When I decided to start my photography business, I had no idea that being a personal wardrobe consultant would be part of the job. But I love it!
I learned pretty quickly that most clients - including children, families, and seniors want and need help on what to wear before their photo sessions. This is so important because educating clients on what DOES look good and what DOESN'T look good will REALLY HELP everything come together for beautiful finished photos!
Here are 7 steps to coordinate outfits for a family photoshoot.
1. COORDINATE COLORS BUT NO MATCHING OUTFITS
You want to avoid everyone doing “matchy matchy” clothes. That means no white shirts and jeans, no tan pants and blue shirts and nobody wearing the same color on top. Instead, you want them to coordinate colors. 2-4 colors that go well together is ideal!
2. TRY TO CHOOSE A SEASONAL COLOR COMBINATION
There are basic color combinations that work for each season. To know which colors are being worn in each season, I suggest looking up Pantone Colors, with the year and season. Each year they predict the colors that are trending. I also love using Pinterest to help get a better idea of groups of colors that coordinate well together.
3. START WITH A FAVORITE ARTICLE OF CLOTHING
I usually suggest clients first look through their wardrobe and find one article of clothing that is their favorite. This can be a solid color or a pattern. Plaid and argyle are great patterns to use in photos because they incorporate at least 3 colors which can be used to build your outfits around.
Here are some clothing choice ideas that would be great to build and coordinate around:
4. COORDINATE OUTFITS AROUND YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF CLOTHING
Now that you’ve chosen your first article of clothing, you can build all of the other outfits around it, using colors that coordinate well together.
To do this, take your one piece of clothing and start going through your other clothes that you already own. Chances are, you have some that will coordinate well.
5. FILL IN THE MISSING PIECES
After you’ve pulled the clothes that you currently have together, start looking at the gaps that need to be filled in. I like to lay all the pieces on my bed and look at everything together. That way, I get a clear idea of what I still need.
Now it’s time for accessories - I love this part!
Let’s say the clothes above are what I need to find accessories for. The accessories below would be perfect for pulling these clothes together.
This includes jewelry for mom and a flower crown for daughter that coordinates with the clothes. Notice mom has a mint skirt but the jewelry I chose has more of a peachy/pink color because I want it to coordinate with daughter’s dress.
7. DON'T FORGET THE SHOES
Shoes do matter!
You don’t want to show up to your photoshoot looking gorgeous in your clothes but ruin your look with your 10 year old sandals that clearly show their age.
But you also probably don’t want to spend a lot of money on shoes if you don't have to.
I get it! So, again, look through what you have. If shoes need to be cleaned up or scuff marks taken out, do that to bring new life into them and make sure to choose shoes that are right for your outfits.
BONUS FAMILY PHOTOSHOOT TIPS:
Here are some quick Do's and Don'ts you can also pass along to your clients before their photoshoot. With these tips, they will be able to do their part to ensure beautiful family photos!
- Have either a fresh coat of nail polish on your nails that coordinates with your outfit or don’t have any nail polish on at all. You don’t want chipped nail polish.
- Wear makeup even if you don’t normally. If you don’t usually wear makeup, use a tinted moisturizer and mascara. This will help even your skin tone and make your eyes pop a little bit. If you do normally wear makeup, I suggest adding on one of our glam squad girls for getting professional makeup and hair done. It’s so fun to pamper yourself and know you will look even more amazing! For children and dads, they get off easy!
- Bring along makeup for touch ups. And bring your brush and hairspray just in case!
- Make sure everyone's hair is done. If family members need a haircut, do it a week before the session. That way they have time to get used to it and how to style it.
- Don't wear a bright colored bra. I always tell clients to wear a nude color bra and if they will be wearing spaghetti straps or any clothing where their bra straps can be seen make sure their bra is strapless. Trust me ladies, this is important! I’ve been a victim of this myself before! Photoshopping it out, just takes longer to receive your photos!
- Don't show up with chipped nail polish. I know that was mentioned in the DO’s, it’s just that important!
- Don’t wear clothing with characters, logos, or anything splashed all over the clothing that detracts from your family. This means no Dora, no Nike Swoosh sign across a shirt and no light up shoes. Keep those at home!
- Don't wait until the last minute to put your clothing together.