1. CONSIDER THE LOCATION & HOW THE OUTFITS CAN COMPLEMENT IT.
i.e. if you are photographing in a green forest, don't wear green, you will blend in. Where a complimentary colour like rust as to pop.
2. START WITH MUM’S OUTFIT.
My recommendation is to start with mum (or daughter), since women’s clothing tends to have more colours and prints. And let’s be honest, we are more picky about how we look, and mums are typically pulling the outfits together anyway.
My best advice is for you to wear a dress in your favourite colour. Not only are dresses flattering, but you will feel good in it. If you hate dresses, think about a skirt/pants and top combo. I recommend dresses and flowy items as it creates lovely movement in the photos and gives you the opportunity to spin around and dance! (Opt for high-quality fabrics - e.g., linen, cotton / not t-shirt material - as they hang better.)
- Check out Mama Rentals for dress/outfit rentals - If you would like to wear something a little extra special, you can hire a beautiful boho style dress. Bonus this is both sustainable and I can get you a cheeky 15% discount. (use the code TiffanyAlexandria)
- Have a look at my client closet - I am thrilled to offer a selection of hand-picked dresses for portrait clients, available for your photo session at no additional cost.
3. CHOOSE A COLOUR PALETTE.
After you’ve chosen mum’s outfit, add 2-3 coordinating colours, some neutral, and one of which pops and brings life to the outfits. I’ve created a Pinterest board with family photo outfit ideas to get you started, find something similar that you like and go from there.
Also, the colour palette you choose will affect your appearance and the overall look of your photo. Warmer colours like peach, cream, brown, will give your photos a soft glowing look, while bold and vivid colours will produce a brighter and sharper appearance. In general, more neutral earthy tones (like below) look best in photos and allow your connection to stand out.
4. ADD VARIETY WITH PATTERNS & TEXTURES.
To add depth and interest to your photos, create dimension by having solid colours 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.
5. WHAT IS YOUR GOAL FOR THESE PHOTOS?
It's important to remember to think of what you want to DO with these photos. Do you want these for prints on your wall? Then, the colours you choose need to look good with your home decor. I always suggest using a palette of neutrals because they will look good no matter how much the other colours in your home may shift.
Summary of tips
- Make sure you are wearing clothes you feel confident and comfortable in.
- Go for loose, flowy, natural fabrics like linen, cottons etc that will move with you.
- Neutral, earthy colours such as beige, grey, white, black, denim, rust, mustard, blush, blues all look beautiful in different types of locations.
- Make sure you don't put everyone in jeans. Mix it up, texture and colour. Maybe girls in skirts and boys in chinos while dad wears jeans etc.
- Avoid large prints, patterns and any large graphics or logos.
- Avoid being overly matchy-matchy, ideally everyone should have some variations in their colours.
- Make sure you consider your shoes! Classic shoes or barefoot is best! Remember to choose footwear that works with the location we are working in.
- I usually like to have kids in the brightest colours to pop more within the group since they're the smallest, but this isn't a must.
- If you have very little kids, ALWAYS bring a backup outfit in case the first one gets dirty and you want to change!
- Make sure your clothes are ironed/steamed, take anything out of pockets, and it usually looks best not to have any watches on wrists.