How to dress for family photos

Family photo season is here! I have scouted locations old and new to kick off a beautiful fall season and I simply can’t wait to capture beautiful, bright smiles! Beyond location scouting (have you seen my FB/instagram stories for behind-the-scenes of my baby assistant and I? ?), I engage in multiple wardrobe consultations with my clients. I thought I’d share with you some of my best tips below, to ensure that the process is stress-free and even fun! ☺️

1. Ladies First

Mom is usually the one putting all the outfits together and planning every last detail. She’s also typically the hardest to shop for. So moms, I want you to put yourself first and decide what you want to wear before you finalize everyone else’s outfits. You deserve to look and feel fabulous in your photos. I always suggest that my clients wear long, flowy dresses or skirts, as they photograph so beautifully. If you opt for a skirt, a high waistline will be most flattering. If you’re like me and feel self-conscious about less-than-toned arms, then opt for short-, long-, or cap-sleeve options (avoid sleeveless).

2. Choose Your Color Palette

Now that you have chosen what you will be wearing, build the family’s wardrobe off of your outfit. Think about complementary colors. I like to choose around 3 base colors that go well together – ivory, blush pink, and khaki, for example. I suggest avoiding super bright colors like red, coral, orange, hot pink, etc. If you like red, opt for burgundy instead. If you like orange/yellow, opt for mustard instead. Soft, muted colors are much more flattering and will prevent color casting on your skin, resulting in beautiful, accurate skin tones.

3. Dressing Your Girls

Girls are typically harder to dress than boys because there simply are a lot more options: dress, tulle skirt with top, jumpsuit, etc. Choose outfits for your little ladies before picking clothing for your guys. Don’t forget to think about accessories like hat, hair ribbons, etc.

4. Dressing Your Guys

Guys, including Dads, are pretty easy to dress for. So save them for last. 🙂 Pants are always best for dads and boys ages 10 and older. For younger boys, overalls and even jumpsuits look oh-so-adorable, especially when coupled with bowties. If your guys prefer a more casual approach and want to wear jeans, that’s okay. Please be sure to find a fitted pair over baggy ones. For example, slim dark jeans, light-colored Henley, and clean casual shoes will look great. Please keep the sneakers home. 🙂

5. Prints, Patterns, Layers, and Textures

If you will be incorporating prints or patterns (i.e. plaid, floral, stripes, polka dots, etc.), a good rule of thumb is to reserve that for *one* outfit only. This will avoid the overall look to be too busy. You can still have fun mixing different fabrics and textures. Denim, chiffon, silk, wool, corduroy, cotton… the sky’s the limit! Also, layers always look great!

6. Putting It All Together

A good way to make sure all your outfits look cohesive is to lay them on a white background (i.e. white bedsheet) and see if your color combination and mix of patterns/textures make sense. Unsure? Send me a photo and I’ll let you know what I think. 🙂

If you are purchasing new outfits, you can easily put together a collage using the Smart Closet app (FREE!) to make sure the pieces go together before adding the items to your shopping cart. When using the app, you can simply add screenshots of different items to your “closet” and create your collage. You can easily send me your collage if you’d like my inputs on your wardrobe choices. 🙂

Where To Shop?

If your local boutiques don’t have suitable options, I recommend the following online shops:

For Moms: ASOSLulu’sFree PeopleH&MNordstromAnthropologiePink Blush (for maternity styles)

For Girls: Bailey’s BlossomsGAPZaraH&MJoyfolieTarget

For Guys: GAPH&MZaraTarget

For Dads: J. CrewNordstromH&MArmani Exchange

If you have an upcoming portrait session with me, please be sure to review the style guide for everything you need to know to make the most of your session! I can’t wait!

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