As a Columbus, Ohio family photographer, one of the most frequent questions I get asked for family sessions is "What should we wear?" "How do I put together our outfits?". After answering this question over and over, and sending other photographers advice to my clients, I FINALLY decided to write a blog about it!!
There are two different ways I like to explain how to dress. For the self conscience mom, I say dress yourself first. Pick out an outfit that makes YOU feel beautiful and flirtatious. I need mom to look at the photo and feel like she is HOT! Let's face it, us women are the hardest on ourselves, so we won't pick a picture to put on our wall that we don't think we look good in. We really don't care about what our kids and spouses look like.
When Mom has her outfit picked out, Base the rest of the family's outfits around that color scheme. DO NOT, I REPEAT, DO NOT wear matching tops and bottoms. It is outdated, and lacks interest in the photo. Instead, combine complimenting colors. Varying patterns are OK as long as they aren't drastically different. Accessories are always a good way to tie in a color scheme, and also gives you something to do with your hands. Scarves, costume jewelry, hats, and jackets are some of my favorite accessories. Try to avoid large logos and graphics on shirts. They tend to be distracting, However, can be used in certain situations.
Here are some great examples:
Example of where logos and graphics work:
Notice each family has a cohesive color palette with pops of color. Each family's outfits fit the environment we are shooting in, and shows their personalities.
The second way that I suggest (and the way I like to design my family outfits) is off boutique or unique outfits. My daughter dresses in a lot of Matilda Jane dresses, They have beautiful color pallets to pull from, making it easy for me to pick out mine and my husband's outfits. When you want your kids to be the focus with a few photos of the whole family, this is a good way to go. For instance, a child's birthday photos, but you want one or two of the whole family.
I am always willing to help families shop via facetime, put final combos together, and even pull from our client boutique to finish out combinations. Some great places to shop for the current trends in fashion and great complimenting prints:
boutique shops like Matilda Jane, Well Dressed Wolf, and Persnikity
If you have ANY questions, PLEASE feel free to call us. We are more than willing to help make your perfect look.
Remember, above all else, it is important that your family and your personalities shine. The clothes are important, but the most important things in the photographs are YOU :-)
Here is one of my favorite family combos I have photographed: