Spring and Summer Outfit Guide
Click the photos to enlarge them below!
Have you found yourself smiling more lately? After a long, hard winter the change of seasons seems to bring such joy! The lighter colors come out. Our toes start to wiggle free. Everything feels fun again. Perhaps that's why so many people choose to do family photos this time of year? Nature's artwork is on full display with the spring bloom.
Plus, the warmer weather makes it a super pleasant time to capture your growing kiddos on camera. Looking for family photo outfit ideas? You've come to the right place!
Choosing attire for a photo session is a bit more complex than pulling a few favorites from the depths of your closet. Why? Things that look great in person, don't always translate on camera. And let's be real here... Professional photos? They're an investment! You don't want to leave your outfit to chance.
The goal is to find a style that's authentic to your family, but feels special at the same time.
Your outfits should be cohesive not "matchy-matchy."
If your head is spinning, don't worry. Let’s break the process down step-by-step. And I’ve got a little industry secret for you----the key places photographers shop! These brands have a reputation for interesting textural details and clothing that creates dreamy, earthy, and ethereal imagery. So let's dive in!
Step-By-Step Guide To Choosing Your Outfits
Tips and best advice as you choose your outfits!
1. CHOOSE THE LOCATION:
Before you even consider what outfits you want to wear, talk to your photographer about location options and what you most prefer. Will you have a casual beach session or will you be dressed up downtown? Will you be frolicking through wildflower fields or hiking to an epic mountain location? Your location actually matters a lot as you choose your outfits. Consider the vibe you are going for first as you select your outfits and then work with your photographer to choose a suitable location.
2. START WITH MOM’S OUTFIT:
It can be hard to know where to begin, but think of it as building blocks. Start with one outfit and then you can build upon that. My recommendation is to start with mom (or daughter), since women’s clothing tends to have more colors and prints. And let’s be honest, we are more picky about how we look, and moms are typically pulling the outfits together anyways hehe
My best advice is for you to wear a dress in your favorite color. Not only are dresses flattering, but you will feel good in it. If you hate dresses, think about a skirt/top combo, but choose something that is slightly dresser than your everyday look. Opt. for high quality fabrics (not t-shirt material) because they hang better.
3. CHOOSE A COLOR PALETTE:
After you’ve chosen mom’s outfit, think about 2 other coordinating colors, some neutral and one of which pops and brings life to the outfits. Warmer colors like peach, cream, brown, will give your photos a soft glowing look, while bold and vivid colors will produce a brighter and sharper appearance.
4. THINK MUTED COLORS:
Avoid overly saturated and bold colors, as they distract in the photo. Look for MUTED versions of the same color. For example, if you have a bright hot pink shirt, try a muted dusty rose instead.
5. COORDINATE, DON’T MATCH:
Gone are the days when everyone wears matching white polos and khakis for family photos on the beach. Choose colors that complement each other but are not overly matchy-matchy. For example, avoid wearing the same color top as your spouse or putting your girls in the same matching dresses.
After mom’s outfit is chosen, begin to find 2-3 coordinating colors that complement.
6. ADD VARIETY WITH SUBTLE PATTERNS:
They say that variety is the spice of life right? To add depth and interest to your photos, create dimension by having primarily solids with a few coordinating subtle patterns and textures. Patterns are great in small doses and add a lot of your photo. Avoid bold, large prints that can distract from the photo though. You want your family photos to be about you and not merely your outfits.
Layers are another way to add variety with cardigans, shawls, scarves, etc.
6. FITTED CLOTHING IS YOUR FRIEND:
While flowy shirts and dresses are currently in style, they can hide your shape and be less flattering in photos. Find clothes that are neither overly baggy nor too tight, and think about balance between your upper and lower half. If you have a flowing skirt, chose a fitted top, and with a loose top, choose skinny jeans. It’s all about balance, folks.
7. DRESS FOR THE WEATHER:
You might have the perfect outfit on, but if you’re freezing or sweating to death, a family photo session can quickly unravel. Layering is the perfect solution for those chilly evenings or sweltering August days! Remember, little ones get cold more quickly than adults when temperatures are low, so pack a cardigan or sweater for them. Cold kiddos = sad photos…keep those kids warm!
8. JUST BE YOURSELF:
Don’t dress like someone else you saw on Pinterest just because you found an amazing outfit idea. You want these photos to represent the real you and your family and not be something that you aren’t. This might mean you wear shorts or torn up jeans or a boho vintage thrift store dress. Just be you!
9. COORDINATE WITH YOUR INTERIOR STYLE:
How you decorate your home says a lot about you and your style. Consider coordinating your outfits to your home décor, as you will likely display your photos on your walls. For example, if your house is decorated in white muted tones, don’t wear bright and bold outfits.
10. OPT FOR CLASSIC OVER TRENDY:
Super trendy clothes are so fun because they look amazing now, but think about classic styles and outfits that will not make you cringe in 15 years.
