Let’s get real for a second. Planning outfits for family photos is HARD! It’s probably the reason I don’t take more of my own family. But I am here to help you! Here is my ultimate list of Do’s and Don’ts.
First, Start with one outfit in a color scheme you like and build the rest of the family around that. I like to start out with a basic color palette and go from there. It can help to have one “stand out” outfit who carries a pattern in their outfit that the rest of the group’s clothing or accessories pull from, while keeping everyone else’s outfits more simple.
–Don’t get too matchy-matchy. We know your family is together. We’re photographing you together! So, wearing the same colored shirt, pants, shoes, etc. looks a bit awkward. Coordinating color is what really brings wardrobe together. I usually choose two to three main colors of wardrobe that mesh well with one another, and maybe one accent pop of color. Also, mixing stripes with plaids and tweeds is okay!
-Basic isn’t a bad thing. When in doubt, add layers (cardigans, layered button-up, sweater, scarf, hat, suspenders). Old Navy actually has some amazing examples on their site right now of how layering adds some dynamic touches. Layers add dimension and depth. When it’s warm out? Layer your dress with a cute belt and pendant necklace.
Here’s a few great examples of layering and adding small pops of color
-For mom, long flowy dresses are flattering on every body type. Keep that in mind while shopping! Maxi dresses are usually a slam dunk for shoots, and they’re so versatile. If you don’t feel comfortable in dresses, don’t fret. Skinny jeans look great on everyone too!
-For kids, I love when my clients show up to a shoot with the most simple and timeless of outfits. A smock dress that belonged to Great-Grandma. A plain lace dress with a simple bow. A plain diaper cover. Naked baby! These outfits (or lack thereof) will always stand the test of time, and will never go out of style.
Remember, coordinating your childrens’ outfits is key. Coordinate, do not match.
Shoes are a very important part of wardrobe. If you have the cutest little trousers and button down for your son to wear for pictures, but slap his favorite pair of Disney tennis shoes on him, it makes the whole look lose cohesiveness. Stay away from character shoes, flip flops, crocs. My recommendation for shoes are boots, leather sandals, Converse All-Stars, Toms, Sperrys, Joyfolie, and Mary Janes. And always, barefoot is an adorable option, especially with babies. I’d much rather see bare feet than the bottom of their shoes.
-Neon/florescent colors. Fluorescent colors tend to color cast on faces, necks and hair. They’re harsh sometimes. I always recommend versions of primary colors. Yellow (mustard), red (maroon, brick), and blue (navy, royal).
-Clothing & shoes with logos, characters, or distracting designs.
Once you have your choices picked out, lay the outfits out on the floor and see how well they mesh.
After all of this, if you still find yourself not sure on what would look best, REACH OUT TO ME on advice or just to show what you have come up with so far. I love helping my families pick their outfits and making them look their best in what photographs best! At the end of the day, we both want the same things… you to look amazing and have amazing photos to cherish forever!