This question is the one I get asked pretty much every time I take a booking – what do I wear? It is a tricky one and I struggle with it myself when I have my own family photographs taken. You feel the pressure to get it right because you are going to be looking at these photographs on your wall for years to come. So what are the tricks to keeping your outfits classic and timeless I hear you ask? Well keep reading and hopefully I can relieve a little bit of the stress for you.
First things first, you don’t have to be a trend setter and you don’t have to have all the money in the world for the best brands because the most important thing is that you are comfortable. You are not going to have the fun that I hope you do in your session if you are concerned with a tight fitting skirt or short dress or some frill or collar is annoying your neck, hence keeping it simple is best.
Do not feel the pressure of going out and buying something new because I am sure that there is almost always something in your and your family’s wardrobe that will suit perfectly and you can feel comfortable in. Anything new and not worn in might translate as being stiff in your photos and you may not know how it feels to wear it and as a result will make things look and feel uncomfortable.
My sessions are always fun and carefree so simple dresses or skirts, jeans and t shirts, v-necks, cardigans and other layering pieces like scarves & jackets. For kids, I would recommend leggins or jeans, shorts, t shirts, pants, simple dresses or skirts. Stick to soft cottons or other soft materials. Just keep it real because there will be running around, there will be possibly jumping on beds, there will be sitting on the ground and perhaps getting a little dirty so just keep it casual.
With babies, just simple cotton onesies, singlets or t shirts & leggings are best. Please no jeans for babies as babies don’t wear jeans and I also find that babies lose their necks in shirts so please avoid shirts with collars too. Detailed or frilly outfits also just make the baby look all drowned in material. Make sure the baby’s clothes fit perfectly and sometimes even going down a size is better so that things do not look too big on them.
You can definitely mix up patterns. Animal prints, checks & stripes are all ok but keep them on a smaller scale if there are a group of you. Colour is key in my eyes. Although neutral colours and tones are nice for newborn sessions (as is colour in newborn sessions too – don’t get me wrong) but I would definitely recommend pops of colour in family sessions. You can do this in your items of clothing or also in your accessories such as hats, belts, socks, scarves, fun glasses & jewellery or bring in a big pop of colour in shoes or gumboots.
Sometimes it is nice to pick a dress or skirt or something flowy for the mum that would show movement if she twirled (yes there may be twirling!) and then co-ordinate the rest of the family around mum’s outfit as it might have different colours or patterns within it.
If you are confused with a colour scheme, take a look around your home. Is your house light and airy and neutral toned? Maybe softer colours so the photographs blend in nicely with your decor or if you have a brightly coloured house, then go nuts with colour my friends.
Unfortunately there are definitely a few important “no’s”. These few things really do take away from your photographs so please avoid these and I guarantee I will be able to make the most out of your session:
No logo wording on anyone’s clothing. No Rip Curl or Elwood or Holden in huge letters on a t shirt. And definitely no favorite characters on children’s clothing. Keep the Frozen tights and Monster Truck t shirts at home. These can really ruin a photograph because your eye just tends to go directly to the logo or character and really steers the focus away from you.
Finally, please please pretty please no matchy matchy. Please do not put everyone in blue jeans and white tops or all black as this is a trend that has been done and I am sorry, it is very very dull. We need to move on from that because we are all our individual selves and we need to dress accordingly. Be yourself. Let your kids be themselves and you will shine through as you should in your photographs.
For future inspiration, you could check out my Pinterest Board here or if you are intent on going shopping, below are some brands and clothing stores I like and would recommend but of course, always remember to shop local where you can. And please do not hesitate to run any clothing choices by me as I am only too happy to help. Happy styling!
Jazala Lifestyle Boho Luxe Store
Dear Blackbird Boutique
Feather & Noise
Cartel & Willow
Frankie & Co
Scotch & Soda
Spell & The Gypsy
Auguste The Label