First, thank you for choosing me to photograph your family. It is such an honor. I love all the outfits chosen by my clients, but I often get asked about tips in this arena. I am no fashion expert, but I know what photographs well! I am excited to share some insight with you.
FIRST: START WITH MOM
I am sure you, Mom, are the one reading this and stressing about the shopping and styling. So my tip to you is, start with you. Decide on your outfit first, one that you LOVE and feel amazing in, and then match everyone to you. I say this because it is so much easier to match kids clothing to adult clothing than the other way around. You can always put the hubby or kids in a neutral outfit if all else fails, but finding that for yourself if you’ve picked their outfits first is stressful! So Mom, put yourself FIRST!
MATCHING IS OVERRATED
Do not wear all black. Do not put everyone in perfect matching outfits. This makes for very flat, uninteresting images. Coordinating is what you want to do! Colors and patterns should go together, not exactly match.
DRESS IT UP
This is my favorite “style” to photograph. Mom needs a dressy gown/skirt/dress (I have had many moms borrow or reuse a bridesmaids dress) that they love for their family portraits. From there, put dad in a suit jacket or nice shirt and button up shirt for boys and a dress for girls.
This is also a great way to change up the style or theme of you family photos. If you feel like your outfits have been mostly casual for Christmas cards or what have you, go fancier. Don’t be afraid or feel silly to do this, the photos turn out amazing!!
NEUTRALS OR COLORS?
I tend to recommended neutrals for my clients. I personally love shooting colors like creams, whites, oatmeals, greys (even pinks or blushes). It is easy and makes for bright, clean images. Below you will see how there are different neural colors in various textures and even patterns for each family member. This is a classic look. It also provides a picture, that when printed for hanging in your home, matches all décor.
When picking colors to wear for your family photos, remember this rule: JEWEL TONES OVER PRIMARY COLORS
The photos look much richer, and these jewel tones are much more flattering on your skin. Bright primary colors tend to cast shadows and tints onto your skin, especially oranges and reds. Greens can do this too, and I usually recommend staying away from green if we are shooting in a lush greenery backdrop.
Below are some outfit ideas for colorful outfits. You can see that the “dad” is in a white/neutral top. I recommend having one person semi neutral (like gray or white) to break up the colors and not look too busy.
Some other helpful tips:
Make sure you feel comfortable in your outfit choices. Ill fitting or unflattering clothing shows in photos. Make sure kids clothing is not too big or baggy. Also, when dressing little girls make sure diapers and undies are covered if wearing a dress.
Wrinkled clothes do show up in photos. A lot of parents wait to dress the kids until they arrive at the session location. This is great idea, just make sure you’re ready to shoot at your session time!
If we are shooting in the desert, please wear (or at least make the kids wear) closed toed shoes! Lots of prickly cacti!
Bring accessories if you would like! Some clients like to bring a hat or scarf or fun jewelry to throw on for just a few photos.
Trends are fun and OK in photos! Don’t be shy!