, I love me some variety too. But changing kids can make them cranky and unable to finish the session. We can create variety in your session by changing small spots within the same location as well as different poses and fun games so none of your images look exactly the same.
NO. 9 — OPT FOR CLASSIC VS. TRENDY
Super trendy clothes can be fun, but chose a neutral or classic twist on trendy to avoid looking cringey in 15 years. Dresses are timeless and I can’t reiterate their beauty in photographs enough. Look through Pinterest and Instagram to avoid wearing dated pieces, even if they are a staple in your everyday wardrobe.
NO. 10 — BE YOURSELF
While dressing up may not happen that often for you, don’t go too far to make yourself look like something you’re not. Think of it like purchasing clothes you’ll be proud to show off as well as to look like the very best version of yourself you can imagine. You’re still you, but the bright shiny you you’ll want to look at again and again!
And that’s it! This is really all you need to feel prepared to style your own family session this fall. Above all, remember to have fun. Once the work is done, relax, spend the evening with your family, and clear out some room on those walls for the best family portraits you’ve had yet.
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