Family Photography: 8 Little Known Secrets that can Make (or Break) your Photo Shoot

What to wear, what to wear. Clothing can be a daily struggle for some of us and that’s without considering what you’d wear for your family photo shoot. You know those photos that you see dripping with cuteness? Yes, it’s the little cherub faces and the bursting personalities but underestimate the importance of the threads. Before you get to the point of regretting the booking from outfit stress, these 8 points will give you everything you need to know for the best family photo shoot you could dream of. Short of doing it in Cabos of course.

Family Photography-Gadbois Photography

1. Location, Baby!

Your choice of location can help you narrow your clothing selection. If you’re braving the elements with an outdoor photo shoot, keep the weather in mind. This may sound like I’m pointing out the obvious but I’ve seen family photo shoots (not mine) with very under dressed children in effort to get the ‘look’. Warm bodies make happy faces. Happy faces make mommy and daddy happy. And you guessed it…that makes me happy.

In my opinion the biggest decision is whether to pull from or contrast with your surroundings while you’re considering your style and color choice. Busy scene? Go for simple, solid colored clothes. Basic backgrounds can handle bolder contrasts and prints. Seasonality is also a big factor. Earth tones look great in photos where the kids are playing in brightly colored Fall leaves. And bright colors work great in the Spring time with everything blossoming up.

2.  Let’s not Advertise For Others

Leave the logos and text for the billboards. They distract from faces and look awkward when cropped. Shoes should also fit with the overall look, so skip the light up character sneakers.

3. Use What You Love

Have the perfect top to highlight your daughter’s blue eyes or flatter your own features? Coordinate other family looks around that prioritized piece. Be sure to dress each family member in clothing that looks and feels good to them.

4. Color Palette

Choose a few colors to focus on. A foundation of neutrals with one pop color is easier to pull together. Stick to solids for the most part, with plenty of layers, textures and a print or two for interest.

Extend your photo shoot wardrobe options by opening up all closets to all family members. Mom’s red scarf may be just the thing to tie Janie’s look in with the rest. Also look at your belongings with new eyes — could a jacket be worn inside out to reveal the lining color?

5. Purchase Coordinating Looks

To simplify the coordination process, buy pieces from the same children’s line for each kid. Many stores and brands have collections that highlight the same patterns and colorways on multiple styles in the line. Pair statement pieces with basic solids from your kids’ existing wardrobes.

6. Don’t Match

Gone are the days of outfitting everyone in denim bottoms and white tops (some exceptions are still darn cute!).

Subtle repetition of color pulls a shot together without appearing contrived. For example, Dad’s blue sweater relates to Junior’s blue stocking cap and Janie’s blue shoes. The color bounces around different levels of the photo. The look wouldn’t be as appealing if they were all wearing blue tops.

7. Be Real

Don’t purchase entirely new ensembles just for photos. It’s okay to freshen up your look or dress everyone in their formal best, but be true to your family’s style in doing so.

If your family members have a wide range of clothing preferences, try to find a common thread or make a few concessions in an effort to tie the looks together. For instance, if you decide on a formal photo and your daughter isn’t thrilled at the idea of wearing a dress, consider letting her wear leggings underneath.

It’s especially important to let the kids be themselves. An accurate depiction of life as it is will mean more than a perfect illusion.

8. Lay It All Out

Take the outfits you’ve pulled for each person and lay them all out together. Does the combination look pleasing to the eye? Does it need another pop? Have a few accessories on hand and swap things around until it looks right to you. This is much easier to do than dressing and undressing the kids!

If you missed our Part 1 of our Family Photography Tips, be sure to read up here:  Family Photography How to: 9 Ways to Guarantee an Epic Family Photo Shoot


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