Styling Your Family Photo Shoot

We officially booked our family photos and I am beyond excited!  We haven’t had anyone take a photo of us since Poppy was born.  Unless you count the super grainy iPhone selfies I try to grab with my kids on a daily basis, and I don’t.   But now our shoot date is set!  Woohoo! Now I need to decide what everyone is going to wear.  My clients often ask for advice on how to style their family, here are some tips I always like to share.

  1. Start with a general mood that you want to capture.  Consider colors that coordinate and compliment each other that convey your vision.  Don’t focus on “matching” everyone’s colors, or it can come across as too forced and posed.  Some ideas that would work are fun/bright/modern,  light/airy/natural, or cozy/neutral/warm.  Ours will likely be a relaxed California casual, because that’s basically what we are.  Which brings me to my text tip:
  2. Let everyone be themselves.  This doesn’t mean you have to let your kid wear a bright red spiderman t-shirt if you really don’t want that printed and framed for all of eternity.  But it is nice to capture everyone as they are at that point in time, and that means letting their personalities come through in their clothes.   Right now my daughter really loves wearing twirly dresses, and she will be her most happy in a twirly dress.  There’s no point in me trying to fight her on that one.  If your kids (or your spouse) are likely to put up a fight, get them involved in the decision.  I like to give two or three choices, any of which I would be happy with, and let them decide.  It makes getting ready on the day of the shoot much easier.  And if they change their mind last minute, fine.  As long as they change their mind to one of your other pre approved options.  And if it all just falls apart that day and you just can’t win, then be prepared to accept whatever they want to wear.  You really just want everyone to be having a fun day together, and fighting over clothing choice is not the best way to start.
  3. Make sure everyone is comfortable.  Your photographer may ask you to sit, stand, cuddle, run around, put the kids on your shoulders, or swing them around.  Once you are shooting you don’t want to have to think about your clothing.  If someone’s outfit requires a shirt tucked in just so, it might not be the best choice.  Make sure shirts and dresses are not cut too low, even when you are holding your kids or leaning forward to be closer to them.
  4. Be prepared.  Give yourself time to find pieces you love.  Your shoot day should be about spending time with your family, not about one last quick trip to the store for the perfect hair bow.  Try to set yourself up for a calm, relaxed mood.  And the only way to do that if you have young kids is to have things ready before the day arrives.

Here’s a peek at some ideas for our family shoot:

family photo shoot outfits

Sources:

mom: Doen Prem Dress

dad: Buck Mason jeans, JCrew shirt

brother: Spritely Kids Henley, Levis jeans

little sister: Mabo Elsie Dress, Young Soles shoes, Free Babes hair bow

baby sister: Soon Ploom Oona Romper, Mabo Cotton Lap Tee, Briar Handmade Bonnet, Freshly Picked Moccasins

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