What should we wear?
That is what my number one FAQ y’all!
First of all I love style and fashion! I may dress like I am homeless most days, but for real I love styling my clients. I love making people truly feel good about themselves. I love talking a mama into wearing that hot maxi dress that she swears she will look like a balloon in and then showing her the images of her in it and she literally cries because I was right! I have had so many moms tell me that they were so happy I helped them coordinate their family wardrobe. So let me help you with some ideas on what to wear and how to style your family for your next photo session.
Why are our clothing choices so important?
If you are going to spend a small fortune on family photos why would you want to show up in a nike tee and tennis shoes right?
When I first started photography 9 years ago I never focused on wardrobe. I figured knowing how to shoot was the most important aspect. Sure umm that’s a HUGE part of this job clearly, but I trusted my clients would show up looking fabulous for the occasion. I was wrong. Is that their fault? NO WAY! I too learned through the years what looks good in a portrait. I have done extensive research, I have gone through years of trial and error to learn this very key factor in making beautiful images. Point: Your clothing really matters!
Ok, so lets start with what NOT to do.
What should we not wear?
Bright green/Red/pink shirts
Overly matchy outfits
Shirts with visible logos
Ok now that we got that out of the way lets talk fun stuff!
Where should I start Alyssa?
MOM! Always start with yourself mama! I always base the entire session wardrobe around mom. Why? Because here is the deal us moms are always the last person in the shot in the day to day. We always gets shots of the kids with dad, grandma and aunt Ashley. So moms are very dear to my heart. First think about your personal style. What is your favorite color to wear? What outfits make you feel GOOD! I mean what makes you feel really good?!
I love to put moms in midi or maxi dresses with lots of movement and flow. Why? Because lets face it we all have those slight insecurities that we may not want to admit but we have. I have a mommy tummy and love handles myself and I want those hidden from images as much as possible… yes I do!
I refuse to wear tight clothing so I have learned how to dress to hide my insecurities.
Midi and maxis with flow hides the good y’all. They provide movement! If you have seen my work you know I love to make my clients dance and move to get that flow in camera, that real life movement.
My favorite stores and online boutiques to get the very best midi/maxi dresses for your session:
Also if you’re feeling really fancy you can check out Rent the runway!
They are a company who rents out clothing for special occasions.
I promise you that you will look amazing in photos in a dress! Maxi dresses flatter ANY and ALL body types. Keep that in mind. I stay that nothing good EVER comes from your comfort zone. I really push my mamas to step outsize of the skinny jean baggy tee comfort zone and dress up! Dress up and feel good! I promise I got you! I promise you’re in good hands.
I am not saying you have to wear a dress! So don’t get scared. I am saying I think dresses are best in my opinion, but not the only option.
Here you can see the mama Stephanie chose a beautiful sweater, skinny jeans and booties. She looked amazing!
It was also way too cold to wear a dress that night.
She started with her outfit and built out from there.
As you can see they do not match but they coordinate.
Here are a few moms who chose dresses and rocked it!
Alyssa what do I do now that I have picked my outfit?
So you want to focus on coordination not matching. That can sound confusing I know. That is why I am here to help you! I want your entire experience to be as easy and stress free as humanly possible.
Coordinating means you need to bring in different elements and pieces to make it all flow together.
Let me show you a photo example of how I coordinated my own family photos
shot by my friend Cayla of Wild and Grace Photography
Here I started with my beautiful Dakota midi dress I got from Piper and Scoot and I built from there. The dress has hints of blue, white and mustard. I grabbed my boys pants in olive & red from Target. I also got their shirts from Target. The way I coordinated was I took stripes for Avery (don’t be afraid to mix patterns) as you see his stripes and red look AMAZING against my dress. I just steer clear of bright reds/pinks/greens near the face because of color cast. Those suspenders though!! Grab yours here! Oh man those are everything not to mention they were $8 and with prime I got them in 2 days! Kullen’s shirt is just a double shaded gray henley and his navy cardigan I snagged from Amazon for $17. My husband John was the easiest, truly the dads are cake y’all! I did not buy a single new thing for him for this shoot. His outfit is all from American Eagle. Henley’s and Khakis are my go to for men. Then I layered all my boys up. I pulled colors from my dress and added in coordinating shades and pops of color.
LAYERS, LAYERS, LAYERS!
I don’t care what time of year it is you can layer up your outfits.
Don’t be afraid to get wild. It’s so fun! Stripes most definitely pair well with other patterns such as floral, polka dots and plaid.
Moms- Necklaces, arm candy, earrings, cardigans, jean jackets
Dads- Layer up your tees and henley’s, add your favorite watch, light sweater or hat.
Little boys- SUSPENDERS! heheh I really love those! Every shoot we do one of my boys has them on, hats, scarf’s, little jackets
Little girls- Hair bows ( LESS IS MORE) check out these minimal yet so adorable bows here, vests, sweaters, jewelry, hats
Here are some great visual ideas:
OK! Lets talk KIDS!
I am a boy mom and sometimes dressing boys up can be a hard task!
I am really digging colored jeans for boys right now. You can pair them with stripes, solids and jean shirts. You can also throw a plaid shirt with a solid tee with them too! Don’t forget those suspenders, belts, or hats!
Dress your kids in clothing that FITS good. You want them to look more snug than baggy. Think no room to grow. Get a size smaller in jackets and sweaters. (leave the tags on if you must and return them the next day)
SHOES: Please hear me on this. Shoes matter just as much as the rest. Same for mom and dad.
Think in terms of Toms, moccasins, converse, leather or suede boots for boys. Mary-Janes, flats or moccasins for girls.
Socks will also be seen in images so get some really fun striped socks or polka dots! Target has some really cool socks for kids!
You don’t want to lose cohesiveness or throw off the entire session by the shoes. Check out Mon-petit-shoes for the most adorable little girls shoes!
Little girls: Short boots with long frilly socks are to die for with dresses!
If all else fails barefoot is always a perfect option.
THINK TIMELESS in terms of images hanging on your walls. You can’t go wrong with any of these options.
My favorite places to shop for kids.
- Children place
- Addy’s Closet
- Instagram shops #childrensboutique #kidsclothing #childrensfashion #childrensclothing
- Well Dressed Wolf
- Dollcake oh-so-girly
- Vivi and Ash (best little girl dresses ever!)
Also you can go here and rent clothing just for photo sessions! Rainey’s Closet
Everything seen here on my boys was found at Target.
Here are some more examples of what to put on your kiddos.