What To Wear
The most important thing that can make or break your photoshoot is clothing. I have so many clients asking my advice on outfits for their photography sessions, from brides and grooms to families with kids. So, to kick things off and simplify the process, here are some sample clothing boards and color palettes to jump-start you as you plan your family’s clothing. For fall, I’m loving warm tones like blush, burnt orange, and mustard! Keep scrolling for more general clothing tips below the boards.
Add a pop of color
“Don’t be afraid of a little color! You don’t have to go overboard, but picking up bold colors from a more subtle outfit for a pop of color can look amazing. For example, if dad is wearing a plaid shirt, draw one color from it and have one child wear a pop of that color.”
Don’t match. Coordinate.
“I tell my clients they need to coordinate, not match, when they are deciding what to wear for photos. I tell them to start with the youngest and pull colors from their outfit to dress and layer everyone else. Layering can make a huge difference in tying in all the colors. If they still need help, I will put together a fashion board of outfit examples and let them know where to find the items.”
Keep Clothing Simple
“Clothes can make or break an image. Choosing outfits in simple, bright colors can help the subject pop against a neutral background. I always strive for colors and textures that are going to complement our location. Pick the clothes that will let you run freely and be blissfully carefree! ”
Fit your style to your location
"Always keep your session location in mind when choosing your outfit. If your session is happening in a city setting, dress up a bit with a pair of cute heels and a fancier dress than you’d normally wear to match the bustling vibe of the city. If you’ve selected a more natural environment, choose something a bit more casual such as a maxi dress and opt for casual footwear like flat sandals or boots."
Things To Keep In Mind
Comfort: you want everyone to be comfy at your session. We'll be moving around on our adventure, so make sure you put yourself and the kids in something that moves with you and isn't itchy or too tight. You'll be hearing about it all session, trust me.
Accessorize it: hats, scarves, jewellery, blankets, headbands, suspenders, etc. All these things are a great way to add another layer of your style into your session.
Patterns: I love fun patterns, but my favourite is floral! Mixing patterns is a great way to add interest to your photos.
Textures & layers: Layers add texture and textures add interest. Denim, chunky knits, lace, cords, etc. I love the way a chunky cardigan looks. Or a denim shirt tied at the waist. These are all great ways to incorporate your style.
Color: make sure the colours you choose complement each other. Colours that will stand out best are muted, earthy tones. Some examples are: mustard yellow, mauve pink, browns or khaki, dark blue, hunter green, dark reds/oranges
MAKE IT YOUR OWN: this session is about you! And it's so important to make sure that your family's personality shines through in every aspect.
Things To Avoid
Giant logos: shirts that have giant logos on them can distract from your beautiful faces. Just say no.
Neon Colors: just say no to hot pink and lime green
Colors/Patterns: Having different colours, patterns, textures, etc. is super important to create interest and diversity in your family's images.
Styling Tip Do's
- DO try and incorporate clothes that aren't too 'stiff.' Fabrics that feel good to the touch are likely really comfortable to wear too- ESPECIALLY for kids!
- Flowy, chiffon-y materials for moms do wonders for outdoor environments (think of a spontaneous gust of wind letting that fabric trail behind you...), or while you're moving around with your child.
- DO layers.
- In the fall seasons, multiple layers and rolled sleeves are fabulous. I like to do a fair amount of untucking to make dad's appearance look slightly undone, without looking too sloppy.
- In the warmer months, you can layer by having each member wear similar colored tones without looking too matchy-matchy by layering TEXTURES. Or simple things like layered dainty gold necklaces, bangles, and/or rings. It's best to throw a lot on, and edit off a few pieces.
- DO buy and use children's clothing that currently FIT for your kid(s).
- As a mother, I get that you want to get a lot of mileage out of every kid's clothing investment. Especially since they grow out of things so quickly. But clothing sizes that are too big tend to translate as 'sloppy'.
- DO coordinate clothing that fits each member's personality.
- For instance, for a quiet/shy child: muted tones, while their more outgoing sibling can be dressed in brighter colors (just pretty please avoid neon hues!).
- DO adapt a look to your needs.
- DO opt for a timeless look. When in doubt, steer clear of too many trends. The last thing you want is to look at your family portraits 30 years from now and wince of the fashion risks you took.
- DO tell dads to pay attention to their socks. You never know if they'll show while kneeling down or sitting. For in-home sessions, you can always default to bare feet to convey a more relaxed, casual vibe.
- DO have dads empty their jean pockets. They tend to store cell phones, wallets, keys, etc in their pockets- I’m assuming because they don’t tote around a ‘man-purse’?. I like to say that I like to keep their bulge centralized, if ya know what I mean!