Congrats! You’ve finally managed to get that family photo session scheduled in time for holiday cards and gifts! yipeee!
Now comes the fun part: deciding what everyone will wear.
First, let me offer some advice. I’ve done our family photos where I shopped for days and spend lots of $$$ and I’ve done our family photos when I just said “come on every one, we’re taking pictures and I don’t care what you wear”. And honestly, I have them all on my walls. To me, the most important part, is that I just HAVE them – regardless of what we are wearing. So with that in mind, my suggestion is to just do what you want and what keeps you happy – just show up for our session ready for fun!
However, if you do opt to do a little wardrobe preparation, here are some suggestions that may help make life easier:
1. Consider your location: If your session with me is outdoors, I consider the setting as either urban (Arts District/DeepEllum/BishopArts/McKinney, etc) or nature (White Rock/Arbor Hills/Beckenridge field, etc).
You can choose location based on what you want to wear OR choose clothing based on your location. If you want to dress up (mom has a great a dress and heels) you need a city setting. If you want to wear bright, bold colors, I’d also recommend an urban/city background.
If you want a nature setting, your clothing should be medium shades (greys, medium blues, plum, cream, beige, peach) -think colors in nature but avoid bright or dark clothing). Want to wear those great boots, jeans, earth tones ?? A big field is perfect. If we are shooting in the studio, I recommend neutrals – either a gray/blue/peach or beige/creams/browns – keeping tones light. Avoid a lot of really dark colors, anywhere.
2. Dress mom first. Yep, you heard me – choose your clothing first. If you don’t love what you are wearing, you aren’t going to be 100% happy with the images. I dress myself first, then the other girls and lastly, the guys – cause they are the easiest and don’t care as much. Be comfortable. Easy choice: pants, jeans or skirt with a silky blouse with sleeves – some jewelry and boots and I’m good. I love a solid silky top (it can be poly, as long as it is somewhat fitted and drapes). It’s very feminine and doesn’t wrinkle or bunch up like a cotton tee or button down. Also throwing a fitted jacket over it always works – no cropped cardigan sweaters. It’s important to define your waist.
3. Color matters. A simple thing to do is choose a color – say blue – and everyone wears that color (see family below). NOT MATCHING. Everyone wears different shades of blue and a couple of people can even wear a design or pattern with blue.
Another option is to choose 3-4 colors and add denim and white as options and have a workable color pallet. For example, for our family I used gray, chambray, navy, denim, white, peach, dark coral, rust – with solids and some patterns. Everyone had on 2-3 of those colors. When you choose a color palette, you don’t put all the colors on every person.
Find a color scheme on my pinterest board here: http://www.pinterest.com/connieroper/client-wardrobe-ideas/
4. Guys/boys are great in navy, denim, and a color OR khaki, beige and a color. A fun t-shirt with a sweater , shirt or jacket over it is always a nice look.
5. Couple of other suggestions: Don’t worry too much about shoes – they don’t show up that much and it is easy to crop them out. Don’t over accessorize your kids – they need to be comfortable. Try kids clothing on BEFORE the session – it shouldn’t be tight, itchy,or too short. Put modesty shorts/tights on little girls in dresses – they need to be able to sit down. Avoid BIG hair bows on the girls for group shots – it’s going to block the face of someone else. Don’t put everyone in the exact same color tops and the same color bottoms – ie everyone in jeans and a white shirt. This is very dated and makes me sad. Avoid white jeans or pants on anyone – especially dads. hehe.