Now is the time you start hearing all the photographers in Fort Worth talking about Fall Mini Sessions. I know it is hotter than Hades outside right now – after all, it is July and we live in Texas. But before you know it, school will start and life will get busy with extracurriculars and college football and friend gatherings and holiday activities and it will be October and you will need your pictures taken. Luckily, I’m putting this post together now so you can start to plan (if you’re a planner like me!) or reference it in a few months when you’re scrambling and trying to figure things out!
One of the things I hear most from clients is “What should we wear for our session?” For a successful photo session, there’s a lot more that goes into it than just picking out your favorite outfit. Some fabrics photograph better than others. You want to have some variety in the items you’ve chosen for your family but you don’t want it to look too busy in pictures. And you want to coordinate with your family members, not match.
Thankfully – I’ve got you covered! As a former stylist, I learned a lot about fabrication, patterns, textures, and more. I’ve pulled together my top tips for “What to Wear for your Photo Session” and have also put together some examples for you to check out. Read on!
Choose Mom’s outfit first
Ever heard the phrase,”Happy wife, happy life”?
Pick something you feel beautiful and comfortable in, and then choose the rest of the family’s outfits. I will always recommend a midi or maxi dresses because they are flattering on every body type and add beautiful movement to your photos!
Coordinate, DON’T match!
What’s the difference, you ask? Matching means everyone is, for example, wearing blue, or kids are in the same exact outfit. Each person in your family is an individual and has a unique personality, so let that shine!
If all else fails, choose neutrals
Still stuck? Pick out a white dress and dress the rest of the family in neutral Earth tones – tans, greys, and white all photograph well. Neutral never fail!
When it comes to color palettes, there are a couple of tips. If you’ve ever had an art class growing up, you may have learned about complimentary colors – these are colors that are across from each other on the color wheel. They tend to “compliment” each other and are a good option if you want a little color but aren’t sure where to start.
You can see in the example below, I’ve chosen two complimentary colors – orange and blue. Instead of picking bright orange and royal blue, I’ve modernized and made it a bit more on trend by choosing burnt orange and a slate blue. I’ve also sprinkled in some neutrals to round out the look.
Red and green are also across from each other on the color wheel – however, I wouldn’t recommend that color combo because it is traditionally associated with Christmas colors. As much as I love Christmas, I don’t want your family to look like a Christmas tree in your pictures! Instead, you can try different shades of those colors – in the example below, I chose olive green and a dusty pink. This keeps the look more evergreen so your photos can be displayed year round and don’t have to be put away after the holidays because they look too seasonal.
Patterns and Solids
This is one of the things that intimidates most of my clients – how to mix patterns and solids. I would say a good rule of thumb is not more than two or three patterns, and that the patterns are a variety of sizes/shapes. In the example from above, son’s shirt is gingham, mom’s dress is floral, and daughter’s dress is also floral, but there is more breathing room between the pattern. I’ve rounded out the family’s look with a solid, classic sweater for dad and a pair of dark wash jeans.
Textures and Details
Textures and details to your clothing selections also will add interest and variety to your photos. In the example below, I’ve chosen mom’s dress which is a linen material, but also has a beautiful, simple bow detail on the sleeves to elevate the look of the dress. The son’s sweater has a knit texture to it, which always photographs nicely – it provides a cozy feel to your photos! Daughter’s dress has a ruffle sleeve which provides that childlike innocence and wonder. And to round things out, I put dad in a super soft henley tee. The buttons at the neckline elevate the otherwise casual look.
Putting It All Together
So, while all of these previous examples are great options for your fall family session (or really any newborn or family session!), I want to show you how you can put all of these tips together. In the example below, I’ve taken complimentary colors, yellow and purple. I chose mom’s dress which is a mustard yellow and the purple is a subtle floral print in daughter’s dress (a reminder that your color palette doesn’t have to be blaringly loud which can be jarring in photographs!) The son’s blue shirt acts as a neutral in this case (Earth tones are the best!) with a pair of khaki shorts to add warmth. I’ve also incorporated patterns – again, in daughter’s dress there is a wide, breathable floral pattern and mom’s dress has a tight, spotted pattern. For texture, I chose the son’s gauze shirt which also has a fun hood detail. The smocking in mom’s dress with the puff sleeves as well as the ruffle collar on daughter’s dress add some final interesting details. And then finally, one of my big tips I always tell my moms and a trend you may have noticed in my styling – Dad is simple. White button down. Dark wash jeans. Keep his look simple – everyone will be happier for it!
Some of my favorite places to shop
Here’s a bonus for you – some of my favorite places to find great clothing items for your newborn, family, or fall mini session!
Did these styling tips help you? I’d love to hear what questions you have! Drop them in the comments section below!