How To Coordinate Clothing For Family Photos
First, don’t panic. It is way easier to coordinate clothing for family photos than you probably think. Most of the stress is self-inflicted, so sit tight for a pep talk and some helpful tips to seamlessly (clothing pun intended) coordinate clothing for family photos without crying over a Pinterest bored in the dressing room of your local Target.
Don’t Over Think It.
Pinterest is a wealth of knowledge but honestly, it can get overwhelming REALLY fast. It’s like being a child with one dollar to spend in a massive candy store. There is too many options and you know you can only pick one. It’s seriously stressful for a lot of us, and my guess is you are one of those people since you find yourself here.
To avoid overthinking, go with your gut on the color pallet. The first thing that makes you go, “OHHHH I LOVE THAT” is the one. Done. Don’t keep scrolling. That’s it.
Check Your Closets First
Once you’ve had that gut reaction to your favorite color pallet, look through everyone’s closet to see what you already have that fits into your vision! Do NOT stress about everyone having something already in their wardrobe. Buying one new outfit for one person is much easier than buying a new outfit for every single person that will be in your photos. How to coordinate clothing for family photos 101, don’t immediately go to a department store; Start in your closet.
Matching < Coordinating
DO avoid putting everyone in matching outfits. For the love of all things, please don’t buy the same shirt and jeans for all the guys. Everyone should be wearing a different outfit (matching a few little siblings in identical outfits can be the exception, but I still prefer unique outfits for everyone) that coordinate and compliment each other, not matchy-matchy. How to coordinate clothing for family photos most important tip – Coordinate, don’t match.
Throw Out The “Dress For Your Body” Rules
Wear what you love, not what you are told you should wear. Sure, there are outfits, colors and prints that are “slimming”, but everyone’s goal isn’t to look slim, so I say screw the rules and wear what you love. Of course some shapes in clothing will make a straight body style look more curvy, but everyone’s goal isn’t to look curvy. I say again, where what you love and throw out the “you shoulds”.
DO Avoid What Doesn’t Photograph Well
The only exception to where what you love is some things that photograph really poorly. Florescent colors have have their time and place in photography, particular fashion or branding, but they’re not great for family photos. Your eye will forever go directly to your clothes and not the people wearing them. You should be the star of the photo, not your clothing.
Dress for you
Wear what makes you feel good! Forget trends and what you are “supposed to wear” to make your body look a certain way if it’s not what you love.
dress for the weather
If it’s freezing and you are cold, it WILL show in the photos. Have an outfit ready for everyone that is for cold and warm weather just in case.
Dress for the session
A big session with kids means comfier clothes that aren’t immediately going to show dirt. Just grown-ups? Live it up in what you love!
Don’t Be Afraid To Mix Patterns
When coordinating clothing for family photos, don’t fall into the trap that everything has to be solid. A mix of solids and patterns is good! Florals, plaids, polka dots, solids, and more. Mix ’em all up to create visual interest and give each family member the chance to showcase their personal style and personality in their outfit!
Patterns aren’t the only way to create visual interest and show off individuality. Textures are a great way to mix up solids! Jean, cable-knit, sheer layers, ribbed fabric, lace silky materials, etc. There are so many fabrics that can be used to add visual interest, and if you’re going through your own wardrobe to find a lot of these outfits, it’ll be even easier to include multiple fabrics and textures when coordinating clothing for family photos! Don’t worry about a soft silky shirt not matching a bulky sweater. I say mix it up and watch how the mismatched textures give a beautiful feel to your family photos.
Dress Weather Appropriate
When coordinating clothing for family photos, I know how tempting it is to have everyone wear sweaters and scarves for Fall photos even though we have an unseasonably warm, 90 degree day end of October, which here in Maryland isn’t outlandish. Comfort for the participants should be put above the style of clothing. If everyone is sweaty and red-faced, the cute sweaters aren’t worth it. If everyone is purple, hunched over for warmth and shivering, the cute sun dresses aren’t worth it. Dress for the weather so everyone can have fun because it shows in the photos.
Remember The End Goal
The end goal for family photos shouldn’t be looking like a magazine cover. Sure, it’s nice, but remember what family photography is really all about. Capturing the reality of your goofy, imperfectly wonderful family. Grass stains on your toddlers knees won’t be something you will have to worry about for long, so don’t stress over the reality of where your family is. Relax, have fun, be yourselves and remember that your family won’t ever be the same as it is right now, these moments are precious (and sometimes frustrating) and you’re going to love these photos down the road, perfect or not.
Don’t Forget, They Are YOUR Photos
How to coordinate clothing for family photos final and most important tip. The most important thing to remember is that these are YOUR family photos. I will always give my opinion and professional advice to those who want it, but really when the rubber meets the road, they are just another person’s opinions. If you put outfits together for your family that go against my tips and tricks, but you just LOVE how they look, then those are the outfits you should wear! My job is to capture your family the way you see yourselves being photographed, not to make you clothes of other clients or dress you the way I dress my family for photos.
It’s all about you and your journey, and I am here to support and love your family while I take amazing pictures of you doing what you guys do best; Just being yourselves!