Confession time – I’m not very good at picking clothing for family photos. I’ve never felt like I was very good at fashion, but I know what I like and what I don’t like to see in family portrait sessions. And I know that several of my friends are REALLY good at picking family session clothing. One of those friends is Christy – I am always so impressed with her wardrobe choices for her family photos, so I asked her how she goes about choosing photos for a session for herself, her husband, and their three adorable little girls. She had some great advice to share:
“I typically start with one outfit I love. One year I loved this purple sweater that Hannah had, it looked great on her. That year purple was our color and everyone else’s outfit was picked to match. Last year I had a floral dress I loved, so I pulled colors out of the dress for each of the girls to wear. I try not to pick more than one or two patterns, or any pattern that is too small or busy. Most of the time we have what we need in our closets already. I usually only buy one or two outfits for a shoot. Old Navy is a great place to get coordinated outfits. They sell lots of solids which always look great in photos! Little touches like matching bows or denim jackets helps tie everything together.”
Here are a few more do’s and don’ts I have for choosing clothing for your family photos:
- Do pick 2-3 colors & find outfits for those colors.
- Do shop your own closet first. What do you love to wear that is your signature style?
- Do be yourself. If you are a blue jeans kind of mom, then wear blue jeans. Don’t feel like you have to be fancy. Be you.
- Do make sure everyone feels comfortable in what they are wearing.
- Do make sure everything fits appropriately….this is not the time for squeezing into something, or for buying clothes big so the kids can grow into them.
- Do consider scarves, jackets, accessories and other things that add texture & interest to the outfits.
- Do avoid graphics and distracting logos. That “Big Brother” shirt is cute, but unless he’s standing perfectly still, you won’t be able to read it well in photos.
- Do expect you child to run, jump and play at the session.
- Don’t force your kids (or husband) to wear something they hate. We want them to be comfortable at the session.
- Don’t wear florescent colors. They can reflect onto skin tones. (My favorite colors for sessions are jewel tones…blue, plum, teal, burgandy, mustard yellow, etc)
- Don’t use giant bows…it distracts from your daughter’s beautiful face. Smaller ones are great, BUT only if she wants to wear it. Let’s not spend the entire session trying to force her to put her bow back on.
- Don’t be afraid to incorporate patterns, just don’t go overboard.
- Don’t try to be too matched. Coordinated (but not matched) looks best.
- Don’t wear a shirt that wrinkles super easily (I see this a lot on men’s dress shirts…it’s pretty impossible to photo shop out.)
- Don’t forget about your nails. (I often see chipped nail polish on little girls.)
- Don’t forget about shoes…especially for the little ones. If the weather is appropriate, barefoot is a good option for the kids.
- Don’t be afraid to ask me if you are unsure about something.
And didn’t Christy do a fabulous job? They look like they belong on the cover of a magazine.
Bonus before and after editing shot below. Can you find it? I kinda love the before. 😂