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Coordinating your outfits for what to wear for a family photo session can be a daunting task. But it doesn’t have to be! To help guide families through the what to wear task, Family Photographer Carlisle Mae Photography has some of the best what to wear guides, tips, and tricks for you. Follow these top 10 tips for deciding what to wear to your family photo session.

Quick tips for what to wear:

The best choice is for family photos is the clothing that you and your family feel comfortable and confident in. Feeling good is an essential part of planning your family photo outfits. The rest can be adjusted!

  • Dress comfortably
  • Coordinate, don’t matchy-matchy.
  • Avoid too busy of patterns (thin stripes look psychedelic in photos.)

The Traditional Fail-Proof Formula

The general what to wear clothing tip is to follow the traditional fail-proof formula. This what to wear advice is to put your family in different neutral shades (i.e. ivory, gray, beige) and then add a few pops of coordinating color. Keep in mind that you should always have at least two colors in your color scheme to avoid everyone blending into each other. If everyone is in white and piled on top of each other, it’s hard to see where one person ends and the next begins.

Start with Yourself. Or the Pickest Person.

When wondering what to wear to your Family Photo Session, try starting with you. Starting with your own outfit makes it easier to find something you’re guaranteed to feel comfortable in. What color do you like on yourself? What patterns are you opposed to? Why style or flow will you be more comfortable in? If you’re a go with the flow type of person, try starting with the pickest or hardest person to dress.

If your husband or daughter is pickier about their wardrobe choices, maybe consider starting with her. You want everyone to feel like themselves in their family session outfit. When everyone is comfortable in their outfit no one will be stuck in their own subconscious, focusing on their appearance the entire time. Starting with mom or daughter’s outfit also makes it easier to coordinate, since women’s clothing tends to have more colors and prints.

Compliment, don’t match.

As much as we all love the matchy-matchy outfits from adorable mom and me boutiques, the day of matchy matchy in photos are long past! For your family outfits, you want colors and patterns that generally complement each other. For instance, soft colors (light blue, gray, blush) or warm colors (brown, orange, burgundy), If you want colorful images, then you should choose a more vivid color scheme for your outfits!

Play it safe, wear solids.

Pops of patterns can definitely look great, but if you’re looking for a fail-proof family combination, go with solids. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with all solids for family picture outfits. To keep things from looking boring, you can include textures (think chunky knits, tulle, lace, etc). You should always avoid tiny prints, especially small plaid and small stripes since they photograph weird.

Forget Outfit Changes!

Don’t make things more complicated than they need to be! All you need for an awesome family session is one outfit for everyone. Changing outfits will take time away from your shoot and can put everyone in a grumpy mood.

Consider Your Home Decor.

What to wear to a family photo session? Well, consider where you intend on displaying your images. If you’re planning to hang your images in your living room that’s decorated in all white, you probably don’t want your clothing to be dark. If you’re hanging them in a colorful nursery, then wear vivid outfits. You can coordinate your outfit choices based on where the images will be displayed.

Plan for the Weather.

Nothing is worse than being miserably uncomfortable in a perfect outfit. Earth’s weather can sometimes be unpredictable. If you’re planning an outdoor session in November, consider what or if any coats, gloves, and hats will be worn.

Remember Layers!

You see these adorable photos on Pinterest of families in the cutest holiday outfit without their winter coat, in a snow-filled tree farm, and wonder, how aren’t they cold?!

Well, layers.

The key to winter sessions is layers. This is how families get away with not wearing their winter coats in their winter family sessions. While layering, always keep your under layers TIGHT. This is how you avoid the bulky look. Men can follow this same technique too! Carlisle Mae Photography tells all her families to have their men/boys wear tights under their clothes and assures them that no one will even know!

In the summer, dress in layers that you can easily take off if you get too hot.

Don’t Forget Shoes.

These are often a forgotten element for what to wear in family photos. But shoes can really make or break your outfits! If you can’t find shoes you love, consider going barefoot (just bring walking shoes to get from point A to point B). Speaking of point A to point B, consider the conditions your photo sessions location. You don’t want to wear stiletto heels if you’re going to a sunflower patch the day after a big rainstorm. Also, steer away from athletic shoes and bright white sneakers.

Style Guide

Still feel lost on what to wear to a family photo session? Consider hiring a stylist or allowing your photographer to be your style guide. Most family photographers are happy to help give guidance to anyone questioning what to wear.

Carlisle Mae Photography offers help through her blog with what to wear outfits selected straight from Amazon.

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