I'm here to chat with you about pulling together outfits for your photo shoots - something that many people have told me they struggle with. You are spending your hard-earned money to have photos taken, so making sure your outfits are on point is just as important as making sure you don't forget a kid at home on the day.
Planning your outfits in advance and making sure they fit, are comfortable and attractive will help make your shoot go that much smoother. I suggest starting with Mom and then working out from there. Pick one item first. Then you can pull your colors and textures and build up from that starter piece. It's important to coordinate outfits but not match.
1. COORDINATE COLORS BUT NO MATCHING OUTFITS
You want to avoid everyone doing “matchy matchy” clothes. That means don't put the whole family in white shirts and jeans, or 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. 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.
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. Remember, we want 2-4 colors.
When I figure out what I'm missing, I usually make a shopping trip to Old Navy. They have clothing for Mom, Dad and children, so I know I will be able to fill in my clothing gaps with colors that coordinate.
6. 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. 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.
•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, wear more than you usually would so it pops more on camera, or I'd even suggest going to your salon and 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.
• If you have very independent children like my nieces , start the discussion about outfits early and make it seem like it's their idea. Choose a few outfits for them that could work.
* Please make sure to try on your outfit and move around in it. Often times people will pick out their outfits and not realize that when they move the buttons on the dress open
• DON'T wear a baseball cap! It creates shadows on a sunny day which means you cannot see your eyes in photos. Don't wear it on the way to the session either as the hat (toques are acceptable) will often create a red line on dad's forehead.
• Don't wear a bright colors. Unless we are doing an 80's/90s photo shoot bright colors or neon's are better left in the past.
• 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! I also do not recommend wearing clothing with holes or cut outs in them.
• Keep in mind any watches, many people wear fit bits, apple watches and while some have gorgeous bands you can buy for them many people keep the plain ones which ends up clashing with your adorable outfit you worked so hard for.
• Don't wait until the last minute to put your clothing together
Hopefully this has been helpful. Please don't hesitate to reach out if you have options and aren't sure which one is best.
Can't wait to take capture you and your family!
Xoxo Megs (she/her)