Picking your family’s wardrobe for your portrait session is an important part of the planning process. Read below for some basic starter tips, then click here to check out my Pinterest board with lots of great visuals and ideas to help you get started. Once you are booked, I’m happy to be as involved in the process as you would like. For personalized styling advice simply answer the styling questions on your booking questionnaire, and I will send links to great outfit suggestions personalized just for you or can help you plan using your current wardrobe. Clients are also welcome to text outfit ideas to me if they are wanting extra help or suggestions.
Plan Mom’s Wardrobe First
When planning your session, start with Mom’s outfit first. All too often Moms pick their outfit last and then are stuck struggling to find something they feel good in that coordinates with the rest of the family. Instead have Mom find something she loves and feels good in first, then coordinate the family around her.
Stay True to Your Style
What is your family’s style? If you’re more classic, then dress that way. If you’re into the bohemian look, great! Maybe you’re more urban or preppy. That’s all fine. Just stay true to your own style instead of trying to match some idea in your head. You want to look back at your pictures and feel like they represent you.
Dress It Up
You don’t get family pictures done every day (or even that often, for that matter!), so why not take the opportunity to really dress it up. You’ll be looking at these pictures for years to come, so why not go all out?
For Moms – maxi dresses look beautiful in every season and every body type, and can be found to match any style whether bohemian, preppy, urban, classic, vintage, etc. They photography beautifully, create movement, and add a dressy, romantic look to pictures. Solid colors work well, floral prints are a bonus.
For Dads – solid color button ups, sweaters, or henley shirts with fitted khakis or jeans. Dads are an important part of the process, but their wardrobe should not be overly busy or draw too much attention.
For Boys – Button ups, fitted tees like a henley shirt, or sweaters photograph best. Keep patterns simple such as a basic stripe. Suspenders, bow ties, and hats are all fun ways to add layers and personality.
For girls – flowy dresses or tops photograph best (and are fun for twirling!).
Stick to soft colors and earth tones . Neutrals like white, beige, and grey, soft pinks or blues, or even darker colors like navy, mustard, or maroon photograph beautifully. If you’re planning a session outdoors in a grassy area, be mindful of greens as you want to pop from the scenery and not blend in. Please avoid bright or neon colors as they throw color casts and don’t photograph as well.
Patterns are beautiful and can be a fun way to tie everyone’s wardrobe together. However, keep them simple. Stripes, polka dots, basic plaid, or floral patterns photograph well, but please avoid overly busy patterns as it won’t photograph well and will pull focus from your family.
Add in accessories, textures, and layers for visual interest and to show some personality. Ideas include lace, scarves, jewelry, kimonos, shawls, cardigans, suspenders, hats, button ups with shirts underneath, bowties, etc.
Size It To Fit Well
Plan outfits that fit, and fit well. Clothes that are too big don’t photograph well and can make you look frumpy or bigger in size. For children this means resisting the temptation to size up so they can grow into it. For Dads and boys this means avoiding baggy or cargo pants with lots of pockets which are distracting.
Suggestions of Where To Shop
Clothes Mentor & Once Upon a Child – lots of high end second hand clothes for women and kids at very affordable prices
Two e’s in a Pod – a consignment shop for children with lots of boutique and beautiful second hand clothes in Hartville, Ohio
The District -amazing boutique shop for women with lots of gorgeous tops and maxi dresses located in Green, Ohio
Target, H&M, Zara – great affordable options for the whole family
Forever 21 – beautiful affordable maxi dresses for Moms as well as adorable clothes for girls
My favorite online boutiques for women with lots of gorgeous tops, dresses, and maxi dresses:
VICI, Morning Lavender, Ooh La Luxe, Hazel & Olive, ASOS, Lulus, Pink Blush Maternity, Spell & The Gypsy Collective
My favorite online boutiques for kids:
Alice & Ames, Jak & Peppar, Ele Story
For gorgeous maternity gowns:
Embie Baby, Fillyboo Maternity, Mama Bump Rentals