I think the number one question my clients ask me is “What should I wear?!”. This is totally normal.
Personally I’m fine with whatever you choose to wear.
Trackies and a bonds singlet? I can roll with it.
Kids in a superhero costume? Sounds like fun!
I get it though. You’ve chosen to have this moment in time captured by a professional photographer, you want your family to look their best. If you’re worrying over how to bring together your wardrobe here’s a few tips I give my clients when choosing their wardrobe…
1. Start with You
Let’s be honest. It was probably you who organised this photography session. It will be you who is charge of wrangling small people into cute outfits. It will be you who puts these images onto your walls so you can look back in years to come and smile at how lovely your younger family was on this day. So let’s start by choosing your outfit first. Pick something that you love. An outfit that makes you feel beautiful and confident. That you can move freely in to chase your munchkins and wrap them in huge hugs to give them as much love as you can. Choose something just for you, then build everyone elses outfits around that.
2. Coordinate colours (but no matchy, matchy!)
Keep your colour palette simple across the outfits. Maybe everyone is in a shade of blue - sky blue, dark blue, navy blue, pastel. Maybe everyone has a coloured item of clothing that ties into together - a pop of mustard or brown tones. Imagine what you will look like together in one frame. Will there be any major clashes? If you’re having trouble imaging what it might look like, try putting your outfit choices laid out on the bed together. Tying in your outfits so that there is a little colour coordination will make for a more visually appealing photograph. But if your family all turn up to the session wearing matching white button down shirts and jean... No. Just no. I will make you skip down the beach holding hands and sit in awkward poses because that’s what you get for turning up to a photo session looking like something out a nineties commerical. You don’t need to be matchy, matchy. Just a little colour coordinated.
3. look at the colours in your home
These gorgeous photos will be framed and hung on your walls. So have a look around at home. Are you into bright colours? Neutrals? Let your home decor guide your wardrobe choice so that your photographic artwork matches seamlessly with your home.
4. ACCESSORIES ARE YOUR FRIEND
Accessories add points of interest to your outfit and are fun to have in photos. There is something so intimate about a little one sitting on mummy’s lap and playing with her necklace. Bracelets on your arm are always a talking point for little girls.
5. use patterns wisely
I love seeing prints and patterns in families wardrobe choices, but if there’s more than two prints or patterns it can end up getting a bit distracting in the final image. Choose patterns wisely and use them sparingly.
6. Say no to logos
T-shirts with logos are super distracting in photos. Dad’s wearing surf wear brands with big logos splashed across them or little boys with their favourite Lego or Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle t-shirts really aren’t want you want to have in your precious photo session. Keep it plain and simple – save the printed tees for another day.
7. Leave the fluro in the 80’s
The fluro phase is slowly passing by again, although I know my daughter still has a few favourite pieces in her wardrobe. Just to be on the safe side, fluro dresses are best saved for disco nights.
8. avoid all black or all white
If you are wearing an all white shirt it easy to blow out the highlights, losing detail in your shirt. All black can have a similar effect. What does that even mean, I hear you ask? Basically when you and your partner wear all black or all white you end up looking like a double blob, there is no detail, no end of you and beginning of him. In saying this, black or white singlets under jackets or cardigans look great (because less is more). Add a layer and break it up is all I’m asking.
9. Layers and textures are flattering
Scarves, wraps, cardigans and belts help to flatter your figure and adds interest to the image.
10. think classic
These photos will be hanging on your walls and treasured for years to come. Choosing simple, classic clothes will help to give your images a timeless feel.
11. Dress appropriately for the location
Be sure to be true to you and the environment of your photography session. There’s no need to dress up for cocktail hour if you’re having a photography session at the beach. Wear something that makes you feel beautiful, relaxed and comfortable. Jeans and a tee is totally ok.
12. Plan ahead
If your daughter desperately wants to wear her best party dress for the session, awesome. That’s one less decision you need to make. BUT - make sure you have it washed and put away hiding in a secret spot a few days in advance. There’s nothing worse than waking up on the morning of the session to find your outfit choices in the dirty clothes pile.
13. Rules are made to be broken
Take everything you read with a grain of salt - it really doesn’t matter if your outfits match, or if someone is wearing fluro, patterns or logos. We’ll still have fun together and make stunning images. So take what you will from this what wear guide. It’s more important that you and your family feel happy in yourselves.
So that’s my top tips on what to wear to a family photography session. If you want more details about what happens during a session head over to my frequently asked questions page.