Photo Tips: What to Wear

Updated: February 21, 2013 Mpix Support Guest Post, Photos, Tips

DrewB is a wedding and family photographer and owner of DrewB Photography. She also writes a popular blog for moms who love photography called Mom*tog.

The most stressful part of most photo sessions for moms is typically not the actual photo shoot itself, but figuring out what to wear beforehand. You want your family to look great and timeless, but it can be such a stressful decision! Here are the tips I share with my clients to help make their shopping a little easier!

1) Just Say No To White Shirts and Jeans – I know we are all guilty of falling into the white shirts and jeans fad. I know my husband and I did for our engagement pictures back in 2004. But, it’s 2013 now. Your goal should be to coordinate, but to not be matchy-matchy. Color is good. Patterns are great. It’s okay to mix and match a bit. You can mix stripes, plaids and even polka dots – gasp! Have fun with it, just be you!

2) Hardest to Easiest – When shopping for outfits a lot of people will start with the easiest person in their family to shop for. Typically this is the mom or a daughter. I tend to do the opposite. I like to shop from hardest to easiest. In our family I typically start with my husband, move onto my son, then to me, and finally to my daughter (little girls are so easy). If I start with the person with the least amount of options I tend not to get too overwhelmed and it helps me narrow down a color scheme.

3) Take Comfort Into Consideration – I tell my clients they should be able to sit, stand, lay down, jump, do the hokey pokey and turn themselves around in whatever they are wearing. If they are not comfortable in their outfits it will show in their pictures, especially with kids. Although their outfit may be picture-perfect, if their shoes are uncomfortable or their shirt is itchy your child will not be happy and it will show in the pictures.

4) Let Your Personality Shine – Unless you are doing some highly-stylized shoot with a specific look, I like for my clients to really show their personalities with their clothes. I tell them to look like a better version of their everyday selves. If you don’t normally wear dresses and high heels, don’t wear dresses and high heels.  If your two year old loves twirling in a pettiskirt, dress her in a pettiskirt. If your five year old is obsessed with super heroes, let him wear his super hero cape. I know I will treasure those images more in 5, 10, 15 years because that is real, everyday life.

5) Let The Kids Dress Themselves – Don’t really let them dress themselves, but give them options. Pick out 2 or 3 “mom approved” outfits and let them decide which one they like best. Let them think they are in charge. They will feel proud that they “picked” out their outfit and it will show.

6) Accessories Are Key – Accessories make the outfit. When picking out shoes look for a fun color. Add headbands. Find cool socks. Choose a funky belt. Wear a necklace that complements your outfit. Don’t forget the little details!

7) Photograph It – Be sure to take a picture of all of your outfits together before your big photo shoot. There’s no need to get your whole family all dressed up twice. Just lay it all out on the bed and take a picture in natural light. Make sure the colors look well together.  If you are questioning any of the pieces feel free to send it to your photographer for advice. I love when clients send me their outfits beforehand!

Shop early to avoid the stress of doing everything last minute. Have a change of clothes handy at the shoot if you have little ones. It can come in handy to have an extra shirt if your baby is in the drooling / spitting up phase. And have fun with it! These are your family photos. There are no rules. The more confident you are in your outfit choices the more it will show in your pictures!

For more photography tips from DrewB, check out How to Pick a PhotographerPhotographing Young Children, and Understanding Cropping.

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