1) Coordinate your family’s style. Avoid the family uniform
It should go without saying to never dress your family alike. Everyone hates it, even the kids. Instead opt for a coordinated look in the same tonal range. For the quick and easy way to do this find outfits for mom and the girls in your family (who tend to have bolder choices in stores) and fill in some simple but coordinated choices for dad and the boys.
Perfectly coordinated but not matching. Definitely a formal choice but great for an museum shoot or flower garden.
2) Wear something that makes you feel good
This sounds obvious but it’s really important and can really make or break a shoot. Everyone needs to feel happy and relaxed to generate real, authentic smiles. On-location photography can move quickly so opt for something that is easy to move in. Bring those 4 inch heels but wear something comfortable to get you between locations.
(Matthew Hranek and J.Crew)
Your kids will be comfortable in these clothes and you won’t fret if they are rolling around in the grass. Great for any location; from beach to city to family hike.
3) Embrace bold colors and patterns but keep it balanced
Some photographers steer people away from bold colors and patterns. That’s such a shame because beautiful colors and patterns are everywhere. The key to pulling this off is to make sure to use bold color sparingly, treat it like an accessory. Patterns should be balanced with a simple choice for other family members. See Liz’s shoot for a perfect example of this.(Modern Kids Photography)
(Candice Stringman for The Blairs)
4) Accessories and layers are key to looking like you had multiple wardrobe changes
One of the easiest ways to give your photo session a diverse look without forcing your family to perform multiple wardrobe changes in a parking lot is to bring several types of layers and accessories. Think sweaters, coats, hats, and scarves. Accessories can be pulled on and off easily which creates lots of different looks, not to mention they act as fun props.
(Collage from Crewcuts, Zara, and Little Fashion Gallery)
Embrace accessories! They are easy to dress up or down and are fun for kids and families to interact with.
5) A special tip for a mom who wants to look thin: wear the same color from head to toe
You can trick the camera but creating a long line from head to toe if you stay in the same color. Choose a mid-tone color such as a blue or brown. Always avoid wearing lighter colors on the bottom as the eye is attracted to the lightest part of a photograph, therefore accentuating your hips.
Also, here are the obvious Photo shoot No-no’s:
• avoid clothing with words or logos
• don’t get haircuts the day before, they always need a few days to look best
• avoid anything too trendy otherwise you’ll hate the images in a few months
• don’t force several wardrobe changes on kids, stick to no more than 2 great looks and you’ll keep your little one happy
The bottom line is to have fun with your family’s photo shoot. Take a little time to prepare for the shoot day. Have a few backup articles of clothing in case of disaster and consult with your photographer beforehand. You’ll be sure to love the images knowing that your family was comfortable and looking their best.