WHAT TO WEAR TO YOUR FAMILY PHOTOSHOOT| CHESTER COUNTY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER|
Updated: Jan 13, 2022
One question that I get asked all the time is “what should we wear for our photoshoot?” Well friend, I am here to help you though this and I can assure you that it can actually be really fun, and doesn’t need to be stressful at all! Choosing what to wear is the perfect opportunity to express and show off your personalities, every family has their own unique style so I think at the forefront it’s important to keep that idea in mind. I do understand however that family photos are an investment of your time and your money, so its important to put your best foot forward. That’s why I have compiled a list of my 6 favorite tips on how to dress to impress for family photos.
#1. First & most importantly be you!
Lifestyle photography is all about capturing you, your family, your connection, and your style. That's going to be different for everyone, there is no one correct way to dress. What I want you to do instead is think about what style you lean towards in your everyday life. Maybe it's boho, modern, casual, neutral, earthy, urban, jewel tones, etc. This idea may come naturally to you, or maybe you're a little unsure. Try heading over to Pinterest or Google and search some of these styles. Once one resonates with you and you think "that feels like us" you know you've found the one.
Now that you've found your style, start browsing the internet for some inspo. Searching things like "Boho photoshoot outfit ideas" or "neutral family photos" will bring up a ton of images of families dressed in your style preference. Now use this inspiration to go out and find something you love that is similar. I love shopping on Amazon for this because you can literally search "Boho outfits for Mom" and a ton of results will pop up.
Bonus tip: On Amazon you can shop Prime Wardrobe and try on outfits before paying for them!! SWEET!
#2. Coordinate don’t match
In order to avoid your photos looking like they are fresh out of a 90’s InStyle magazine, coordinate your outfits rather than matching them. The days of everyone wearing jeans and a white t-shirt are long gone (thankfully!). Mom’s I always recommend staring with your outfit and coordinating around you. When a Mom feels beautiful on camera, it shows. And let’s be real here for a minute, we are oftentimes the hardest and most critical on ourselves when looking at photos. I want you to shine and feel like the true goddess that you are the day of your session.
Once you’ve selected your outfit, it's time to shop for the rest of your family.I like to recommend selecting 1-2 main coordinating colors and an additional color or pattern as an accent or “pop” of color. For example you choose a dark green dress for yourself, you then choose a coordinating color of beige, a pop of color that is light purple, and a pattern that is a mix of green & beige. This same idea applies to every color tone. 1-2 main colors and a pattern or "pop" of color to break it all up!
Accessories such as hair bows, scarves, jewelry, hats, and bow ties are a great way to add in those pops of color across the family to pull it all together.
#3. Don’t be afraid of patterns and textures
I must admit that I am a huge texture person, from the foods I eat to the materials I wear, I love textures. Utilizing different textures is a great way to add depth and interest into your photos. Things like fur vests, velvet tops, silky blouses, knit sweaters, or lace tops are a great way to do this when paired with non textured garments such as cotton shirts and jeans. This can be a great opportunity to stay within your main color scheme but break up the monotony.
And you can forget the old rule of avoiding patterns in photographs, I personally love adding in 1 pattern (or 2 depending on family size) that incorporates your colors. I do warn you here to be careful of going overboard. While patterns and textures can add a cool and modern aspect to your photos it can quickly become overpowering. So pick one or two and stick with that!
#4. Consider your home decor
You may be wondering what home decor has to do with your photo shoot, but think about it, you’ll likely be displaying these photos on your walls for years to come, so think about what colors and style you use in your home. This falls right back in line with the first tip of celebrating your families personal style! It's likely that if you prefer wearing neural or earth tones, that your home is full of neutrals and earth tones. This will create a very cohesive look and your photos will fit beautifully right into your home decor.
#5. Think about the location and weather for your shoot
We are blessed here in Pennsylvania to get 4 full seasons, and that means 4 very different climates and 4 very different vibes.
For fall, think darker colors and have fun accessorizing with boots, jackets, and scarves. Also keep in mind that our falls here can be warm enough to forego a jacket or freeeezingg cold. So finding a way to add layers of warmth that you can put on and take off depending on the weather that day can be very helpful and keep you and your kiddos comfortable.
