Hi Friends, as I sit here and watch the AFC and NFC Championship Games (GO CHIEFS) I had a client reach out and ask advice about what to wear for their family photoshoot. This is a question I am asked often and always willing to help you mama's with because let's be honest... It's the mom planning the outfits whether it is a family session, maternity session, or senior sessions and its the Queen's planning the outfits for the couples and engagement sessions. So this blog is for you.
Family session at Shaw Nature Reserve wearing neutral and cool tones.
There is a short answer and a long answer for what to wear depending how fast you need your outfits and how much help you feel you need so I'll start with the short answer.
1. Think simple, flattering, and cohesive.
Wear something that is free of logos and busy patterns and make sure that what you wear is flattering for your shape and body. Wear something that fits. Wear a solid color.
2. Choose natural and solid colors that compliment each other.
Depending on the feel and vibe you are going for (earthy, cool, warm, etc) pick colors that compliment what you expect out of your photos.
I found this color palette on instagram (not my own) and I think this is a great starting place to help you pick colors for you and your families outfits. Pinterest is a great resource to look at what others have chosen for their sessions and how they coordinated color palettes.
Now for the long answer...
First and foremost I will always suggest to wear something over the top. Ladies wear that long, flowey ball gown with the high slit to show some leg. Gentlemen, wear the dress pants and button down shirt (lets try to avoid polos if possible). Polos, however are great for younger children but still not my fav. Put your young daughters in tutus and over the top dresses also. She'll have fun twirling in her fun dress or skirt. But that is just me, dress for your personality.
1. Dress for your personality but wear solid colors. Patterns and outfits containing words, logos, or tv characters distract from the photo and tend to draw individuals eyes away from the portraits themselves. You want you and your family, your faces, to be the first thing people notice when they see your portraits.
2. Make sure to wear something that flatters your shape and you feel comfortable in but don't dress too casual. Wear your Sunday best, your date night outfit, that over the top dress and suit. Photoshoots are special occasions and you should invest more time in looking your best.
3. Keep your outfits and color palette natural and simple. Wear your hair in a way that frames your face and isn't pulled back tight unless that is the theme you are going for. Wear natural makeup that compliments your eyes and facial features.
4. Make sure you see your outfits together beforehand. DO NOT 'wing it' or you'll end up with outfits that do not coordinate and images that are too busy and uneasy to look at. Choose colors that compliment each other but aren't match-matchy. You don't want everyone to be dressed in the exact same shirt and pants (unless that is your theme). Choose each persons outfits based off a color palette that compliments each other (see above) and mix up similar colors with different fabrics and materials.
5. Try to avoid sleeveless shirts and short skirts or shorts. You want your clothing to fit naturally and with a hint of grace so it is flattering.
6. Wear shoes that compliment your outfit but are comfortable. Most sessions require a bit of walking and you want to be comfortable. You can even go barefoot. This is a great way to create a more natural and relaxed feel in photos.
7. Have your outfits picked out 2-3 weeks before your session so you can see everything side-by-side and make sure everything fits good. Make sure to also get hair cuts and colors a week or two out before the session.
8. And don't forget to pack baby wipes, a hair Bruch, stain remover, and any other items you might need to freshen up right before the session. This is especially important when working with young children or overly windy days.
Family Session at Shaw Nature Reserve. This family chose pastels and navy blues for contrast
Family Session at Klondoke Park. This family went with more blush tones to compliment the winter colors.
Hopefully this short blog will help you plan your families next session with me and point you in the direction of how to come in the best coordinated outfits you can find. Your photos are going to frame your walls and hold memories that you will cherish for a lifetime so make sure they are special and well planned out. And make sure not to mix match more than 3 complimentary colors for your session.
If you still at any point have further questions or would like help choosing outfits please don't hesitate to ask.
Lots of Love,