Family photos are a beautiful way to celebrate the most important people in your life! After finding a photographer that’s right for you, and deciding on a great location, preparing well for your photo session is the most important thing you can do to create images you will love. I created this guide to help you think through all the little details.
What to wear for Family Photos
Decide on your family outfits well before the day of your shoot. Getting this out of the way early will reduce any last-minute stress. Trust me! Frazzled is NOT a great look for your portraits! When you’ve decided what you’ll be wearing, you’ll be able to relax and look forward to your session.
It’s all about YOU!
Let’s make sure YOU are the focus of your family portraits! To do that, dress in styles that reflects who you are. However, you do want to dress a bit nicer than you would to play in the yard or run around town. Think about dressing for church or a nice dinner out or maybe even a wedding.
When selecting your wardrobe, lean toward soft and muted colors, earth tones or neutrals. Conversely, stay away from bright colors and reflective materials. They distract from (and reflect onto) your beautiful face and they don’t photograph or print well. Unless they tell a story about you, avoid logos, text and overly busy patterns that would compete for attention in your photos.
Coordinate vs. Match your Outfits
Matching outfits are out of style, but a coordinated look is on trend! Select a few colors you love that go well together or select one color and have each person wear different shades and patterns of it. Solids make a great base, and adding a pattern or two can bring them together really well. Check out the family photos below. Each family has chosen a casual look, but their colors and patterns are cohesive, that look great in the locations they chose. They’ve chosen sweaters and collared shirts over t-shirts as well.
Color and style inspiration for your family portraits
Pinterest can help you find style ideas, seasonal trends and tips on how to dress for your body shape. It’s a great source for your family photos outfit ideas.
Check out some of my boards to get you started. Then create your own board to gather ideas you love. Share your Pinterest board with me to let me know what you’re thinking! Though I don’t copy other artists work, sharing your board helps me understand the type of poses and vibe you like best so I can cater to your preferences at your session. To do this, send a hyperlink to you photo idea board at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have questions about the outfits and colors you’re considering, I’m happy to assist! Give me a call or email me some photos of your outfit ideas.
Select clothing that fits you well
Wear clothing that fits and feels great. So that means you don’t want it too tight or too baggy. That’s because if it’s uncomfortable in any way, you’re going to look uncomfortable in your photos! So choose garments that allow you to move freely whether sitting or standing.
Ladies, those wonderful smoothing undergarments are amazing, because they reduce lumps and bumps and help everything lay just right. Watch the length of your shorts and skirts when you’re seated. I want you looking and feeling confident, not worrying about clothing malfunctions.
Styled Head to Toe
Always dress with the full length in mind, meaning include shoes and socks in your wardrobe considerations. Check the complete outfit in a mirror well before picture day. Family members may want to bring comfortable slip-on walking shoes to keep your good shoes clean while walking from spot to spot at your photo location.
Hair & Makeup
Consider pampering yourselves on picture day by having your hair and make-up professionally done. This can give you a real boost and help you relax! If you’re more comfortable doing it yourself that’s fine! What’s important is that you all feel confident & beautiful and love how you look! So leave plenty of time for this!
Bring your outfits together with scarves, jewelry or even fun hats. Add sunglasses, jackets or cardigans. These are great ways to change up your outfits during your portrait session without a complete change of clothing, while showcasing your personalities and style! Accessories can add fun posing opportunities as well!
Avoid last minute stress by trying on your outfits a week to a few days before your session. Make sure everything fits great, is clean, and that all accessories and details are ready for game-time! This gives you time to change your plan, wash clothing or go shopping if needed.
Check your outfits in good light (preferably daylight) in a full length mirror to make sure there are no unpleasant surprises later. Last, but far from least… please don’t assume I can fix clothing problems in photoshop.
The day of your Photoshoot
Your session date is finally here! You don’t have to stress – you’ve prepared well! Now allow yourselves plenty of extra time to style yourself, get the kids ready and travel.
I recommend planning to arrive for your session a little early. That way, if it takes longer to get ready or you get held up in traffic we can still get started on time. If you do arrive early, you can take advantage of a few extra moments of relaxation before we begin.