The most-asked question I get is, “What should we wear to our session?”
Here are a few ideas to help you out:
1. Coordinate but don’t all wear the same thing!
Gone are the days of everyone wearing black or white shirts with jeans….don’t be afraid to show your individual style. Picking out neutral tones with a few pops of colours look great. Solid colours with medium tones work well- for example, blues, purples, greens, reds, oranges and browns.
I love how this family added a pop of colour/pattern with the young lady’s burgundy dress and mom’s scarf/dad’s shirt.
What I like to do is choose one family member’s outfit first and then coordinate around it to make sure that nobody clashes. It’s usually easiest to start with girls’ and Mom’s clothing first and then pull colours from their outfits for the boys and Dad. Use patterns in moderation. Have just one person in a pattern and have the rest of the family in simple and solid colours or patterns that are subtle and complementary.
In the above example, Mom is wearing a patterned blouse and the boys are wearing plain shirts that pull colours from Mom’s top. I love that their dog Daisy coordinated with a matching scarf!
Choosing outfits for a large group can be tricky, but sticking with two or three colours will establish a cohesive look.
**Try to stay away from clothing with logos, cartoon characters or brands as this can be distracting and will date your picture!**
2. Layers and texture add detail and depth to a photograph and look fabulous with black and white photos. Use different fabrics and accents such as tweed, lace, hand knit items and ruffles.
3. Accessorize! Accessories add colour and interest to photos and can also be used as props. Scarves, hats, bows, flowers, headbands, jewelry, sweaters, vests and jackets are great examples…just make sure that they don’t overwhelm – we don’t want them to be the focus of the photograph.
I love how the baby’s adorable hairband adds some interest to the above photo.
4. Props are a great way to add interest and special meaning to photographs. Examples can be flowers, a favourite stuffed animal, a blanket made by Grandma or even a pet.
5. NO running shoes and bright white socks! Try not to wear running shoes (especially ones that are really white or have bright colours on them) unless they’re a funky brand like converse and can fit in with the theme of the session. Shoes can make or break a photo. Most of the time, photos can even look great with bare feet…especially on little kids.
6. Make sure that clothing is comfortable and fits properly! We want children (and Dads) to be happy instead of grouchy and miserable, so make sure to pick clothing that is comfortable and they can move freely in them.
If you wear a button up shirt, be sure that the buttons don’t pucker. If you wear a sheer top, make sure to think about your clothing underneath. Also, if you wear clothing that might slip or sit off the shoulder make sure your bra strap won’t show.
7. NO gum or messy food! Please wait until after the photo session to give your children gum or else you will see it in the photos. If you would like to bring snacks along in case kids are acting up, bring foods that are quick and easy to eat and don’t make a big mess on clothing.
8. How will the photos be used? Do you have a particular room in mind for hanging a photo? If so, look at the colour scheme and style of the location and dress in outfits that will coordinate with the room. When printed, your photo will feel right at home. For example if you would like to hang some photos in a little girl’s room, have her dress in a cute girly outfit – think ruffles a cute little dress. Will the photos be used for Christmas cards? If so, you may want to wear winter clothing for your session.
9. Haircuts should be done at least two weeks ahead of time, if needed, so that it has a bit of time to grow out and look more natural for the photo session.
Looking for more ideas? Check out my Family Pinterest page for examples. You can also see some of the families I have photographed at this link.
These are great examples of what to wear for family sessions! Thank you for sharing this. It’s always helpful to have some inspiration to draw from when planning a family photo session.