Don't be afraid to play into our beautiful winters here with puffy coats, fuzzy hats, and warm gloves. That will instantly give your images a warm and cozy winter feeling that will align beautifully with the backdrop of your photos. Not to mention keep you warm!
If your session falls in the spring or summer, take into consideration the colors of the season and celebrate that with brighter colors (jewel tones are beautiful in the spring and summer) and floral patters. Just as I mentioned above with fall weather, keep in mind that our springs can sometimes be on the cooler side, so bring a sweater or light jacket just incase!
Dress for the season within your style preference. This will keep your whole family comfortable, make your images look cohesive to the location, and celebrate the vibe of the season you chose for your shoot!
Another point worth mentioning is the location of your shoot. My sessions tend to be fun and playful and involve a lot of motion and play. Trying to dance around in a field wearing high heels may not be the best idea! Likewise, if we’re shooting near a body of water, wearing clothing you wouldn’t want to get wet may prove to be disappointing when your kids want to explore in the water (which make for gorgeous photos, totally worth it in my opinion!). Try to find the balance of dressing to impress and staying practical and comfortable!
#6. Finally, put it all together and see how it looks!
Now that you’ve found the perfect outfits, it’s time to see how it all looks together. Push that pile of laundry waiting to be folded off of your bed and spread out all the outfits, shoes, and accessories to see how it's all come together. Be sure to mix it up and put different varieties together... ie. Dad’s outfit with Daughters, Mom’s outfit with daughters, sibling’s outfits together, etc. Have everyone try on their outfit to check the fit and comfort. The last thing you want is to realize the morning of your shoot that little Johnny’s pants don’t fit or Suzy grew out of the shoes you were planning for her to wear!
Bonus tip here: As you shop around, take pictures of outfits you've already put together so you can see them as you shop. Download a collage app and take pictures of different outfits as you shop and put them in the collage to see how they will look together before you buy. This can help save a lot of hassle with returns!
So there you have it, my top 6 tips on how to dress for your family photos. I hope you’re feeling a little more relaxed and excited to put it all together. Again, at the end of the day what matters most is your family's connection, not what you’re wearing, so try not to put too much pressure on yourselves. As long as you come to your session willing to have fun and love on your family, your photos will come out beautifully!
I love to help, so if you ever need help, a second eye, or need real time advice, please feel free to reach out with your ideas and questions!
Since you’ve made it this far, I thought I’d throw in some quick bonus do’s ad dont’s below ! Enjoy & I’ll see you on photo day!
Try to shop at the same store for matching colors. Go to your closet and pull out 5 different blue shirts, I guarantee you that you’ll have 5 different shades of the “same” blue. Shopping at the same store avoids this problem. Target is a great one because they have family collections & who doesn’t love Target?!
Dress your little’s with movement in mind - think little girls in dresses with maximum twirl potential!
Accessorize! A cute and trendy hat is my personal favorite, but scarves, bows, jewelry, and jackets are also great choices! We'll always do some photos with and some photos without, so don't be scared to add them to your session!
Remember to remove hair ties and take those phones and wallets (talking to you Dad) out of your pockets!
Utilize sites like Pinterest and google images to give you some inspiration
Reach out to your photographer for feedback and advice if needed, remember, you're friends now
Wear reflective or neon materials. Please don’t dress your child in one of those Nike bright neon green shiny shirts. What will happen is your child’s skin tone will match that shirt, yikes!
Wear solid white or solid black, these colors tend wash you out in photos. Choose creams and patterns here or throw on a cute jacket or accessorize to break it up.
Avoid shirts with characters, logos, or words. While your child may adore her Minnie Mouse t-shirt, they prove to be quite distracting.
Wear something thats too tight or uncomfortable. You won't want to be picking and pulling at your clothing the entire shoot. This is especially important for you kids. Trust me, if they are uncomfortable, they won't be happy.
Overthink this. While all these tips and tricks may feel overwhelming, it's really not that serious. Have fun & stick to your style.