What should we wear?

This has to be the most common question I am asked as soon as a client books their photography session with me, regardless of the type of session...family, newborn, or professional. Heck, this is the first thing I start fretting about whenever I have hired a photographer for a professional photo session. Caring about fashion and keeping up with trends is definitely not my strong suit. I mean, I may not be stooping to the socks and sandals level that gets such a reputation up here in the Pacific Northwest, yet I'm not keeping up with the Kardashians either. I have learned a thing or two about dressing for photo sessions throughout my own experiences as a client and throughout my first year of being behind the lens, so I'd like to share a few tips to make your experience a lot easier and less stressful than it may be on your own.

Tip #1: Dress for Comfort

Comfort, comfort, comfort! I want you and your spouse and children to look and feel your best! When you do, the results are amazing! There are a variety of opinions on this subject. I like to think of family photo sessions just like you might think about dressing for your wedding. You want to look natural and give off your normal vibe and appearance, yet at the same time it's sort of fun to do something different and out of your normal routine. Family photo sessions can be a slight step above your normal looks (since I highly advise against t-shirts with logos or any super distracting bright matchy matchy outfits). Or family photo sessions can totally be a great excuse to dress up and have a little more play with fashion than you might normally choose to do.

comfortable clothing for family photos

Tip #2: Things to look for

Movement, texture, patterns, and neautrals are all things to be on the look out for. When adding color and patterns into your choices, make sure to avoid more than three colors when mixing and matching. Include at least one solid for every pattern or print. Pick one vibe and commit to it! Are you going for boho? Go for some flowy, textured, and mostly neutrals. Going for hipster? Rock out with some hats, sneakers, and more modern meets retro items! Maybe you're looking for more of a casual vibe? Find more traditional items and definitely read below for tip #3, what to avoid.

Tip #3: Avoid these things

I used to really want to have our family photos reflect who we are and my husband and son pretty much only wear t-shirts or sweatshirts with logos on them, so I would get frustrated trying to plan for our wardrobes. I finally have realized that it is the love and connection between us and our kids little quirks in that phase of their lives that I want to get out of our sessions, not the exact normal clothing that they usually wear. Instead of wearing a logo t-shirt, I now swap it for a neutral one in a grey or beige and add a pop of color or fun pattern on the rest of us (myself and my daughter). Long story short, here are some items to avoid when planning your outfits:

  • large logos
  • bright or neon colors
  • too many different shades of the same color
  • everyone in jeans
  • loose fitting tops or dresses for women
  • short dresses (restricts mobility and motion)

Tip #4: Things that look great on everyone

There are just some items that are super versatile and look great on pretty much everyone. Those include:

  • shoes that blend
  • patterns that aren't overwhelming
  • chino shorts/pants for boys
  • twirl dresses for girls
  • wrap or faux wrap dresses on women
  • color pants on men and boys
  • small details can make a big impact (watches, hats, jewelry)
  • soft, deep and/or neutral colors
  • accessories to finish a look

Tip #5: Empty those pockets!

Your photographer should know to remind you of this, but nothing is worse than finally coordinating lovely outfits and then forgetting to take phones, gum, receipts, etc. out of someone's pockets! Bring a bag and set it by your photographer or ask your photographer to hold things for you. Don't let your outfits be ruined by your day to day pocket stuff!

The results I received when trying to style my own family. I'd obviously add some color pops with accessories, yet this is a huge start for me!

Bonus: Find a Photographer that uses Style & Select!

Hopefully the above five tips relieve some of the stress of planning for photos. Pinterest can be a huge help or even instagram as well. If you are still not sure, however, I recommend that you find a photographer who offers Style & Select, an amazing and super simple online styling service. All you have to do is complete a quick online survey so they can learn who you are styling and what vibe you are going for, then they quickly send back a variety of choices for each member of your family. They always include a range of pricing options and then a link is provided to you for where you can purchase each item! SO SO EASY! I tried it out on my own family before sharing with my clients and I'm obsessed at how easy it was! I also love that if I already have something similar, I can just use that and then only purchase the items I really need. And if you just want the ideas and don't end up purchasing from their recommendations, that's ok too! There is zero obligation. I'm thrilled to be able to offer their services to my clients. If you'd like to experience Style and Select by booking a session with me, just complete the inquiry form below and you will be on your way to way FASTER STRESS FREE styling in no time!