Coordinating outfits for a family session is always one of my most asked questions from my clients. They are always worried about colors that clash, dresses that don’t hit the right spots and what to put on their children to make everything come together. So every year during this time I put together a few tips on how to choose outfits that go well together, but aren’t all matching. Outfits that look like you just threw them together when in reality, you spent hours scrolling to find that perfect dress.
Tip 1. Let mom choose her outfit first and base everything else around that. I always tell mom to pick something that she feels good in. Whether it be a dress or jeans, something new or your favorite trusted top, like what you’re wearing. This acts as the starting point for the rest of the family.
Tip 2. Pick a color palette. There are thousands of options to look through on pinterest, but I recommend choosing 2-3 colors and working from there. You will also want to think about your location and if there will be any colors around you as a backdrop.
Tip 3. When it comes to the kids, choose something comfortable for them and have options. It’s so nice to have everyone dressed a bit more fancy than they would normally, but if your kid is going to scream about a button up shirt being itchy or corduroys being too tight, I promise, it’s not worth the battle. You’re already going to be doing some bribing (in my experience) to get the pictures you’re dreaming of, so try not to make it worse for them. And try to have a back up, because any parent knows that within moments there can be stains, spit up or blow outs happening!
Tip 4. Don’t wait until the last minute. This especially applies to this year. Even amazon isn’t delivering all their pacakages in two days! What?!? If you have your pictures scheduled, it’s nice to have the outfits picked out and in your home at least a few days prior to the session. It gives you piece of mind that you picked outfits you love, or a few days to change your mind on a few things.
Tip 5. Know your family’s style. This sort of goes along with keeping things comfortable for the kids, but, if you’re a casual family 90% of the time, maybe skip the ball gowns and tuxedo rentals. If you don’t love dresses and don’t wear them often but still want a more elevated style, grab a skirt. If your husband lives in his college t-shirts, get him a cotton button up that won’t be too painful for him. Your family will be more at ease if they’re comfortable and the pictures will show that.
With all those tips, let’s get to some inspiration boards! In keeping with the theme of 2020, all these outfits were picked as I scrolled amazon. This year especially, it’s much easier to have things come right to your house and there’s nobody better at that than amazon.
Are these colors gorgeous or what? And this dress for mom? It looks so comfortable, cinches at the waist and looks like it would flatter any figure. The other colors that compliment it so well are the forest green and gold. I always tell clients that you want a color, piece of jewelry or accessory to bring it all together and to me, this gold dress with pops of maroon and green is it.
Where are my moms that don’t want to be in a dress? This inspiration board is for you! You can wear jeans and feel great in pictures. And this flannel for dad really brings everything together with the green and gold. The outfit for sister gets me every time, so adorable!
I had a client recently send me some shots of outfit ideas for her family and we talked it through. I wanted to show some of the shots she sent me and my recommendations based on what she had.
This is what we started with. She was set on her dress and she loved the grey button up for her oldest son. He had also worn it a few times and was on board with wearing it (a big plus). Other than that, she wasn’t set on anything. So with this picture, I noticed that her youngest son was in black, but dad was in navy blue. I don’t like the way that photographs, especially when I know dad will be holding him in some of the pictures. So I suggested she get dad in black.
This option came next. Striped dress for middle daughter and a brown patterened romper for her youngest son. In terms of patterns I’m not against adding them, but I recommend only having one person in a pattern.
She also sent me this, but I didn’t like the patterns together and as it turned out, her youngest son had grown out of the brown romper so that made the decision very easy.
This is the option that we chose. Middle daughter got the pattern in her dress, dad and youngest son in black, while the oldest son brought black into his outfit with his shorts and mom in the white dress that started it all. Now, full disclosure for this particular family’s shoot, the daugther dumped watermelon juice all over the striped dress so she ended up in the apple print dress and the black shorts were so big on her oldest son that he ended up in the brown shorts. What can you do, things happen. And the photos will still be beautiful.
Have options. Be flexible. Enjoy the time with your family. And know that these photos will be treasured.
add a comment