It's the week before your family photo session and you still don't have outfits picked out for everyone. Why? Because it's stressing you out and you just don't want to deal with it. I know that feeling. I photograph a lot of families, but the last time my family took a photo, I was taller than both my boys (so that's been a minute) and we were all wearing sports gear, standing on a baseball field, because that's who we are and that's what we do.
So that's my first tip - Be YOU! Yes, you want to look nice for your family photos, but if I was in a dress and I put my boys in dress shirts and ties, no one would believe it was really us. You want to capture your family as you are in that stage of your life. If jeans and a nice tee shirt is going to be less of a fight for your kids to wear, then be casual and make it as easy as you can for yourself. Mommin' ain't easy, so less stress is best.
Weather you are going casual or going all out, choosing your color pallet is where you need to start. First question, what season is it? Spring, soft pastels or vibrant pinks, yellows, greens and blues. Summer, white with a splash of color. Fall, earth tones make the fall leaves pop. Rich purples, mustard yellow, navy blue, forest green and denim. Winter, red and green are the colors of the season, but black is a great pop against the snow. Now that you have your colors, choosing your pattern outfit is next and then play the others outfits from that.
In this cute family photo, dad has the plaid and his girls outfits compliment his pattern color. I love how they used denim as babies blue and that adorable headband ties mom and dad all together with her.
Layers! Simple, timeless and put together. That's what I think of when I see family photos in layered outfits. I love moms cream blazer choice. It gives a soft, warm color option up against the strong blues and greens. Even though they went with guys in blue and girls in green, their outfits allowed me to pose them in any order. With the green in their sons shirt, he had enough color variation to stand next to dad in the blue sweater and with moms lighter layers it lets the outfits flow instead of compete for your eye.
Accessories can tie everything together! Moms scarf ties in the blues and grays while the girls headbands and tights add a lighter, softer color and picks up their brothers undershirt. Adding little touches like these helps unify your color scheme in each family member. Costume jewelry, hats, coats and vests are other great ideas for accessories to pull your look together.
Using neutral colors, like, gray l cream l brown l white l black, to help break up the color overload is great. If you choose one family member to wear the neutral you can add the accessories to their outfit to help pull those colors in.
Just remember, when you're searching for the perfect outfits and you're stressing out, your end goal is to capture your family in the stage of life your in at the moment. It's those sweet faces that will mature and change in a years time, you want to look back and see when it was that you became the shortest in the family. When you see your old family photos as a child (I'm an 80's kid...I'll say no more) the first thing you think is "why did mom make us wear that" or "what is going on with my hair". At the time, you were totally in style. So what I'm trying to tell you is, the clothes don't really matter, it's capturing your growing family that means the most.