Picking out your families outfits can be a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be! This list covers tons of tips to help you with styling!
1. Coordinate colours not matching
That's right! Gone are the days of everyone wearing all white t-shirts and jeans! Let every family member show their personality but at the same time use coordinating colours. What I always suggest is to pick three or four colours that you love. I then choose outfits that have one, two, three or all of these colours. You want a good mix between everyone and don't forget to use patterns, prints, layers, florals and plaids. Another tip is to start with the person who is the hardest to find an outfit for first (this is usually mom but hey, you never know, it may be dad or one of your kids.)
2. Consider your home decor
If you plan on hanging your family images on your walls, which I highly recommend, then you should really look at the decor in the room you are going to hang them in. If your Livingroom is all white, you wouldn't want to wear dark clothing. If your playroom is where you want to hang canvas portraits of your kids, maybe you want to have outfits with vivid colours.
3. Keep location and weather in mind
Having your photos taken at the beach? Perhaps you don't want to show up in your heels and party dresses. However, sundresses, khakis and bare feet would be an ideal choice. Really think about your choice of location to help you choose the perfect family outfits. Cold crisp day? Wear chunky sweaters and mitts. Summer photo session? Dress in layers that you can take off if you get too hot.
4. Add layers, textures and accessories
Accessories can add a lot of variety and visual interest to your family portrait session, they can also add a lot of personality. Hats, scarves, necklaces, bow ties, cute jackets, sweaters, jewelry... the possibilities are endless.
5. Purchase clothes that fit
I know that as a mom we usually buy clothes that are a size or two bigger so our kids can "grow" into them. However, when it comes to finding the perfect family portrait outfit you want your kids clothes to fit properly. No baggy clothes and long shirt sleeves that cover your kids hands this will just look sloppy. You most likely will be buying clothes for your pictures so choose clothes that fit perfectly or even a bit snug. This way the clothes will look almost tailored and give that polished put together look you are wanting. This even goes for the moms and dads too. Don't hide behind a too big jacket to hide hips and waists. Instead try going down a size in a jacket to create a tailored look.
6. Be comfortable
If you usually wear jeans and a t-shirt and would never wear a dress than wear jeans and a t-shirt. You will also want your clothes to be comfortable to run and play and laugh in because we will be having lots of fun during your family session. You don't want to be wearing something that makes you feel self conscious but instead wear something that is you and makes you feel your best.
7. Think ahead
Did you just book your family portrait session? Well start planning what to wear now! If you like to shop online, don't leave it to the last minute as you want time for shipping and returns, if need be. Make sure you have everyone try on their outfits and that they fit, and are stain and wrinkle free. While you are trying everything on, snap a photo and send it to me, I would love to give my opinion!
8. Be mindful of diapers and underwear
Dresses are a great choice for little girls, but you will be sitting, jumping, tickling and playing during your session, chances are that under garments may be exposed. I would suggest using diaper covers, bloomers or shorts under dresses, just in case.
9. Don't reinvent the wheel
Gather inspiration from Pinterest, Instagram or Facebook. Copy what other families have worn! Start a pinterest board and search "what to wear family session" start pinning your favourites and you should start to see a pattern in your choices. Try an IG search for #familyphotography to start. Here is my link to my What To Wear Pinterest board to get started in your search. Also, Before you head out shopping, be sure to browse the complimentary Client Closet!
10. Avoid these things...
matching outfits- coordinating does not mean everyone needs to wear the same pieces.
clothing with logos or sayings
florescent colours that can cast colours onto your skin. I recommend versions of primary colors. Yellow (mustard), red (maroon, brick), and blue (navy, royal)
ratty shoes (yes, your feet will show in photos!)
don't wear a lot of green when having photos taken in grassy/wooded areas. It's too much green. Green as an accent is great though!
Hopefully these top tips will help you find the perfect family portrait outfits! I also love assisting my clients with choosing their outfits. Just text or email me photos of different possibilities and we can solve the puzzle together!
Liz Seguin is a Chilliwack, BC Newborn and Family Photographer serving all of the Fraser Valley in her home based studio. Liz wants each family she creates a custom portrait session for, to leave with beautiful images on their walls and in their hands.