Families have told me that the hardest part of having your photos taken is figuring out what everyone should wear. I have several guides from basic tips on What to Wear for Family Photos, to inspiration ideas on colors like Blues, Reds, or even Greens. However, I realized I’m also regularly telling families a few bonus tips before their sessions. With that, I’ve put together these five bonus tips on what to wear for family photos.
Tip #1: Your shoes matter for family photos.
Shoes can be the easiest thing to overlook for family photos. You plan out your outfits but figure the kids have shoes. However, a pair of neon green (or bright pink) shoes will be very distracting in your photos. You do not want your eyes to miss all the sweet moments because it goes right to the brightest part of your photo, the shoes! As you are planning outfits, don’t forget to think about what shoes everyone will wear.
The other factor about what is on your feet to consider is the location. During your session we may be walking (or running and dancing) down a trail or in a field. We may be throwing rocks at the river. You want shoes that everyone can walk over river rock, or dance comfortably in.
Tip #2: Undershirts and socks matter will be seen in your photos.
When you’re layering your child up (especially in those colder months or for a snowy session) think about the colors of all of those layers. Even if your child’s sweater will never be taken off during a session, the undershirt may poke out as you dance around and play. Knowing the shirt will be seen, choose something that is either neutral, similar in color to the over shirt/sweater, or that coordinates with your family’s outfits.
The same rule goes for socks. Just figure that they will be seen too. While your child may love their bright pink, sparkle socks (my girls would), think if you want those socks to be the focal point for your session.
Tip #3: Have your girls wear tights, leggings, shorts, or bloomers under their dresses.
This is a similar tip #2 above, but I think it warrants it’s own tip. Again, kids run and jump and play. Dad will probably be tossing a kid in the air, or twirling her around. If she’s in a dress (which is wonderful for those twirling photos), you do not want her diaper or underwear showing as she plays.
Select something weather appropriate and that coordinates with her outfit.
Tip #4: Only bring coats that you do not mind in your photos.
Warm kids are happy kids (trust me, my kids do not cooperate or think of anything else besides being cold). However, do not expect your children to take their coat on and off in between photos. Once their coat is on, it likely will not come off. And there is not truly a time where we aren’t possibly taking photos as I use the movement between spots within a location as an opportunity to capture the kids racing each other, playing with dad, or to get those sweet details of how they reach for your hand for help across the river rocks.
If your kids do not have a coat you like for family photos, simply plan their outfits with plenty of layers, or select a time of year that will be warmer.
Tip #5 Try on your outfit before picture day.
With this tip, it does not hurt to have your entire family try on their outfit ahead of time. Last thing you want is to find out that nice shirt you bought for your son a few weeks ago doesn’t fit because he had a major growth spurt (I have had that happen too!).
Yet, I’m mainly talking to you, mama. Try on your outfit ahead of time and move around in it. Look in the mirror, move dance, sit down, stand up, bend over to talk to your kids. As you do these things, see how you feel. If you are uncomfortable now, it will show in your photos. Ensure that you are able to dance and move without showing off more skin than you’d like, and that your outfit allows you to move and play.