Righto, I’m going to start out by saying I know full well what it’s like to be a busy mum with kids. I understand that finding the right Photographer and booking the session can be time consuming enough, without adding to it by worrying about what everyone’s going to wear and how to co-ordinate outfits for the entire family...but the thing is, you really should consider and plan for this if you all want to be looking tippity top 👌. If you’re not bothered too much by it then that’s totally fine. It’s YOUR session, you can wear whatever you like but if you’re feeling uncertain and would like some guidance, keep reading.
Alright, here’s some things I’d personally consider avoiding:
- Giant logos (they’re distracting in family photos).
- Neon colours (again, they’re distracting and not too many people can pull them off)
- Matching outfits
- Large amounts of bright red & orange (can be overpowering and tricky colours to edit)
- White is fine but if you’re the only one in the family wearing a crisp white shirt and everyone else is dressed in darker tones, just know that you’ll be the star of the show 😉
- Patterns are awesome but if every member of the family is wearing one then your pictures could end up looking like a kaleidoscope.
Clothing choices matter a great deal to the overall look and feel of your images. If you’re wanting bright, poppy images, then consider wearing bright, poppy colours. I’m not suggesting to rock up looking like a family rainbow but add in some splashes of colour - a colourful necklace, scarf, hat etc. This is particularly good if your session is in winter, or on an overcast day. It’s impossible to control the light and weather but it is possible to adjust your wardrobe.
It’s also important to consider the location of the session. If it’s outdoors with tonnes of green grass and trees about then I’d probably look to the opposite side of the colour wheel so you stand out from the environment. Think mustard yellow, burgundy, muted mauves, dark dusty pinks, cool bluey-greys, browny-beige....even just splashes of these colours using accessories can make a big difference to your photos amongst all the green. Black is fine but I’d break it up with some colour.
Be yourself, find something you like and that you’re comfortable wearing but bump it up a notch. Most families I photograph typically want to display the images in their home, so it’s important to look your best! You want to look at your photographs with pride and be happy to share them.
Pinterest is great for inspiration- search ‘clothing ideas for family photography session’ and find a look that’ll work for you and your family. When you’ve selected your outfits lay them all out on the bed together (I suggest doing this well before your session), that way you’ve time to change it up if there’s something that’s not working for you. If you’re not sure, take a pic and send it through to your Family Photographer. Whilst it takes some planning and preparation it will save you a lot of time and stress on the day of your shoot.
Here’s a link to a Pinterest board I’ve put together for clothing / colour palette inspo....
Images below are from a family photo session I shot earlier in the year during Summer. Mum did a bang on job. We collaborated. She sent through ideas. Her choices were well considered. The family mesh together beautifully without being matchy because she stuck to a complimentary colour palette, whilst breaking it up with the use of pattern in her girls clothes. They stand out from the environment without being too overpowering. The result? beautiful family pics! Good job mum :)