Updated: Oct 10
The most frequent question I get from clients after they book their family portrait session is, "What in the world should we wear?" I'm so glad you asked. I absolutely love helping moms pick out their outfits for family photo sessions. I truly believe that if you are investing in family pictures, your outfits should have top priority. After all, who is going to remember what you wore to cousin Todd's wedding three years ago. But what you wore in your family pictures is a DIFFERENT issues all together.... Pictures of you and your sweet family will grace the walls in your house... and probably your mom's house... for years to come. Sending it in a Christmas card? Well then there is an additional 100 people who will be admiring your outfits. Posting on the socials? You just quadrupled that number. Don't fear ... we will get you taken care of.
1. Dress the part. What's the vibe for your session? Are you wanting something formal or casual? Both look great, but it's important that everyone coordinates. Consider your location with this... jeans and sweaters look funny on a beach, but beautiful in a field. Are you having your pictures made in a park during the spring? Avoid greens as they will blend with the folage and grass. In a field? Skip browns. Are you doing a session at home? Dress like you're hanging out at home... relaxed, but cute. Not fancy. Before you decide anything, determining the level of dressiness will make everything else much easier.
2. Moms First. I always tell my clients to choose something THEY feel pretty in. You're the one investing in family pictures... researching family photographers in your area, coordinating the calendar, finding the outfits... so do yourself a favor and start with yourself. If you have had your colors done, choose one of your wow colors. Dress to flatter your figure and wear something that makes you feel confident. Splurge a little here... like I said earlier, your pictures will be shown to your future grandchildren, so choose wisely... no pressure. Yes, the rest of your family is important also. But once you feel confident in your own attire, it's pretty easy to put together everyone else's outfits and hopefully only have to purchase a few additional items. I like to keep dads pretty simple. Sports coats or a 1/4 zip sweet over a button down can help the layered look. Keep dad in neutral colors... after all we don't want him competeing with you!
3. Layer. This is the time to put dad in a sports coat or a sweater. Add cute tights under little Lily's dress or a vest over Henry's button down. Throw on a cardigan or denim jacket (depending on your dressiness level) I'm a family photographer in Oklahoma and layers are helpful because you never know what the weather will be! Add a scarf or extra jewelry. Shoes can add a fun pop of color. This will help everything looked pulled together. While you're add it, make sure there is a good mix of plaid, stripes, florals, patterns... not just solids. Things do not need to be matchy-matchy. Long gone are days of matching family members is khaki pants and black tops.
4. Skip the Influencer hat. You know the one I'm talking about. Yes it's cute, but leave it at home. Fads are fun but have no place in family portraits. Trust me. This will date your pictures faster than anything. Stick to the classics and you will have timeless photographs.
Bethany Good is a lifestyle & portrait family photogrpher in Tulsa, Oklahoma.