Making your family photo session stress free: what to wear

Well, it’s that time of year again where many of you are updating your family photos and thinking ahead to Christmas cards. It’s a busy and exciting time of year with a new school year in full swing and fall sports making life busy!! Add the stress of family photos into that and life can get a bit craaazy!! This post is the first in a three part series on how to make YOUR family photo session stress FREE!! (or at least a little less stressful;) )

As a busy mama of three myself, I’m pretty sure that I know the #1 thing you are stressing about when it comes to family photos…WHAT TO WEAR!! Am I right?! After several years of planning our own family pictures, as well as helping a number of clients I have a few simple tips to help take the stress out of this BIG question.

1.Pick colors that YOU (the one organizing and planning the session) feel good in!  Let’s be honest, if you have little kids then they probably aren’t too concerned about the colors they are in, you on the other hand probably have some preferences. Make sure your outfit is one that you feel confident in and feel reflects who you are.

Ask yourself..would I wear this in real life?? Would I wear it to a wedding or out on a date with my husband?  If the answer is NO, then chances are good you are not going to love how you look in the photos!

Often times picking colors for our outfits starts with a specific item of clothing that I know I want to use and then I work around that. This year I knew that I wanted our girls to wear these beautiful and brightly colored dresses for pictures, so the rest of our wardrobes all worked around those.


2. Don’t be too Matchy, Matchy! Instead work on coordinating your outfits. Try to avoid having everyone in exactly the same thing). While completely matching one another may provide simple and easy outfit planning, incorporating visual interest through pops of color is going to enhance your photos.

Choose two to three complementary colors and build your outfits around those.  My girls dresses had bright pinks and oranges with little pops of turquoise. Playing off of that I wore a turquoise shirt and earrings that coordinated with their dresses. To avoid having too much going on my husband and son wore more neutral colors- grey for my husband and a blue/chambray shirt for my son. All of our outfits coordinate and work together, without being overly “matchy” or ( or being “twinsies” as my girls call it!!)

Here is another great example coordinating your outfits as opposed to matching. Notice that the same colors are repeated, but no one is wearing exactly the same thing.

October 18, 2014-IMG_0793

3. Lay it all out ahead of time so you can see it. This one is hugely helpful for me! I always lay out our outfits on the bed as I’m planning. This allows me to see how it all looks next to each other. Sometimes you will find that what you had planned out in your head doesn’t look so great once it’s next to each other.


4. Don’t be afraid to play with texture and layers or thrown in a wild card! Since we did our pictures in the summer we didn’t have any layers to work with, but I did thrown in a few extra things like my earrings, and necklace and my daughters’ hair bows. If you are doing pictures in colder weather then enjoy the option of layering, with boots, scarves, jackets, etc.

And I love throwing in a “wild card”! This year my daughters’ dresses were bright enough that we didn’t need to, but some great ways to thrown in an unexpected pop of color are with a great statement necklace, a scarf, or even shoes! I love, love, love this shoe picture from one of my clients last fall! The red boots and christmas socks are just THE perfect pop of color and unexpected wild card in these outfits!

ventura county family and senior photographer

5.  Most importantly, feel good in what you wear! You will be confident and more at ease in front of the camera if you feel good about what you are wearing!! Choose clothing that compliments your best features and makes you feel beautiful. Ultimately, family photos are about capturing the joy and moments that are so important to telling YOUR story. Don’t let stress over what to wear outshine the love and connection that you share!

Keep an eye out for the next post in this series- Making your family photo sessions stress free: What to bring to your session

Still need to book your fall family session?? It’s not too late! I have a limited number of fall sessions available!

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