I know firsthand that coordinating outfits for your session can be stressful, overwhelming, and sometimes expensive! I'm here to help. I've written down some basic rules that I think will ease the process altogether. If you need further suggestions, I got you. Feel free to send me photos of different outfits you're thinking of and I can help narrow it down to the ones I feel would be the most flattering, soft, and complimenting. Now let's get down to it!
Don't all match
My first suggestion is to find a color palette you're interested in (Pinterest or Google can be helpful for this), and choose different patterns and variations of those colors to style your outfits. A bonus tip is to start with the kiddos, then go from there. My personal preference is to dress my daughter in a pattern, then find color-matching neutrals for my husband and I.
Consider your own personal style
While you can find great inspiration posts on Pinterest, don't get too caught up in coordinating outfits that aren't really you.Take a look around your house and consider home decor. Since you'll likely be hanging some photos up on your walls, pick outfits to compliment that. Are you a bright, vibrant decorator? Or do you love more neutral tones? This might help ease the process a bit.
The little things matter
Find accessories that will compliment your outfit choices. Something as simple as a cute jean jacket, styled hair, or a hat can really enhance the mood of your photos. This is so important! I have some cute baby girl accessories on hand (from my daughter), and some hats and other clothing from my own closet. I love letting clients borrow things to use for their photos, so don't be shy about asking!
Give thrifting a chance
I know it's not everyone's cup of tea, but if you're worried about the money aspect of styling your session, I would recommend hitting up your local Goodwill or Arc store. I found my purple dress for our family photos at Goodwill for FIVE DOLLARS. I got so many questions about it. It was the perfect color I was looking for, boho-inspired, and floral. I also find several pieces for my daughter like her sweater romper that I took her Easter photos in. I should also highlight some inspiration from tip #3 about accessorizing - I'm a huge fan of bows, flowers behind the ear, hats, and layers!
Avoid wearing straight black & white
I totally understand that black can be flattering! I think it can add a classic and timeless touch to your photos. If you plan on wearing black or white, try to mix in some patterns, dress other members in color, or add pops of grey so that your photos have some depth and variety!
Dress for the season & location
One of the most important things to consider is the season we will be shooting in. Spring and summer call for pops of mauve, yellow, purple, and soft pastels. Fall and winter bring out burgundy, navy, red, green, and colors on the dark-neutral spectrum. Layering is possible for all seasons! In the warmer months, think of kimonos, thin cardigans, knee-high socks for the littles, and lace bralettes. Cooler months call for jackets, boot socks, scarves, and thicker cardigans. If we will be shooting downtown, think of more sophisticated/formal wear. If we are going to a park or somewhere in the mountains, think nice jeans and more of a casual feel.
Shoes can REALLY make or break the mood of your photos. I'm not just a 'from the torso and up' type of photographer. I love a variety of positions like some good sitting down shots (where most of the time your shoes will be showing), and some walking shots as well. Wear some cute Timberlands or boots for a winter session or comfy & cute wedges in the summer. For certain locations in the summer, barefoot is even an option for certain poses. For the guys, throw on some professional, classy, or nice looking footwear - don't just wear sneakers, I promise your woman will thank you later!
You will cherish your photos for a long time. Some of my best advice is to pick outfits that aren't super trendy and will be enjoyed for the time to come. Pick from organic color palettes where you can still incorporate your own personality with accessories.
Bring another outfit
Can't decide on an outfit? Bring two! Sessions usually last about an hour which is more than enough time to do an outfit change if you want to. I encourage it!
I recommend choosing your outfits almost immediately after booking! This way if you need to order clothing, you're not stressing about when it will get to you before your session. I also suggest dressing everyone up beforehand just to make sure you like it. There have been several times I've found clothing for my daughter that doesn't quite fit my expectation after I put it on her. I'm happy to help and I'm always an email or phone call away. Best of luck! I can't wait for our session together.