Everyone loves family pictures! Well everyone besides dad, let's be honest... haha. However, it can sometimes feel daunting to find and coordinate everyone's outfits. I'm here to help! At Addie Marie Photography I love helping my clients come up with their wardrobe for pictures. Here is a guide that can help you in planning for your session.
First decide what style and feel are you are going for in your portraits. Consider the location of the photos and then let your true colors shine.Do you want it to be elegant and classy- think pretty dress, tailored jacket with tie, etc... Do you want it to be rustic and adventuresome- think skinny jeans, snow hat, plaid. Once you decide the feel you want to accomplish then you can pick the outfits. Also this is your time to shine so you can totally get away with wearing something that you normally wouldn't- a sequined gown, tutu, hats, gloves, etc... And... you can always go more on makeup and do your hair even higher than normal, going a little more than you normally would in real life photographs beautifully. For men, we will do some sitting poses so make sure your pants are long enough or that you have patterned "fun" socks to showcase.
2. Matching is out. Coordinating is in.
Coordinating color is what really brings wardrobe together. I recommend choosing two to three main colors to work with, and then one accent pop of color. This will give you more flexibility when it comes to dressing the entire family. It will also really make your pictures pop! Everyone wearing the same colored shirt or pants looks a bit awkward and outdated. You want to coordinate, NOT match. Also, keep in mind it is totally okay to mix solids, plaids, stripes, etc… Expression is important. We want to see your personality through your wardrobe.
3. Steer clear of fluorescents
Fluorescent colors tend to color cast on faces, necks and hair. They’re harsh sometimes. I always recommend versions of primary colors. Yellow (mustard), red (maroon, brick), and blue (navy, royal). Also, stay away from wearing a lot of green when having photos taken in grassy/wooded areas. It’s just too much green. Green as an accent color is great, though! You want to stand out amongst all the greenery you’re surrounded by.
4. Find a favorite piece.
When you begin your shopping, look for a piece that you simply cannot live without! This may be a top that you feel absolutely fabulous in, or a plaid button up for your son that will make your heart melt, or maybe even an adorable little floral print dress for your little princess. Whatever that piece may be, commit to it and work from there. It’s natural for me to find the mother’s outfit first. As moms, we tend to forget about ourselves in the planning and we become an afterthought. Of course you want your kids to look cute, but you deserve to look and FEEL awesome in your pictures! Trust me. Take that time for YOU. You won’t regret it!! Then work your color scheme around it.
5. Flattering your features
We all have certain body parts that we may be a little more insecure about. Rather than focusing on that, find what you feel confident in and what flatters your figure. For instance if you’re self conscious about your stomach (like me), wear a shorter dress that will show off your legs and heels that will elongate your body and make you look fabulous. Men look most masculine in well fitted pants and closed toed shoes.
6. Layer, layer layer!
Layers add dimension and depth. In the summer? Layer your dress with a cute belt and pendant necklace. In the fall and winter? cardigans, belts, statement necklaces, scarves, hats, blazers, etc. Mix it up. Do not be afraid to mix prints and textures. Or styles for that matter! For example: You could choose a piece with polka dots and a piece with stripes. You could put a denim top with a corduroy pant. Your prints and textures don’t always have to come from your main pieces. You can jazz up a dress with printed or textured tights. Or dress up a t-shirt with colored or patterned suspenders. From here, you can go a step further and start mixing “styles.” For example, I might have a client wear a plaid button up, a blazer and a slouchie beanie (mixing dressy and grunge) or a short a-line skirt, blousy top, and military style boots (mixing edgy and chic). By doing so, you will begin to showcase the different styles and personalities of each member of the shoot.
7. Purchase clothes to fit. And fit well.
I know we all have a hard time buying clothes for our kiddos that don’t leave a lot of room for growth, seeing as they do grow so fast. However, keep in mind that for pictures, too large of a polo shirt, saggy ill-fitting jeans or a jacket that’s falling off the shoulders looks sloppy. You’ll be purchasing outfits specifically for pictures, most likely, so choose something that fits perfectly, or even just a little bit snug. Make it look almost tailored. Go a size smaller in jackets, cardigans or blazers. A too-big jean jacket will not compliment shape. It hides hips and waist for moms. If you typically wear a size medium jacket, try on the small. Even if it’s just a little snug in the shoulders, it should lay nicely around your hips and waist, creating a tailored look. Also, stray away from character tees and flip flops.
