5 tips for dressing for family photos

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

The weather is cooling down and fall is here, which also means the arrival of peak family photo season. I'm a self-proclaimed family photo addict. I don't think you can ever have enough photos of your family, and they are something I really cherish. I love being able to look back and see how we have changed individually, as well as how our family has grown and changed. 

If you're a mom, you know that you are rarely in the day-to-day photos that you take on your phone or camera. So, just another reason I love getting our family photos done professionally!

It seems that the number one worry or stress factor when getting family photos taken is... 

"What is everyone going to wear?!"

I'm no expert, but I have discovered a few things that have helped me when dressing our family, or helping friends dress for family photos. So, without further ado, here are my 5 tips for dressing your family for photos (in no particular order)!

1. Be comfortable!

If you don't take photos often, or hate being in front of the camera, you may feel awkward or uncomfortable in the beginning. The last thing you want to do is make things worse by wearing clothes you're not comfortable in! Don't put your little one in a giant scratchy tutu that she hates, wear shoes that you've never worn before and could give you blisters, or a shirt that you're constantly having to adjust. Instead, opt for clothes you know fit well, shoes that are comfortable/broken in (and cute!), and fabrics and pieces that aren't going to bother or distract your littles.


2. Mix patterns and solids.

None of us want to recreate those old family photos from the 90's. You know, the ones where you're all wearing different colored performance fleece vests from Old Navy? Yeah, those. While it is important to keep everyone in the same general color range, you don't want things to be too matchy-matchy. I always try and put one or two of us in a pattern, and the other one or two in solids. Guys always tend to have at least a few patterned dress shirts, so I try and work off something that my husband already has. Kids are adorable in patterns as well, so I find it easiest to pick a pattern for one of the kids that matches Eric, then work my solids around that! The patterns don't need to be the same, just make sure they are in the same color family so they blend well!

3. Add texture.

One thing I always make sure to do is add texture to one or two of our outfits. What I mean by this is adding a piece of clothing, or an accessory whose fabric is made with some sort of texture. For example, in the photo below, the bottom of my dress was made of a flowy tulle-like material. Other ways to do this would be to add a scarf, a chunky necklace, a knit sweater...you get the idea. It always adds a little something to the photos, and gives them a little "pop".

4. Vary your lengths.

To avoid a terribly monotone look, I would suggest dressing your family members in varying lengths of clothing. No, don't put your husband in booty shorts, or your child in a bathing suit. Nor does it mean you (the mom) have to wear a dress. If you notice in each of the photos above, we're not all wearing the exact same articles of clothing. I usually go with a dress, but that's just because I like dresses. Some of us have long sleeves, others have short. Saydee is wearing a knee-length dress, while Knix is in long pants. You get the idea. I think this gives the photo some dimension, and helps you all from blending into each other. It adds variation and lets you each stand apart from each other while remaining cohesive.  

5. Stay true to you!

I love, if possible, to simply shop our own closets! While it obviously depends on the type of photos you are taking, you don't always need to run to the mall to buy new outfits for everyone. Professional photos can be expensive, so having to buy new outfits for everyone just adds to the bill. You would be surprised at the outfits you can pull together from everyones closets! Not only will this save money, but it will make sure that you are wearing clothes that are true to each of your personal styles. {Unless of course you have a child/husband who only wants to wear t-shirts and gym shorts...in that case, go buy them something.}

Hope you found these helpful in planning your families outfits for this year's photos! Speaking of, I better start planning our next shoot so I can actually get Christmas cards out this year. Oops.

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