There is just something so special about seeing the unity and love of a family captured in time, portraits that tell our story in a timeless way. As a photographer, the number one question I get from clients is “what to wear to a family photo session?”.
How to coordinate clothes for a family photo
1. Try to coordinate, not match.
This is always the first thing I tell my clients, try to coordinate outfits within a color scheme rather then completely match. You want to complement each other’s outfits by choosing colors that work well together. Start simple with a color you love and build from there, mix and match colors so that everyone flows and coordinates. For example, if Mom is wearing a blue dress with burgundy and grey flowers have the family wear apparel and accessories the same color scheme. I find that if everyone is wearing the same clothing, people will tend to blend in together and we want to bring life to the photos, colors are all around us and bring things to life. Think what tells your family story.
2. Give yourself TIME
Give yourself time to decide what you would like everyone to wear, and give yourself lots of TIME! Make sure you have given yourself enough time to think about all of the details of your session. Planning ahead helps so that you can truly think about your photos and everything you want out of the session. Rushing and stressing out right before your session can be hard, it nice to have time to make any changes you may want as well. If someone gets a bad haircut, you still have time to fix things if you need to. In my experience the kids have out grown that shirt I want them to wear and didn’t realize until pulled it out of drawer, or your child almost always can’t find their other shoe you need among a thousand matching pairs. Just give yourself time to increase your options for a smooth family photo session.
3. Keep the photo session location and season in mind
Keeping your location and season in mind, start with one person. Once you have a location and color scheme in mind, selecting one persons outfit should begin to pull things together. Since you will most likely want your family photos to be up all year long, keep in mind being too seasonal. Try to think of your home decor, not so much being bundled up in fall fashion as tempting as it may be if you want timeless portraits. I recommend bringing items that are versatile and can be removed in some photos such as vest, scarfs, denim jackets.
4. Comfort is so important
Kids are so cute styled in hats, tutus, and jackets, they do look ADORABLE! But if those kids aren’t comfortable, it can make photo session difficult. Make sure to keep everyone’s comfort level in mind. I always love adding fun fashion to a photos shoot but for kids especially have a backup plan in mind. Don’t forget about Dad, sometimes he is not as enthusiastic about the family photo session so be sure he is comfortable and we will keep him having a good time!
5. Skip on multiple patterns and characters
A little bit of texture or patterning can be a good thing in one place, but if there are multiple patterns in a photo, it can be distracting. In addition, characters and logos on apparel can be distracting. Try to keep things simple yet capture your family style.
6. Personalize it
Personalizing your session can be add fun and bring your family story to the photos. A little one may have a security blanket or teddy bear he never parts with or may be outgrowing soon, be sure to bring that with you. Matching headband or clip for her hair and other accecories for mother and daughters. Mom loves tulips, on your way to the session pick some up. Make thoughtful choices and be sure to discuss the ideas with your photographer! Believe me, us photographers are full of ideas.
In closing, Family photos are moments captured in time to cherish forever, making these memories is the best part. I am always reminded how blessed I am to be a part of each families photo session and their unique qualities that shine through their family portraits.