What to Wear for Beautiful Family Pictures
It’s Fall family picture time, and here in the Dallas area people are starting to schedule their sessions and thinking about what to wear. After years of being in the business, it’s usually obvious when clients wait until the last minute to decide on a wardrobe. Either their clothes don’t go together at all, or their shoes completely don’t match (hello beaten up tennis shoes or flip flops), or they come to the session stressed and not feeling great about themselves. So book your session before your photographer runs out of openings, then get started figuring out what everyone will wear.
How to Plan Your Family Pictures Wardrobe
- Decide whose outfit you will plan first | Sometimes, you found a really amazing dress or shirt for a family member and just knew it would work well for your family portraits. If that’s the case, great! Move on to the next step. But if you aren’t quite there yet, think about who is the most difficult in your family to dress. In my family, it’s me. I need to find something that I feel great in. Once I find that, I can build everyone else’s outfits around it. I always save my husband for last, because he will end up in jeans and a shirt, which is super easy to select once everyone else is figured out.
- Pick a few colors to plan around | Once you have that first outfit, look at the colors in it. Ideally, you’d want 3-5 colors in your family’s color palette, but they don’t all need to be in each outfit (and actually, make sure they don’t). If you only have 2-3 colors, come up with a few more that coordinate. If you’re color challenged, don’t worry! Pinterest is a great resource for looking at different color palettes and seeing what goes well together. Stay away from too many patterns, or patterns that don’t go well together.
- Consider what textures, patterns, and styles family members wear | As kids get older, they develop a style all their own. I encourage my clients to incorporate their style as best they can! If they really dislike the color pink, or button down shirts, stay away from those as you plan your session outfits. Family members are much more cooperative for pictures if they’re comfortable and don’t mind the clothes they wear. Do stay away from strong patterns, large graphic prints, and big brand names.
- Consider the location, season, and your home decor | In the Dallas area, we know that it will likely stay warm, if not hot, a few months into Fall. If we know we want pictures in long sleeves or sweaters, it’s better to plan our sessions later in the year. Also, keep your location in mind as you plan outfits. If you are going to be in the middle of a huge green field, you might not want to wear green to the session. Choose a color opposite the color week so your family “pops” against that beautiful green background. Finally, if you plan on putting these images up on your walls, make sure the colors you select will go with your home decor.
Don’t be afraid to add pops of color!
Her scarf coordinates beautifully with her daughter’s dress.
Shop Around | Other than in stores, you can find a lot of wonderful clothes online! I recommend staying away from the super cheap shops, as I’ve heard many people who ordered and received clothes that looked completely different than the picture, or were at least different colors. Here are a few places that I suggest:
Amazon – Even Amazon has some great clothes that will work well. Just make sure you check the reviews, and order with enough time to be able to make sure it fits well before your session.
H & M – I especially love them for kids clothes
Old Navy – They often have coordinating outfits that are great! Just make sure you aren’t matching too much.
Lay out clothes together to see if it all works well | It can be difficult to imagine how everything goes together and whether it works or not. Once you have all of your outfits, lay them out and double check. Don’t forget to look at the shoes you all will be wearing. That can sometimes be the thing that really throws off a look!
Accessorize | You can add some color if needed, and finish out the look, with accessories. Light kimonos, sweaters, or pullovers can tie the looks together really well. Cute hats can be fun things for adults and kids to wear for some of the pictures, too. I would recommend putting hats on later in the session, just in case they mess up hair or cause heads to get sweaty. Finally, jewelry like statement necklaces, colorful earrings, or delicate bracelets can put the last beautiful touch on your outfit.
On a tight budget? Go through your closets and make a few notes of what looks nice and what colors they are. See if you can put together outfits from that! You can also check out consignment and resale shops, or just purchase some accessories that have colors which tie everything together.
Melinda Wilkinson Photography is a Dallas, Tx photographer specializing in newborn and maternity portraits. We provide services to the areas surrounding Dallas and Denton counties, as well as some Tarrant county locations. Our clients receive beautiful heirloom albums, wall art, and other products.
If you would like to book your session, please contact me for more details!