Outfitting your family can feel like a Herculean task, but with a few simple tips you can be ready in no time & with minimal stress. I promise.
Getting ready is easy– just be yourself. Anna has an eye that makes your everyday look glamorous AND it captures your life the way it is, not matchy and posey (unless that is really how your life is).- Lai-King, Milwaukee
Plan, but don’t overthink it.
Remember that the goal of your photo session is to capture the joys, tears, laughter, connection and fun you have together, not to show off the latest and greatest fashions. What you wear matters, but not so much it’s worth tears. Keep calm. It’ll be okay.
Don’t match. Coordinate.
Think of outfitting your group as you would put together a single outfit. Select a piece, perhaps your daughter’s patterned dress, and use the colors to find coordinating pieces. Even your favorite throw pillow could get you started. Designers know what works; trust them!
Consider your location.
Think about the colors that will be part of your session location. For instance, at the park, green will dominate so consider that color a part of your palette.
Flowing white shirts and khaki pants on the beach? Yawn. Think to yourself … Would I ever find my family wearing these outfits for something other than this shoot? Do we go out on the town in matching outfits? If the answer is “no” then you shouldn’t be wearing it for the shoot either! You want your family photos to reflect your family, not the people in the photo that comes with the frame.
Go Neutral. Go bold.
Neutrals certainly have their place and can be used balance a bright color palette, but don’t stop there. Bold colors will give your photos life. Have a favorite grey dress? Try adding a bold yellow scarf. Is your teenager only seen in public in her favorite black ….everything? Talk her into a bold red headband and some bright and happy Chuck Taylors. You get the idea.
Guide (okay, bribe) little Suzie.
Sometimes the little ones (and big ones) have strong opinions about what they will wear. It may seem easier to just give in and let Sophie wear her Doc McStuffins shirt, or Alex to wear his basketball shorts and neon yellow jersey but remember that these photos will be on your walls for years to come. Perhaps we can let them choose the grand finale ensembles because when all else fails, bribery is a mother’s (and photographer’s) friend.
Let the Kids.
If your shoot is just the kids, much of the “rules” can be tossed out the window. Let them wear their favorite super hero costume for part of the session if that’s who they are right now. It’ll be fun to remember years from now.
Copy the Joneses.
We have put together a What to Wear Pinterest idea board with some good ideas for building your palette from.
For the love of all things beautiful: n0 NEON. Just . . . NO! Also, avoid bright fuchsia or teal . . . and did I mention NO neon ANYTHING, first off these colors don’t photograph well. They also turn your face strange colors and one looks good with a neon yellow chin. Seriously.
Mix a lot of patterns.
If Dad and Mikey are both wearing busy plaid shirts we’ll spend half the shoot rearranging to keep them apart. Busy patterns don’t play well with others.
I will say it again, don’t overthink it. It’s going to be great! Sometimes people like to snap a photo of their outfits and text them to me. Go ahead and do that. We might avoid a disaster or at the very least we’ll put your mind at ease.