A Step-by-Step Style Guide
Coordinating the perfect outfits for your family photos can be stressful. You are not alone.
The first question families ask after they book a photo session is “What do we wear?” Picking the perfect outfits for your upcoming photo session can be stressful and it’s no wonder! Photos are an investment that will likely adorn the walls of your home and be passed down for generations. You want them to be perfect!
I’ve assembled a Step-by-Step Guide for coordinating the perfect outfits for your family photo session. I’ve included a few bonus tips to keep in mind for a stress-free session.
Want More Help? When you book a session with Danielle Blewitt Photography, you will have access to my complimentary and professional styling service that gives you personalized recommendations with style boards for the look you want along with links to the clothing.
Step-by-Step Style Guide for Planning the Perfect Outfits for Family Photos
Choose your location first. You want to compliment the look and feel of the location. Whether it’s Christmas Card photos at a tree farm, beautiful golden hour photos on a warm summer night, or an in-home newborn session, your clothing should compliment the location.
Decide on the look you want. After you have chosen your location, you need to pick the look you want. Are you striving for something flowy and whimsical, comfy and casual or more formal? Use the season to help narrow the look you are going for. Each season is associated with its own colors, weather and landscapes. Summer can be bright and flowy, while winter lends itself to cozy layers and stylish accessories. See seasonal recommendations below.
Pick an inspiration outfit. We all have a favorite dress or new outfit we love. Pick one outfit that will serve as the inspiration for your photos. Most of the time, I encourage mom to pick her outfit first. The MOST important thing to keep in mind when choosing outfits is choosing something that you love and feel beautiful in. If you look good, it will translate to your photos and set the tone for your whole session.
Coordinate your colors, not match. There is an old idea that clothes have to match but this is not true. Coordinating is far better than matching! Start with your inspiration outfit. Figure out what colors accent this outfit the best and use those colors to incorporate into everyone else’s outfits. Keep it interesting by keeping each person’s primary color different. EXAMPLE: If Mom’s dress is cream with blush accents/accessories and brown leather shoes (primary color being cream), dad could wear navy slacks with a simple cream or blue shirt and tan blazer. His primary color being tan. One child could wear a blush dress with cream accents and another could wear khaki slacks with a cream shirt and a navy vest.
Accessorize with Layers and Accessories. Finish your look with layers that compliment your outfits. For girls, consider adding a statement necklace, scarf, hair piece or headband. For the boys, consider accessories such as a vest, belt, jacket, hat, suspenders, ties or bow ties. These are simple but perfect ways to complete your look. Textures also add visual interest to to an outfit. Be sure to mix and match different textures in your clothing.
Avoid the Following To make the most of your photo investment, it is recommended to avoid or be mindful of the following things for timeless and beautiful photos. Avoid Neon Colors Be Mindful of Clothes That Reveal Tan Lines Limit Patterns to One Person No Large Logos or Text No Busy Patterns This is Important for film sessions - Do not wear stripes!!
Seasonal Tips and Inspiration: What to Wear at Your Next Photo Session
Styling Tips for FALL
The “feeling“of fall is memorable for each of us. Use this to style the feel of your photos by including earthy colors, playful layers and seasonal accessories like scarves and boots.
Use layers for visual interest as well as quick outfit changes.
Take advantage of colorful fall foliage and let them guide your color palette.
Plaid shirts are popular for the season and can be a great base to inspire accent colors.
Color combos: Denim/Yellow/Red, Navy/Tan/Cream, Brown/Maroon, Purple/Yellow/Denim
Styling Tips for WINTER
Winter is the perfect time to bundle up and embrace the season with cozy textures and seasonal accessories.
Sweaters make for a warm but stylish look. Boys can layer a collared shirt to dress it up while the girls can wear comfy cable knit sweaters with stylish boots and accessories.
Keep yourself comfortable and embrace the chill with coats, cute hats and fuzzy scarves.
Color combos: Navy/Red, Glitter/White, Red/Tan/Denim, Red/Gray/Black
Styling Tips for SPRING
Spring is the perfect time for outdoor photos when everything is coming into bloom. The season combines beautiful light hues that can set the tone for your photos.
Floral is a great pattern to incorporate in the clothing or select statement pieces featuring your florals.
Incorporate large bows in your little ones hair for added style as well as a practical way to keep their hair out of their eyes.
Color combos: Blush/Teal, Blush/White, Light Blue/Tan/White, Navy/Yellow/White
Styling Tips for SUMMER
Summer photos are perfect for beautiful landscapes, adventure and care-free vibes that are signature of summer. The season is perfect for comfortable light and airy photos.
Take advantage of light cotton and pretty sheers. Pick outfits that will keep you cool.
Don’t stress about being too formal. Be yourself for more candid and genuine shots.
Color combos: Tan/White, Light Blue/Tan/White, Blush/White/Tan, Blush/Light Blue/Tan
Newborn Session Tips: What to Wear at Your Newborn Session
Pick Delicate Neutrals.
Newborn sessions are typically done in your home. I encourage families to think of incorporating delicate neutrals so as to not distract from your precious new baby. Limiting patterns and bold colors will give us a soft and neutral palette to work with.
Choose Clothing that is Flowy and Comfortable.
Newborn sessions are held shortly after delivery when mom is in recovery. More than anything, you need to be comfortable. If you are uncomfortable, it will show in your photos. Flowy dresses or tops will give you flexibility and comfort when you need it most, allowing you to focus all your attention on enjoying your new baby.
Textures and Accessories Add Dimension
When possible, pick clothing that incorporates different textures. Your color palette will be neutral but adding textures adds dimension and layers to your look. Don’t forget about accessories such as necklaces, bracelets, etc.
Bonus Tips for a Stress Free Session
Do a Trial Run
Do a trial run in the days before the session. Make sure little ones are comfortable and clothes fit properly to save headaches on the big day.
Pack Extra Shoes for Walking to the Location
Some locations require a little walking. Pack some walking shoes for your family if there is a chance your dress shoes will be uncomfortable.
Layout Your Outfits Together While Planning
This easiest and best way to help make decisions on coordinating clothing is laying everything out together. For extra help, snap a pic and send it to your photographer.
Bring Mess-Free, Portable Snacks
Snacks are a parents best friend, but be wise with choices. Make sure to bring portable and mess-free snacks. Avoid sticky or gooey food or anything that has the potential to stain.
Pack Baby Wipes for Any Last Minute Messes
It’s amazing how quickly children can find a way to make a mess! Be prepared with baby wipes for any last minute messes that could cause panic during our session.
Bring Play Clothes for After the Session
Sessions are typically held at parks or common areas that may be fun for kids to explore. Pack an extra set of play clothes for some extra family time after our session.
Want More Help? Get complimentary styling when you book with me!
Every family that books a session with Danielle Blewitt Photography, gets access to my complimentary and professional styling service that gives you the flexibility to choose the look you want and color palette desired. You will be given a customized feed of personalized recommendations based on your selections. You can mix and match your favorites using their easy-to-use style boards. When finished, I will email you a link to all your selections to purchase.
Life moves too fast. Although we can’t slow it down, we can record the moments that fill our hearts and tell our story through photos and films. I am a Pittsburgh family photographer and film maker that helps families capture their stories and pause some of life’s greatest moments.