What do I wear to my family photo session? It's a pretty common question, right? I mean, a perfectly coordinated wardrobe can really make a difference in the resulting photos, so it can feel stressful. It can feel overwhelming. It can feel entirely UNfun. I want to lift some of that burden from your shoulders.
The Basics of What to Wear
First of all, pick clothing that is comfortable, makes you feel good about yourself, and is an honest reflection of your personality. It wouldn't make sense to wear a ball gown to a session in a field where we will be playing and moving around. It also doesn't make sense to wear stiff, starchy clothes, if that just isn't YOU. So, above all, be YOU. You might not believe me, but the perfect clothes for your session are likely already hanging in your closet.
Second, pick coordinating, NOT matching outfits. Having everyone in a white t-shirt or black button down really doesn't fit with the type of photographs we will be making. It will feel forced, instead of natural, and relaxed...which is what we're going for, right?
Lastly, avoid neon colors, graphic tees, and anything with logos. Take my word for it, they just don't photograph as well, especially the neon colors. Neon colors create neon skin, and nobody wants to look like the Hulk in their pictures.
When picking clothes, stick to timeless and classic choices, as opposed to something really trendy. Accessories, layers, and mixing textures can really help pull everyone's outfit together.
How to Choose What to Wear
You might be asking, "Ok, but where to I start?" If you're like me, taking the first step is always the hardest, so I have a couple of ideas for getting started.
One option, and my favorite, is to pick Mom's outfit first. Yes, mama's, you are allowed to make yourself the most important person right now and pick something just for you. Why? Because if you are wearing something that makes you feel amazing, it will show in your photos. If you are wearing something that makes you feel uncomfortable, that will also show. So, put yourself first! Then, take one or two colors from your outfit and use those to help choose complimentary outfits for all the other family members.
Another option it to choose a color palette. Now, don't overthink this. You do not need to be a color expert, especially thanks to the wonder of Pinterest and it's many color palette options. A monochromatic palette of grays, tans, and creams looks good on anyone and in any setting. Deep jewel tones look amazing against the brown and gray landscapes of fall and winter. Soft colors of peach, blue and cream look great in spring.
And one last idea, take your setting into consideration when choosing your clothes. A golden field would inspire different choices than say, a forest or an urban setting.
But It's Really Not About the Clothing At All
That's right. These pictures aren't about your clothing, they are about you. You, your family, your connection with each other. If picking a perfectly coordinated wardrobe is stressing you out, or worse, holding you back from having family pictures taken in the first place, allow yourself the freedom of letting it go. Let it go because it really isn't that important. You can even be brave and let the kids dress themselves. Kids have a way of being unapologetically themselves, and we could all use a lesson in that.
Nothing is more important than documenting where you are in life right now. Time passes quickly. Life stages come and go faster than you realize, and before you know it, babies have grown into toddlers, and children, and tweens, and teens, and poof, you have a full grown adult child raiding your fridge and you might wonder how it all happened in the blink of an eye.
Time waits for nothing, not even picking out your clothes.
If you are looking for more concrete ideas on what to wear to your family session, visit my Pinterest Board or send me a message. I'm more than happy to help you coordinate a wardrobe for your family session.