Thinking about outfits for your family photos can be overwhelming, so many options. Today I'll help you solve the styling puzzle with 19 helpful tips that work regardless of the season and location. Before we get started, I wanted to give you peace of mind, I promise that 1 outfit is all you need. Changing can kill the kids' mood and it goes downhill from there. The gallery variety will come from the moments captured. If your kids are happy and engaged, magic will happen!Tip # 1. Avoid matching outfits
It's all about visually breaking the colors, mixing dominant, accent, and neutral colors. That's how an image really pops and reaches its full potential. We've all been there, I've been guilty myself of wanting to be matchy-matchy with my girls for photos. I even have PROOF of it... haha.
- In the left, we're all dressed the same. I love the photo yet we get lost and blended, nothing pops. At least their tops were blue (haha) but still! The same photo with mixed outfits would have felt more powerful and emotional.
- In the right, we're mixing it up. There is a dominant color, there is a neutral one, and the is a fabric with patterns. Even the bows are different colors. Everyone gets to shine with a unique signature look, making it cohesive and beautiful. The color break, the different fabrics add texture and emotion.
Tip # 2. Textures.
Mix fabrics to add texture, this will add a gorgeous dimension to your photos.
Tip #3. Optimize for color
Pick the color palette you love, then choose outfits types that your family will feel great in. You know your tribe best. One might like shorts, other suspenders, other a dress, maybe your son loves long sleeves?
Tip #4. Choose clothes that fit your body shape
Listen to all advice but follow your heart. If you feel gorgeous, you'll look gorgeous. You know what looks great on you, embrace it!
Tip # 5. Think about movement
Lightweight fabrics work wonders. The wind will blow and your skirt will fly, adding movement to the photo
Tip #6. Maxi or middi skirts rock
You should be able to sit down and not worry about your skirt. It's all about being comfortable with your outfit while enjoying time with family in between cuddles, hugs, and laughter.
Tip #7. Layers are your friends
Keep the kids warm. Warm kids, happy kids. You can always take a layer off or all of them! Start with the sweater on and eventually they'll be warm enough to embrace the no layers look. This little one was without his sweater when he warmed up :)
Tip # 8. Have a spare set of clothes for the kids
Yes, disaster can happen. Have a spare look in the car in case you need it. Unless we're hiking to the top of a mountain, you'll be able to access your car :)
Tip # 9. Accessories are welcomed
It can be a hat, a crown, a scarf, a necklace or a gorgeous pair of earnings. You know your style best, you might have a signature accessory to rock on session day.
Tip # 10. Glasses are OK
Anti-reflective coating helps. Avoid those that go dark with light. If you can take them off and still enjoy the session, go for it :)
Tip # 11. Bring flats for you
You can use the flats while walking to the specific location or even during the photoshoot if your feet need it :)
Tip # 12. Avoid athletic shoes - barefoot is AWESOME instead
If you can't decide on shoes, go for barefoot. Unless it is winter ;)
Tip # 13. Avoid logos or graphics
Yes! brand names, logos, graphics distracts tons and takes the attention from the moment captured.
Tip # 14. Avoid neon colors
Neon colors give a color cast to the skin that is not flattering.
Tip #15. Try your clothes in advance
Avoid surprises on session day! Kids grow up SO fast.
Tip #16. Wear makeup
Apply make up just slightly heavier than you normally apply it. Avoid moisturizer with sunscreen, it reflects making skin look shiny.
Tip # 17. Avoid phones/wallets in pockets
Please pretty please. Your photographer will thank you! Many shots you will not facing the photographer so the phone/wallet would show in a pant's back pocket. We can take it off with Photoshop BUT always better to leave the phone/wallet in the car ;)
Tip # 18. Love white?
Go for beige, ivory or off white instead.
Tip # 19. Patterns work but with caution
Do you you love that top of yours with prints? go for it! Do you love a dress with big pattern fabric? go for it! Is your kid into shirts with a thousand squares, go for it! Patterns absolutely work, the key is to mix it up with solid colors. 1-2 people in the family can rock patterns, then have the rest in solid colors. The patterns can help bring an image to life, you just have to make sure it doesn't run the show, complement with solids and neutral colors.
Styling can be so fun if you know how to think about it and what works for pictures! I hope this list is useful as you start to plan your family photos. My biggest advice is let your photographer guide you, he/she will have very helpful tips. The photographer might have access to styling tools like Style Select or even have a client closet available to you. Rely on your photographer and have fun! Make sure your photographer's has seen your outfits in advance, no surprises on session day is key :)
If you want to dig a bit more into styling, I've written a blog that will walk you through color palettes, tools, and advice such as who to style first. You can also read more about what to wear to your Spring Photo Session.
Have fun and enjoy the styling journey!
ABOUT ANDRE TORO PHOTOGRAPHY
Andre Toro is an award wining family photographer based in Lexington, MA. She calls her style Real Art Photography, which she defines as Fine Art inspired by candid moments. Andre is a passionate soul, obsessed with human connection, and emotive storytelling. She believes love is raw, messy, and beautiful. She specialized in Family, Maternity, Newborn, and Birth Photography. To inquiry about booking a photo session, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org