11. INCLUDE YOUR KIDS:
Involve your children in planning and choosing outfits. They will be much more excited about family photos if they like what they’re wearing. This doesn’t mean that you should let your daughter wear her favorite princess dress. Instead, incorporate their favorite color. Please don’t make them wear something they hate. You want your kiddos happy for your session!
12. ONLY ONE OUTFIT NEEDED:
Don’t overly complicate family photos by bringing multiple outfits for everyone. Kids usually HATE changing clothes and can end up cranky afterwards, not to mention it takes time away from your session. If you have a drooling baby, put a bib on them until you arrive at the session, or alternatively, change them into their outfit right when you arrive to ensure clean clothes.
13. REMEMBER THE SHOES:
Shoes have the power to complete an outfit or completely destroy it! Think about your session location. If you are in a field, for instance, you won’t be able to walk in those stilettos. Avoid bright white shoes, all athletic sneakers, and kids’ shoes with cartoon characters and sparkles. If you just can’t find shoes you love, consider having the family go barefoot for the session (just bring shoes to walk around at the location!).
14. DON’T WAIT TO TRY ON YOUR CLOTHES UNTIL THE DAY BEFORE:
Try on your clothes well in advance so you can switch it up if something isn’t working. Look at your outfit from different angles and move around to make sure it works for lifestyle photos. There’s nothing worse than a gorgeous v-neck dress that keeps gaping wide-open to show your bra as you cuddle and tickle your kiddos.
This advice may seem silly. After all, you may think, I want to look my best so I want to wear this new dress I got that is a little tight but it’s really fancy. And that’s fine! But remember, if you’re uncomfortable it will show in your photos. And if you try to dress your children in clothes they don’t feel comfortable in, they will pitch a fit!
While you definitely don’t want your daughter to wear her Toy Story t-shirt, because this is distracting and takes away from the professional photographs, you don’t want to put her in a dress she’s going to be fidgeting in throughout the entire photoshoot either. Try to find a middle ground where everyone is cohesive while still comfortable for the best photos.
Most importantly, you want to feel comfortable in what you wear. You don’t want an outfit that keeps shifting out of place or falling down. Choose clothing that allows you to play with your kids, move freely and feels good on you. For guys this means that shirts that look good untucked are usually better since you will be playing and moving around with your kids and you don’t want to have to keep tucking in your shirt.
Cute little hair bows or simple non distracting hair bands for your little girls hair is always great! little suspenders or bow ties are awesome! Cute shoes! Nails done!
Don’t forget earrings, bracelets, hats, or other accessories that help complete your outfit! Ladies, please avoid necklaces as they have a hard time staying in place and can get tangled up in those cuddle and tickle moments with your kids.
Texture is a striking feature and adds great dimension to your photos and helps them stand out. Examples of texture include chambray, faux fur, chunky knits, lace, tweed, wool, etc.
Apply your makeup in natural light so that you know how it will look for outdoor photos. Apply just a little bit more than you usually would and make sure to blend foundation well with your neck. Stay away from nude lipsticks as they wash you out, but do make sure to wear lip gloss (chapstick for everyone in the family so they don’t have the dry lip look). If you’re comfortable with it, help your eyes pop with natural length fake eyelashes.
ESTABLISH A DRESS CODE SPECIALLY FOR EXTENDED FAMILY PHOTOSHOOTS (OTHER FAMILY MEMBERS OF YOURS DOING 1 FULL SESSION TOGETHER):
If you’re including extended family members or just have children who have grown up and no longer live with you, then chances are you won’t have the opportunity to approve their outfit before they leave the house for the photoshoot. In this case, establish a dress code and make sure everyone involved is aware of what you mean when you say “dressy.” When some people think dressy, they imagine a black tie affair.
On the other hand, some people think this just means a button-up flannel shirt instead of a t-shirt. Or sweatshirts...
Make the dress code clear to everyone involved so you don’t have a mix of styles in your photos. They won’t look cohesive at all! Also, think about where you are taking your photos when determining the dress code for your photoshoot.
DON’T BE TOO MATCHY-MATCHY:
You obviously want your outfits to be cohesive and compliment the colors in the backdrop of your photos, but you don’t want to make all the boys wear the same sweater vest and the girls all wear the same dress unless you want to some moms love to have same dresses going on!.
Instead, choose outfits that work together, finding a common color or combination of colors or even common fabric to use throughout all of your outfits. For instance, let’s say you choose to use a yellow and navy color combination for your photos.
Be careful with patterns!
You could even choose one color and have everyone wearing a different shade of that color for a monochrome but cohesive look in your photos. Those won’t appear too matchy either! Avoid having everyone in the family wear a neutral bottom and colorful top. Spread out the colors and try to make it look natural but cohesive.
If you do pick black please bring a lint roller! Seeing pet hair or fluff always shows up in ALL pictures lol
*These are not my pictures up top in the slide show and do not own them at all- I'm just showing clients outfit suggestions!*