8. Don’t forget shoes, hair and makeup…
Shoes are a very important part of wardrobe. If you have the cutest little trousers and button down for your son to wear for pictures, but slap his favorite pair of Disney tennis shoes on him, it makes the whole look lose cohesiveness. Stay away from character shoes, flip flops, crocs. My recommendation for shoes are boots, Sperrys, Converse All-Stars, Toms, leather sandals, Joyfolie, Mary Janes, and Willits. And always, barefoot is an adorable option, especially with babies. I’d much rather see bare feet than the bottom of their shoes. Likewise make sure everyones hair is combed, gelled, sprayed and beautiful. If your clueless when it comes to hair (like me), feel free to seek out a professional for help with your hair and makeup before a session. I promise you won’t regret it. Floppy hats, fedoras, headbands and hairpieces are fun accessories to incorporate as well.
Favorite Places to SHOP:
1. Rent the Runway- See picture below of the gorgeous green dress I rented! Incredible site where you can rent clothes. *My favorite for beautiful gowns and dresses that I wouldn’t spend full price on but is totally feasible to rent for a few days. As a bonus I try to make pictures the same weekend as a formal event or birthday so I can wear it twice. =) * $$-$$$$
2. Gap and Old Navy-They provide a great option for “basics.” Just about anything you’d need, you’ll find on their website. They frequently offers sales and discounts if you sign up for their email list, plus their sale rack prices are amazing! $$-$$$
3. Anthropologie-It’s a little bit more on the expensive side, but the clothes are quality, unique and last forever. $$$$
4. TJ Maxx- Incredible deals on all kinds of awesome pieces for the whole family! $-$$$
5. H&M-I consider H&M the holy grail for all things boy and men. You can shop in store or online and their price point is crazy low, for super cute clothes and accessories. Their trouser pants are around $10 and are amazing quality.Also, the cutest little cardigans, sweaters, button downs and other great accessories for super low prices. Keep in mind that H&M is great for little boy stuff and men $-$$
6. Forever21-Cute clothes for women of all sizes (and men!) on the cheap. Take someone with you if you choose to shop in-store. It’s a little overwhelming. But honestly, they have some amazing wardrobe choices and the best (cheapest) jewelry that won’t break the bank. $-$$
7. Target- Target has really stepped up their clothing, accessory and shoe game. Pretty much anything you need, you can find here. Not to mention you can shop in your pjs online. =)
8. Nordstrom Rack-Great finds for men and women, SHOES- all my favorite shoes come from Nordstrom, accessories and they even have some kids stuff. Lots of name brand and designer finds. $$-$$$$
9. Catch-alls- Consignment (Once Upon a Child, Max and Marley, Sweet Repeats). Garage Sales. Ross, Ebay. Zulily. Hand-me-downs. Possibly even your photographer’s closet! Always keep your eyes peeled! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
Favorite Places to Buy Kids Clothes:
Janie and Jack(even if you don’t buy from them go look at their outfits and see how cute they pair things) This is by far my favorite clothing store for boys and matching outfits. They have the CUTEST bow ties, hats, trousers… Obsessed! $$$$
Target- Target has really stepped up their clothing, accessory and shoe game. Their Cat and Jack line is adorable for kids. Pretty much anything you need, you can find here. Not to mention you can shop in your pjs online. =)
H&M-I consider H&M the holy grail for all things boy and men. You can shop in store or online and their price point is crazy low, for super cute clothes and accessories. Their trouser pants are around $10 and are amazing quality.Also, the cutest little cardigans, sweaters, button downs and other great accessories for super low prices. Keep in mind that H&M is great for little boy stuff and men $-$$
Gap and Old Navy- They provide a great option for “basics.” Just about anything you’d need, you’ll find on their website. They frequently offers sales and discounts if you sign up for their email list, plus their sale rack prices are amazing! $$-$$$
Jcrew-Their Crew Cuts kids line is everything! Also, their shoe selection for kids alone makes me giddy. $$$$ https://www.jcrew.com/kids-clothing.jsp
Dollcake Oh So Girly- Fancy dresses for girls. This store is based in Australia so you would need to order in advance or buy off a resale site in the US. $$$$
Pernickety, Matilda Jane, Mud Pie– Cute Boutique looking clothing for little girls- Seriously the CUTEST! $$$$
Rent clothes from Raineys Closet- https://www.raineyscloset.com/$$-$$$$
Fleuranddot- One of the most adorable girls clothing you’ll ever find if you’re vintage-inspired in your look. Hands down. $$$$
Joyfolie-Shoes, shoes, glorious shoes! For girls and women. Breathtaking dresses, jackets, caplets. Moms will thank me for this. Husbands, notsomuch. $$$$