It is family photography season and I am so excited to see so many of my returning families and many, many new families as well! Whether you have a family session scheduled with me or another photographer, chances are you have questions on how to prepare. I get asked about wardrobe by 100% of my families and I am happy to give a little guidance. I thought I would start a series of blog posts here as a reference for my families and other people looking for ideas on planning their wardrobe and preparing for their family session. Today, we will focus on wardrobe.
If you have invested in custom, lifestyle photography, you are likely excited about planning for your session. The reason I call it an investment is because it is. It is an investment in your money and your most valuable currency, your time and you want to make sure that everything goes great! One of the most fun parts of preparing for your session is planning what you will wear. This is the time to really express who you are! I know some of you stress about getting your outfits together, but trust me, you don’t have to. While I don’t style my families, I do help them along the way if they ask. Here are some basic tips in preparing your outfits.
1. Most important tip. Be yourself!! Lifestyle photography, especially from an artist like myself, is meant to be authentic. If you don’t usually wear dressy clothing, don’t. If your daughter hates dresses, don’t put her in a dress. If your son can’t stand wearing button down shirts, don’t put him in one. If you are a sporty family, dress sporty. You can find clothing that fits your style that is clean, nice, and comfortable. That doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t dress your best, but it does mean that you can dress your best in your own style.
2. Inspiration. Choose your inspiration piece. It could be a sentimental object, favorite accessory, or the outfit that you love. It could also be a prop, or better yet, a location.
3. Color Scheme. One important thing to consider when choosing your color theme, is to make sure it matches your homes aesthetic. You also will want to consider the time of day you are taking your photos. Here is an article I wrote on Color Theory + Color of Light.
Coordinate, don’t match. There are rare occasions where everyone in the same color works, however generally you want diversity in colors and patterns. To be frank, it is cheesy and out of style for everyone to be wearing jeans and white polos. When thinking about colors, choose colors that compliment each other.
Stay away from graphics and florescent colors. Please, don’t let your kids wear those athletic shirts that are bright neon orange or yellow. What that means is that your kids face will be bright neon orange or yellow. Graphics tend to go out of style so I suggest staying away from them.
4. Typically moms outfit is decided on first. Mom, this is your time to shine! I love when moms are in dresses (if they like dresses) or an outfit they feel great in! Go out and buy your outfit or choose your outfit out of your closet first. Choose something you feel amazing in and build the families outfits around yours.
Solid colors are usually a little more flattering, but a print layered with a cardigan would work nicely too. And mom, this would be a great time to treat yourself to professional hair and makeup! When you are feeling extra pretty and confident, it reflects on the rest of the family as well.
5. Layers & Accessories. Layers are key to making a look really soar and adding flair.6. Dress in layers. Layers add interest but also allow for removing clothing if it gets warm. Think scarfs, hats, vests, cardigans, tights, blazers, jackets….
Your accessory list could include: sweater, vest, scarf, jewelry, headband, hair bow, belt, tights, hat, the list goes on. These various accessories can be changed during the session and offer us more looks during a set. Bring extra!
Don’t forget shoes are important too. A great outfit with ratty shoes won’t look as good. Think about how the shoes will match as well as necklaces and headbands etc. These items can add a pop of color too!
6. Dad. Dads tend to like a classic, easy look. Often his outfit is more neutral and anchors the group. A nice plaid that contains the color scheme could be perfect. Just let him wear what he’s comfortable in. Trust me, you would rather him be comfortable and happy in your photos, then not. His agony will shine through 😉
6. Siblings/Kids. By now you have the colors, patterns, and textures set. Here is where you’ll add another pop of color. I suggest a barrette or bow to hold back hair for kids. As we move and play, it’s nice to have her face in view and not having to keep brushing away strays.
Also, I strongly recommend you work with the kids on what they want to wear! Strive to find middle ground, because they don’t want to wear something they hate any more than you do. And I promise, the uneasiness will translate into the picture!
Make sure the clothing you choose fits. I get it. Kids grow fast and you want to get the most out of each clothing item. But this isn’t the time. It doesn’t look good when kiddos clothing is baggy or rolled up to fit.
7. Make a Pinterest board or inspiration board with outfit ideas. It will help you get a feel for colors and patterns you love as well as trends you like.
WHAT TO BRING
-Change of clothes for kids
-Touch up makeup
-Lint roller (if you’re in dark colors)
I hope I’ve given you some useful wardrobe tips for your family session!