One of the questions I am asked most frequently by my clients is, “What should we wear?” And it’s no wonder! Your photos are an investment that you have spent time and money on, and besides adorning the walls of your home and probably your Christmas card, they will be passed down for generations to come. Understandably, you want to look your best! I have compiled a few tips here that I am hoping will help you feel less overwhelmed when it comes time to pick out your wardrobe for your next photo session.
Keep in mind that these are all just ideas! You certainly do not have to implement ALL of them… or ANY of them for that matter! The most important thing is that your photos are a reflection of YOU. But if you’re feeling stuck, or still need some inspiration, here are a few tips to guide you on how to pick out the best outfits yet!
Do you have a particular color that you love to wear? Wear it! Do you like dresses? Wear one! Find something that makes you feel beautiful! If you are comfortable with what you are wearing, it will transfer to your photos. Being comfortable and confident in what we’re wearing can make a huge difference in how we feel and how relaxed we are in front of the camera. Pretend like you are in your favorite pair of jeans. How do you feel throughout the day? Confident, like your supermom, and can do anything! Now, pretend you’re in your worst uncomfortable pair of shoes! How do you feel? Probably irritable, grumpy, you don’t have a smile on your face, you are not feeling confident, and they possibly are causing you physical pain! DO you think you’ll look your best in your photographs? Absolutely not! How could you even smile your best through physical pain?! That’s why it’s so important to focus first on the outfits you love and feel your best in. And I promise those outfits will end up looking ten times better than anything else!
Are you still stuck? Here are a few recommended pieces to get you started!
FOR MOM: Dresses are the most flattering, and photograph beautifully. Dresses with movement add an extra touch of grace and elegance to your photos! If you can’t stand dresses, try a flowy skirt or a pair of colored jeans. White or black jeans look elegant and stylish in photographs and are easy to coordinate with other family members’ attire.
FOR DAD: Chinos and button-up shirts or henley’s look sharp, masculine, and tailored in photos. Keep in mind that fitted slacks, as opposed to cargo styles, photograph best. If dads excited about family photos, try convincing him into a suit as well. It will elevate the style of everyone’s outfits! Don’t forget about shoes for dad either! I found that sneakers with one color or more fancier shoes look best. Make sure shoes match the outfits of everyone else, as well.
FOR KIDS: Same as mom and dad! If mom decides on wearing pants, make sure a little girl is in a skirt or a dress to balance out the look. If dad is dressed fancy, make sure little boys are dressed fancy as well. And don’t forget to accessorize! Little touches like hair accessories, bow ties, and suspenders can add the perfect stylistic touch to your photos and bring everything together. Lastly, shoes! Make sure kiddos are all IN shoes! You don’t want to get to the photoshoot and realize so and so is missing one shoe! I recommend that whatever shoes mom and dad are wearing, try to go more stylish for the children. This keeps everything coordinating, and makes sure the children match the look of the entire family.
There is an old fashioned idea floating around that everyone in the picture needs to have on matching clothing. This is not true! Coordinating is far better than matching. Choose colors that look nice together, but don’t fall into the trap that you all need to be wearing the same blue shirt. Your photos will be far more interesting with some variation! Add interest to your photos by incorporating plenty of colors and patterns. Don’t be afraid of either of these! If you’re overwhelmed with where to start or wonder, “How much is too much?” you might start with a print that you love, and pull in some of the coordinating colors with other pieces.
I always recommend having at least three colors in your palette. Adding in a couple of patterns looks nice too! Add in a solid shirt for one person, maybe some stripes for another. Remember, the key is to coordinate, so the colors in your prints and patterns are your friend!
If your personality is suited to a more subtle look, neutrals photograph beautifully as well. You can easily keep your color scheme neutral and add in smaller amounts of color for variety.
If you’re having a hard time deciding on a color palette, let the colors of your home inspire you! Since your home is where your images will be displayed, think about the colors that will coordinate well with your home and style of décor. I also like to recommend that my clients consider the Pantone Color of the year!
The 2020 Color of the year is Classic Blue! If you incorporate this color into your pallet for outfits, you’ll have one of the most stylish photo sessions yet because fashion designers utilize the Pantone Color of the year in their design choices for the coming seasons, making selections from these options result in color choices that are fashionable and on-trend. The Pantone website will provide you with an array of coordinating colors and hues!
Finish off your look with accessories and layers. This can make your photos “YOU” and looks fantastic in photos! Consider adding a statement necklace or scarf to your outfit, and for your family, consider accessories such as a vest, belt, jacket, hat, suspenders, headband, etc. Accessories are the perfect way to give a finishing touch to your look, and they can set your photos apart. If dad or the kids are less than thrilled about getting photographs taken, compromise by having them wear their favorite watch or favorite fancy pair of shoes. Accessories are what take your photographs to the next level, and where everyone’s outfits come together and look like you put a lot of effort into planning, coordinating, and styling your outfits.