Without fail multiple times a day someone calls or texts and asks for outfit advice. Every day I think about how I need to get all my advice written for everyone...for years I've thought about how I need to do this. Well, here I am! I’m not going to lie, I did this QUICKLY, which pained me because it's one of my favorite topics, but my goal is to simply steer you in the right direction. Whether you're new to family photography, or we've been doing it for years and you need a refresher, here are some of my favorite tips from my closet, to yours!
It’s been trendy for awhile to have dresses for girls that match mom, which is super cute, but let’s stay away from that for the whole family! We of course want to keep the family unified and can do that by coordinating colors. Pick two to four colors and work those into everyone’s attire in varying degrees. (Ex. Blue, Maroon, Beige, White) When choosing these colors also think where will these photos hang?! Is it important these colors match my decor where I will be hanging them? I always think varying degrees of blue always look good, with many different locations! The family below did just that and I loved how they looked coordinated, yet were able to dress to everyone's personality.
Texture adds interest and a bit of personality to an outfit. It can also elevate the family photos a bit by adding interesting elements to the eye. A textured dress, bulky sweater, a fur vest, fun scarf - anything of the sort provides visual interest. You can add pieces into your outfit in unexpected ways - think like a denim jacket paired with a more feminine Lacey top. Patterns can also create texture in a photo. You don’t want anything too huge, but smaller patterns can add elements of texture. Add prints in small ways, and stay away from anything with wave prints. The little girl seen below has an eyelet dress and mom has a simple summer dress with texture on the chest and straps. Both dresses when posed together added more interest to the eye in the photograph. The family of four also shown below used prints to add texture. The prints weren't too distracting but added an element of interest to the photo.
If you have a well put together wardrobe for everyone and then just toss on dirty gym shoes it can really change the entire photograph. Have everyone wear their best footwear and bring walking shoes for in between locations if worried about ruining them. Statement shoes always add a little something to the photos and heels always help a woman's silhouette. IF shoes are not an option in everyone’s closet, spend a bit of time grooming feet and go barefoot! The family below did their photos in their yard and I loved their barefoot look.
You’re essentially going to have your outfit on display forever… So make sure it looks it’s best! In particular for mom or those who are going to be more critical, take the time to move in the outfit you choose. Sit on a chair, look at yourself from different angles in the mirror. Especially in my photo sessions, dance parties often happen! You'll be moving, sitting, standing, walking. As a universal tip, most bodies look great in wrap tops, a-line skirts and jackets + tops cinched at the waist. Proof of dance parties below! Mom's dress moved and it felt comfortable and looked effortless to pick up her kids and move with them!
Trends come and go, but some of them are incredibly date-able. Skip those, unless you are doing photo sessions often. Timeless doesn’t have to be boring! You can accessorize and add statement pieces that tie in the classic look and make it look modern. Whether it’s a colorful cuff or set of bangles, a cap for dad for a few, or hat for mom. Adding sentimental pieces is always a nice touch in photos. If you’re going to wear earrings, make sure you can see them with your hairstyle. Keep hair more natural, save the updos for special events. The mom below always has a piece of jewelry that is subtle, but adds something to her look. She always looks effortless, comfortable but so striking in every photograph! In this year's session her watch with a small bangle, her metallic shoe and her textured dress made her look current, but in a simple way that didn't distract.
Pick a Theme
If you feel lost, sometimes it helps to plan your location first or pick a theme. You can go more black tie and do a formal look on your couch or at a location with columns. You can go more countryside and wear corduroys and tweeds and muted colors, you can go loud and head to a fun location like a park or carnival. Sometimes choosing location can help you come up with the vibe of your look. I have gotten an enormous amount of compliments on this carnival session! They picked a vibe, they went with it and it totally worked!
In the end, my motto is always "no stress". You have my number. Lay everything out, see if it works, and if you aren't sure... send me a text :)