Elaine Dieball Photography {Antelope Valley Family & Boudoir Photographer} » Elaine Dieball Photography - couples. boudoir. families.

What to Wear for Family Pictures

I’m so proud of you for deciding to take family pictures! It’s amazing how long people neglect to take photos and yet people value photographs of loved ones only second to the loved ones themselves! It’s really just a race to capture time. Your little ones change from day to day it seems. Baby skin toughens. Knuckle dimples give way to slim fingers. Dimply, roll-y thighs give way to skinny jeans (and, in my case, back to dimply, roll-y thighs…is that TMI? lol) Sesame Street gives way to unlimited texting plans and before you know it, those babies are up, grown and gone!

That being said, if you’ve finally booked your session, you still might feel a little heebly-jeebly about deciding what to wear for your family pictures. Here’s a few quick and easy tips on how to select your wardrobe.

The List

  1. You can compliment without photocopying. You DON’T have to dress in all white, all black, all anything. You won’t (I hope) dress like that to any other function anywhere, so don’t do it in your family pictures. Instead, try to gather outfits that blend well together. My advice is to figure out what the girls are wearing, then dress the boys to coordinate. A few ideas are: all pastels, various shades of one color, or dress the kids in bold colors and the adults in muted shades of the same. You can even look at magazines like Better Homes and Gardens and use photos of interiors to give you inspiration on color combinations. A fun color site, called Color Scheme Designer, lets you experiment with colors. Play with the color wheel after clicking on one of the smaller controls above it to get fantastic color matches. Remember, you don’t have to coordinate your outfits to be that VIBRANT, but it will help you get the right idea.
  2. Wear something you like. Duh. If you feel stupid wearing it, you won’t look confident in it while I take your picture. Wear clothes that FIT you comfortably and make you feel good. You’ll be moving around a lot during your session, so try not to wear something super restrictive. Comfortable clothes give the kids one less thing to whine about too. 🙂
  3. Layer it on. I totally understand that while you want a couple different looks, you’re not changing out of one dress into another one at the edge of a lake. To get around that, dress your family in layers so that by adding or removing layers, it looks like you’ve had a cohesive series of wardrobe changes. Just a couple layers or accessories will do the trick, as well as maybe bringing an extra pair of shoes (or four!) for mom. Also, kids HATE clothing changes. Even the diva princess who plays dress-up all day will eventually break down if you have costume after costume for her to wear. For kids, two complete changes, max. Better if you can stick to one outfit with the aforementioned accessories, which give them something to do with their fidgety hands! (That being said, parents of babies: You should already know to have a backup or two in case of spit-ups or poopcalypses.)
  4. Feel free to be daring. I am totally in love with bright, bold colors and patterns on my clients, but so few indulge me! You don’t have to turn into a neon billboard, but rock some fun and funky patterns in moderation. Try a couple colors that POP, even if it’s only present in some accessories. These make the pictures interesting, engaging and will look A.MAZ.ING on your wall!
  5. Go dark. Remember hearing that dark colors are slimming? It’s true. If you have an area or two of your body that you’d like to minimize, darker colored clothes will do that for you!
  6. Don’t date/curse yourself. This isn’t the time to wear your favorite, “The voices only talk to me” shirt. It’s not the time to let your teenager wear skinny jeans two sizes too small. (Is there ever a time for that? I’m getting so old already…) No words, no logos, nothing so super trendy that it’ll be outdated in a year. Get your hair cut/eyebrows waxed/spray tan more than a couple days before!
  7. Ask me! Seriously, I’m happy answer questions about wardrobe anytime. Check out my wardrobe board on Pinterest. Send me a Facebook message with a picture of everyone’s outfit on the bed. Send me a photo you found on the web that looks awesome. I’m totally here for you and can’t wait to photograph you looking your best!

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