Family photos shoots can be...well, a lot. Not to mention having to choose what to wear. Believe me, I have had my fair share of experience with family photoshoots...both behind and in front of the camera. My family used to do a yearly extended family shoot with 25+ people...talk about chaos! Planning your wardrobe ahead of time and even doing a trial run can help prevent a LOT of stress the day of. Wardrobe is so important to your family portraits, so I've gathered these 9 tips to help guide you and make you feel your most confident self during your session.

1. Start with mom's outfit...


...then decide what everyone else will wearing around that. It's just easier this way, trust me. Plus, moms are always the ones taking the photos. Take advantage of this, moms, and wear that dress you love during your time in front of the camera!


And can I make another suggestion here? Ladies, you really can't go wrong with a long maxi dress or skirt. They are perfect for family portraits, since they are always a statement piece, and they create movement that is a stunning addition in photos.


2. No such thing as overdressed...


When it comes to family portraits, there is NO such thing as overdressed. This is when to go all out. You've already made the investment in your portrait session, don't fall short and not go all out when it comes to wardrobe! If you wear your best, you will feel your best, and how you feel always shows in the photos. So, wear something that makes you feel like A MILLION BUCKS!


3. Coordinate - don't match!


Choose colors that compliment each other but don't necessarily "match." Basically, don't have everyone wearing white t-shirts and blue jeans. Is it just me, or is that so 1990s?


Maybe you'll choose neutrals - tans, browns, beiges, etc. Maybe you'll go with a jewel tone palette (a fav of mine right now) - emerald, maroon, navy, so on. Slightly muted colors work wonderfully, and oversaturated colors aren't the best. Avoid anything that nears neon. Layering with vests, scarves, and other accessories is a great way to coordinate all the colors together (see tip #6).


PRO TIP: Use this color palette generator for help with creating a color palette. I use this ALL the time in my business (I'm also a graphic designer). Be warned, it is ADDICTING. I could just sit there and spin up color palettes all day.

 

4. Mix patterns and solids


Variety is the spice of life...and family photo wardrobe! Think subtly with the patterns, and try to steer clear of anything that will steal the focus of the image. Stick with bigger and bolder patterns rather than small intricate designs (these don't photograph the best). Remember, the goal is for the focus to be on you and your beautiful family - not a neon striped shirt! Depending on the size of your family, limiting patterns to 1-2 people is smart.

 

5. Incorporate some texture


For example, a big knit sweater, some fringe (my personal fav!), or denim. 

 

6. Accessorize


This is where your personality shines! Accessories can bring visual interest to photos and tie everyone's outfits together. Layer up - wear your coolest hats, hair-bows, bold jewelry, scarves, or unique pair of shoes. Think: things that make you, you. For example, I've got a hat collection, so there's a big chance that I'll be wearing one to my photoshoot.


7. Consider hiring a hair and makeup artist


Having a professional do your makeup for your portraits is a fantastic way to reduce stress and feel confident when you arrive at your session. It might seem like an unnecessary expense, but how often do you have professional photos taken? Go all in!


8. What not to wear


- Logos with brand names (ie: nike, adidas)

- Apple watches (distracting and eye sore)

- Anything that you wouldn't normally wear! Don't wear something you'll be uncomfortable in.


9. Do a trial run


It is best practice to try on everyone's outfits before the day of the shoot. This will help you avoid going into panic mode right before heading to your photoshoot when you realize that your shirt is see-through, those pants don't fit, these boots are scuffed, etc.!


Lastly, and most importantly, take all of my advice with a grain of salt. Wear what YOU feel amazing in, because that will show in the photos.