What to Wear

  1. Coordinating colors instead of matching. Pick a couple of colors and choose clothes that will fit into this color scheme. Choose a color scheme-mix and match colors so that everyone flows and coordinates. I tell people to pick three colors and mix them up as much as possible.  Most people don’t wear matching outfits in their daily lives, so that may not be the kind of memory you want to preserve. Start out with a basic color palette and go from there.  It can help to have one “rock star” in the photos who carries a pattern in their outfit that the rest of the group’s clothing or accessories pulls from while keeping everyone else’s outfits more simple. This can be done with a neutral and a few colorful brights, or try a softer palette that has different tonal ranges of the same shades.
  1. Accessories not only add to your outfit but they can be fun to use in photos. Think outside the box. Scarves, hats, flowers in the hair of girls, jewelry, sweaters, vests, jackets, etc. I want the viewer to notice my subject and their personality first. There are a few bonuses to using accessories as well (as well as layers). One is that changing them up a bit throughout the session can give you multiple looks without having to do many wardrobe changes.  They can also be something the subjects can interact with. A sassy little tip of the hat, holding the ends of a scarf while running and letting it billow behind you, grabbing the lapels of a husband’s jacket while pulling him close for a kiss.
  1. Think classic. These photos will be hanging on your walls and treasured for years to come. By choosing simple, classic clothes you will help give your images a timeless feel.  Don’t date yourself by keeping a timeless look extends the life of the photos.
  1. Limit patterns. It is nice to have an outfit in the mix that has all the colors in it. However, not everyone in the photo should wear patterns as it may distract from the final image.
  1. Plan ahead. Once you book your session, start thinking about the clothes right away. You may think certain clothes will fit your kids or that one dress is clean. If you wait until the day of or day before you may run into an of clothes not fitting, being dirty or need to be dry cleaned.  Plan in advance. The more time you allow yourself to decide what you would like everyone to wear, the calmer you will feel.  Waiting until two nights before your shoot is bound to make you feel panicked.  What if something you choose doesn’t fit, you can’t find the right shoes or you’re five years old refuses your chosen outfit? Just give yourself time.  Additionally: options never hurt.
  1. Say no to characters. Just like patterns, characters on shirts can be pretty distracting. I know your sweet girl loves her Frozen Dress and crown, but as this is a more formal photo and one you want to put on display, it is best to keep characters out of the picture.  If this might be a fight, you can always bring the crown and much like my family ALWAYS does at least one crazy/silly/funny face photo, make the Princess photo one of the last ones you do.
  1. Comfort matters. We have all seen-kids especially-styled in hats, boots, tutus, and jackets. And the look ADORABLE. But if those kids aren’t comfortable, you are in for one miserable photo shoot. Make sure to keep everyone’s comfort level in mind. A tutu may SOUND like a great idea, but if you choose a blustery October day, your girl may be freezing, so have a backup plan in mind. No matter the occasion, the important thing to remember when preparing for a shoot is to bring your personality in front of the camera.  Let your clothes be an extension of that idea, rather than the sole focus. Above all, just have fun with it. If you are planning to wear high heels, you should consider bringing some comfortable shoes to change into for walking around.

    8. It tends to be easier to find the “center stage” piece in girl’s or women’s clothing so start with the females and then pull colors from their outfits to create a look for the boys and dads.