Clothing is an essential part of your photos, don't procrastinate
Your choice of clothing can make all the difference in your photos. If you wait until just before a photo session to find something to wear, you will most likely wind up compromising and wearing something that is 'just okay'. You deserve to give yourself plenty of time to put together your perfect wardrobe. Go through your wardrobe, choose something that you love to wear *and* that always gets you compliments. You might have to check out several stores until you come across something that screams you and will make you feel good looking back at your photos. If you already have this in your closet, even better. We are in this together: I'm going to spend hours putting together your perfect photo session. If you dedicate time to your wardrobe, you're going to look and feel great. When you see the final product, you will be very glad that you didn't procrastinate.
Coordinate outfits but don't match
Now this doesn’t mean everyone has to match 100%! As in the photo above of the ladies at the beach, their color choices were white and blue but each outfit is a little different than the other. The outfits complement each other without looking identical. It captures more of the individuals style. You want to complement each other’s outfits by choosing colors that work well together. I find that if everyone is wearing the same clothing, everyone will tend to blend together and there won’t be too much pop and life to the images. I personally love earthy and neutral tones, alone or paired with pops of colors. The photos above and below are great color choices without everyone matching! If you need inspiration and are more of a visual person, like me, check out Pinterest! Just keep in mind the following suggestions and make it your own!
Use colors and patterns
Colors are everywhere around us and bring things to life… why not bring your images to life as well! Again, be sure the colors you use coordinate with each other. When picking patterns, choose smaller ones that won’t distract attention away from the main subject/s. Use patterns sparingly…. if one person is wearing a print, try to avoid putting someone else in a competing pattern. When thinking about texture, choose different ones that will give photos some interest such as lace, corduroy, denim, etc. Avoid large logo’s, emblems and graphics!
You are going to want these images to stand the test of time. Pick outfits that aren’t considered too trendy, but will be able to be enjoyed and displayed for many years to come. Still be YOU, never forget that!
Let your personalities shine
Perhaps the most important “rule” in my book. The purpose of these photos is to hopefully capture each individual as they truly are, to capture the family, the relationships, and people in the photos just as THEY are. Wear clothing that YOU feel good in and the pictures will emanate those feelings.
One of my favorite “tips” for clothing choices! In the Summer months, this may be more difficult to pull off but during all of the other seasons, definitely layer your outfits. Not only will it provide more visual interest in each photo but it will also allow a lot more variety in your shots and poses. Have a ton of images of yourself in just your dress or cute top and jeans? Throw on a little sweater or jacket and a hat and you have an entirely different look.
These are YOUR images and of course you want them to speak volumes about you and your family. Discuss things your family enjoys doing together and bring “props” and accessories that will help compliment who you are. If your family enjoys playing music together, bring your instruments to your session. If your family enjoys boating, suggest doing your session on a boat or at the very least near the water. Bring along items that will represent who each individual is AND who your family is collectively.
Shoes are a very important part of wardrobe
If you have the cutest little trousers and button down for your son to wear for pictures, but slap his favorite pair of Disney tennis shoes on him, it makes the whole look lose cohesiveness. Stay away from character shoes, flip flops, crocs. My recommendation for shoes are boots, leather sandals, Converse All-Stars, Toms, Sperrys, Joyfolie and Mary Janes. And always, barefoot is an adorable option, especially with babies. I’d much rather see bare feet than the bottom of their shoes.
For babies, toddlers and older girls, I always recommend keeping hair accessories simple. When they are too big it distracts from their faces. The only time I think you can get away with larger hair accessories is when the child has lots of hair, or long hair. Simple and dainty is just as pretty and understated.
Make sure you have given yourself enough time to think about all of the details of your session. Plan ahead so that #1 you can truly think about your photos and everything you want out of the session, #2 you aren’t rushing and stressing out right before your session, and #3 if you have decided to go for a new look for your session or someone gets a bad haircut, you still have time to fix things if you need to.
Keep makeup natural
You will want to avoid using very heavy makeup, but a bit of color on your lips, eyes, and cheeks will help bring you to life in photos. Be sure to bring some lip gloss with you as well.
If time allows it, bring another set of outfits. Again, you will get a lot more variety in your shots so why not capitalize on the opportunity and get the most bang for your buck!