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Holiday Family Session- What to Wear

Holiday Family Sessions are coming up in a couple weeks away and I’m sure there are some questions on what to wear and what colors/patterns look good together? Well I have listed some Q&A to better help you prepare for your Family Session.


Here is a link to the Pinterest Board that I have created with beautiful Fall/holiday color templates that look amazing together!

Click here Holiday Family Photos- What to Wear

1.  Do Coordinate but DO NOT Wear Matchy-Matchy Clothing

Pick 3-4 complementary colors and carry them throughout your family’s outfits. Matchy-matchy outfits are soooooo early 90′s! Matching clothing may be a requirement with more traditional photographers but if you’ve hired me you know that is not my style. When everyone is wearing the exact same thing photos can look stiff  and staged. You want your family photos to resemble you and your family not the fake photo that comes inside a new picture frame.

2.  Don’t Wear All White Clothing!

I’m not a big fan of white for family photos in general not matter what season it is. White is a tricky color to pull off successfully and can washout skin tones.

3.  Do Have Fun with Accessories

Scarves, gloves, hats, jewelry, belts, and hair accessories are all a great way to add a little personality to your photos. If your package does not include an outfit change accessories a wonderful way to change up your look throughout your session!  If you’re not sure about an accessory bring it along to your shoot and let your photographer take a look.

4.  Don’t be Afraid of Color

If you’re working with me you know I’m a BIG fan of color! Jewel tones look great on camera, can be rocked by most skin tones, and are great colors fall photos! If most of your family is wearing dark colors, DON’T stick sister in pastel pink and white. You don’t want to look matchy-matchy but you want your outfits to have a good flow.

5.  Do Have Fun with Prints

It’s okay don’t be scared prints. If done right prints photograph beautifully! Plaid, hounds tooth (love), strips, flowers, polka dots, argyle….have fun with them!  If you’re still afraid think about adding prints in small doses; a tie with a fun pattern, vest, scarf, or cardigan. These are all things that can be removed during your photos to change up your look. If most of your family is wearing solids DON’T stick dad in a plaid shirt. He will stick out like a sore thumb! The fix for this problem would be to introduce a print in the other outfits as well so dad is not the lone print wearing ranger. Throw a coordinating printed scarf on mom, add a funky print bowtie to brother’s outfit, and toss multicolor bow on sisters head….easy fix and will help with the flow of the outfits!  Again this is why it’s important to share your clothing selections with your photographer. Your photographer wants you to have amazing photos and they will be happy to help with outfit suggestions………at least I am MORE than happy to help my clients!

6.  Don’t Wear Clothing with Logos or Wording that is Highly Visible

This is very distracting in your images as the viewer is drawn directly to the wording and not your beautiful family! This tip does have a couple exceptions. If your shoot is styled around your favorite sports team or school this would be the time to show your pride through your wardrobe! If you’re having pictures taken of just your little one and find a cute shirt with wording that relates to the kiddo this would work as well but should not be done unless it has some type of meaning to you, your child, or your family.

7.  Do Have Fun with Layers

Layered clothing looks great in photos and is yet again another quick way to change up your wardrobe throughout your session. This is also a great way to hide problems areas. Think cardigans, jackets, vest, sweaters over button up shirts, short sleeve shirts over long sleeve shirts! Layer, layer, and layer some more. Okay maybe not that many layers but you get the point! This is also a great way to introduce a print or color. Think about layering a solid color shirt  with something that coordinates.

8.  Don’t Wait Till the Last Minute to Decide On Your Wardrobe

It takes time to put a look together and can be stressful especially if you wait till the very last minute. Start thinking about your wardrobe at least 2 to 3 weeks before your shoot. Give yourself enough time to decide on a color palette, raid your family’s closets, and find new items to complete your look. Look to magazines and clothing websites for inspiration! Inspiration is ALLLLL around you you just need to be in the right mindset to see it!

9.  Do Get Your Photographer Involved

I ask my clients to snap a picture of the outfits they plan to wear and e-mail it to me. This helps me decide on locations, props, and the overall feel of the session. It also makes it easy for me to make suggestions if help is needed.

10.  Don’t Forget Shoes

Shoes are just as important as your outfit. No athletic shoes for the guys unless it fits with the overall theme of your session.

11.  Do Think About the Location Your Family Session Will be Held

You want your outfits to complement the location you choose. This is another reason why it’s a good idea to share your outfit selections with your photographer so they can come up with areas and backdrops selections that will coordinate with your wardrobe.

12.  Don’t Feel Like You Have to Spend a Fortune On Your Family’s Wardrobe

Look to some of the more expensive stores for inspiration and try to recreate a look you like with more affordable items. Spend money on items that you LOVE and know you’ll wear again and complete the rest of the outfit with items from more affordable stores. I will include links below to some of my favorite affordable clothing stores as well as stores that I look to for inspiration.

13.  Do Have Fun With Your Outfit Selections

Pick something that you and your family feel good in! If you’re feeling good it will shine through in your photos!

14.  Don’t Highlight a Part of Your Body That You’re Uncomfortable With

If you’re uncomfortable with your arms don’t go sleeveless. It’s important that you feel good in what you’re wearing and if that means hiding areas that you are not so sure about do it!

15.  Do Think About How You Plan to Use Your Family Photos

If you want to showcase them throughout your home do you want them to match the color scheme of your house? If so think about the colors of your home when selecting the colors of your family’s clothing.

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