What should we wear?
There is no right way to style your family for photos. Ultimately you want to wear whatever makes you feel beautiful! If you feel confident in your outfit, then that will shine through and I promise you'll look great.
That being said, here are a few tips if you're looking for some guidance:
Coordinate, but don't match
Everyone wearing the same jeans and white t-shirt for their photos is one '90's trend that hasn't come back. You want your outfits to work together without all being exactly the same.
Earthy colors, not neons
Some people look amazing in bright neon colors. The only problem is that neons and bright, bold primary colors can leave a color cast on your skin - which isn't ideal for your photos. Earthy tones (rust, ocher, mauve, burgundy, olive, cream, etc) photograph beautifully in a natural environment, as do pastels in the spring time. Consider balancing out bolder colors with softer neutrals; for example, one family member wears a solid tan, grey, or cream color, while another wears a bold burgundy and the third wears a pattern that pulls from the burgundy and brings in some yellow ocher. The possibilities are endless!
Patterns and textures
To add some visual interest to your photos, include a mixture of solids and patterns. Smaller patterns work best, as large/loud patterns can sometimes distract from your beautiful faces. Considering a variety of textures in your clothing is another way to add depth and personality. In fact, if you're drawn to a limited color palette for your family of just two colors, making sure to incorporate different textures or details such as ruffling, bows, lace, embroidery, cashmere, corduroy, smocking, etc. will add interest to your outfits while keeping them cohesive. And if you're drawn to lots of pattern and color, make sure you have at least one solid to anchor them, and keep the patterns small.
Fabrics that move with you
Choose clothes that let you move around and feel great about yourself. If you're worried about your shirt riding up or your dress shifting awkwardly, then it will be harder to relax and focus on your family. Same thing for your children - if you squeeze them into stiff formal wear that they hate, their misery will show. It's much better to find something they feel comfortable in (and that works with your color scheme).
Pro tip - For babies and young kids who wear dresses, make sure they're also wearing bloomers or bike shorts to cover up diapers and undergarments when they're sitting or being tossed upside down.
Wait, don't forget about your shoes! There is such a range of shoe styles out there that I won't even begin to try to tell you what to wear. But I will remind you to make note of your kid's shoes and avoid the everyday dirty sneakers with neon laces/logos/lights. A simple brown shoe or boot is a popular alternative for a lot of boys, and girls can get away with just about any sandal/shoe/boot that isn't the aforementioned sneaker eyesore. Whatever anyone wears, just make sure you can all comfortably walk or run around in it. And if barefoot is more your style, then toss those shoes to the side and let's start the fun!
Still don't know where to start?
If you're feeling overwhelmed, here's your plan: Start with your own outfit. Pick something you feel amazing in. Treat yourself to something new if you want! Then use your outfit as the starting point to plan for your partner and kids. Include one solid for every two patterns. Avoid neon colors, bright primary colors, logos and words. Make sure everyone feels comfortable in their clothes, and I promise it will all come together. And if you have a session coming up and would like some help, please send me a note and I'll happily help figure out a plan.