Choosing outfits for a photography session can be the most difficult thing about preparing for a family photo session. Many families often dread it and wait until the last minute to decide on clothing. How do we coordinate without being matchy-matchy? That is always the question I get! After many years of photographing families, I’ve seen what photographs the best, so I’ve created 5 simple guidelines for my families so that it doesn’t have to be such a daunting task.
1. Start with Mom’s Outfit First
It’s important for mom to feel beautiful. Often times, mothers selflessly choose outfits for their whole family and then have the hardest time figuring out what to wear for themselves. Let’s face it, it is mom who scheduled these photos, who will hang them up in the house, and who will print them and give them to family. If she doesn’t feel beautiful in the photos, then none of that will ever happen! So moms, for once, let’s start with you!
2. Choose a Simple Palette
I recommend simple neutral colors and tones. Avoid busy, flowery prints that distract from the people who are being photographed. Colors that look great are cream, off-white, beige, gray, muted pinks, and rose. A neutral color palette will always compliment your home decor no matter how often it changes.
3. Layers & Texture
Layers and texture add interest and dimensions to your photos without distracting from the subjects in the photo. A cute cardigan, ruffled dress, leggings, suspenders – are all examples of things that will add to the overall beauty of your photos.
4. Avoid Bright White
White is a particularly difficult color to photograph. It is easily over-exposed in photographs and it is not always the most flattering for most skin tones. Gone are the days of dressing the whole family in white outfits for family photos. Unless you are a bride getting married, I say avoid white and choose creams, off-white, beige, or grey as your neutrals.
5. Shoes Matter
A cute pair of boots or sandals can make the outfits for your family. Neon tennis shoes will distract from the photo and should be avoided 😉 Shoes are typically the last thing we think about when we are preparing for a session, yet they play an important role in completing the outfit. So remember shoes matter, too!
That’s it for What to Wear Wednesday. I hope that helps at least a little bit as you plan for your next session. Keep checking in for updates on where to shop, how to plan outfits on a budget, and some example family clothing sets.
A proud member of the National Association of Professional Child Photographers
Jessica Lee Photography is a Boulder & Denver Family Photographer who specializes in maternity, newborn, and family photography in Boulder & Denver Colorado and surrounding areas including Erie, Broomfield, Lafayette, Longmont, Superior, Louisville, and Frederick.
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I would be honored to partner with you in creating photographs that your family will cherish for many years to come!