You've managed to find the perfect day among conflicting work, sports and celebration schedules for family photos. You've booked the date, picked a beautiful sunset hour and the forecast is currently predicting clear skies. All that's left?
Picking out what. to. wear.
Possibly the most daunting task of them all, OR the best excuse ever for a shopping spree! Either way, I am here to help you make the most out of your investment!
Let's take a look at a couple things to consider before you even look in your closet.
1. What is the end goal for these photographs? Probably a gallery on the wall of your home featuring your all-time favorites from your session, right?! Let's say you've been channeling your inner Joanna G. and your home is looking more farmhouse chic by the minute. What kind of style and color choices would look the best to complete your living room makeover vision? Or if your favorite color is yellow and you have this happy, sunny color throughout your home and then your outfit colors are cool tone blacks, grey and red... You get my drift, right? It's gonna look funky.
2. Aside from the location the final prints will be displayed, let's also consider the location the photos will be getting taken in the first place. Did you pick an urban, downtown background? Your cowgirl boots may look out of place. A field of wild violets? That red leather jacket looks awesome I'm sure, just...not there.
Okay, now that we have our locations in mind, you probably have a little clearer vision of what will and won't work. So let's move on to picking some things out.
3. You've probably already heard to coordinate your outfits, instead of having everyone *match* in blue jeans and white shirts. But I want to make it clear that coordinating can and should be more than picking a 1-2 color scheme, or really...you're just back to matching. Just not to the jeans/shirt extreme. I went and looked up the definition of coordinate, and it's as follows: "Bring the different elements of a complex activity or organization into a relationship that will ensure efficiency or harmony." See that? Complex! But organized and in harmony. You can bring in 4, 5, 6 colors... just so long as they don't butt heads with each other. Does that make sense?
To keep a cohesive, harmonized look, keep not only your color coordination, but your casual to dressiness among the group, at the same level. In the "bad" image below, the guys outfits don't necessarily look bad together color-wise, but the little guy is dressed to the nines where dad is rocking a casual look. No harmony there. 4.5 I also want you to take note of something in the image below that may seem minor, but can really mess up that dressiness equality we're going for. (Hint: Little guy's shoes and socks are totally throwing a curve ball)
5. Patterns add interest and usually multiple colors at once to your outfit choices. Which is great! But if everyone is wearing a pattern, that can be a little too busy for the eyes. When you're maxed out on patterns, try adding visual interest with textures and layering as well. A scarf, a statement necklace, colored shoes, ruffles, etc. There are lots of different ways to add "pattern" other than prints.
6. Speaking of too much busy for the eyes...large logos, pictures or characters splashed across your clothing can be a very distracting element to a photograph. We want the focus to be on *your* face, not Minnie Mouses!
7. Okay, you have these things in mind, but...where to start?! Personally, I always start with the hardest person to dress. And for my family that's...me! It's so important to wear something you feel like a million bucks in, and I'm the pickiest of my family when it comes to that! Once I find something I'm ready to rock out in, I build off of that. Find a piece you're in *love* with, whether for yourself, your significant other or a little one, and begin to add pieces from there.
Let's look at a few more examples of how a little coordination really goes a long way in making a great image!
I mean, they're obviously cute as buttons either way, right? But way more Pinterest-able in photo two!
I'm not saying she's not slaying in that dress on the left. But he has got to take it up a notch to stay in the game, yeah?!
Okay, yeah, the magical backlighting on the better image is helping too, I know, but you can still see how the outfits are majorly impacting!
That wraps up my tips and tricks for choosing outfits! I know these are family session examples, but the principles here can be applied to photo shoots of any type!
If you're stuck and feel like you need style advice or just aren't sure...PLEASE feel free to reach out and text me photos of your outfits for my input. I promise it's no bother and I would love to help you!