If you didn’t already know, I dabbled in photography prior to having Rhett and am just now slowly getting back into it. So I wanted to share a couple tips with you about outfits if you’re having family pictures taken this fall.. No matter how good the photographer, photos are a combination of quality images and quality content. It’s the photographer’s job to pick a location and the angles from which they shoot, but it’s yours to provide them with subjects that coordinate and enhance the established aesthetic. There are two things that ultimately determine the outcome of your session (that pertain to you).
#1 Being prepared. This means preparing the family for what is about to go down.. The timeline, expectations, and mood. If the family isn’t ready to put on their smiles and happily oblige to being positioned by someone they likely do not know, then that will definitely come across in the photos.
#2 Your outfits. The key here is to coordinate not match.. Too often do I see everyone in a white shirt with khaki pants at the beach to have their photos taken. While this may seem to be an easy option, people who choose this route have taken away the ability for the photographer to utilize texture and differentiation in their subjects to create visual interest. I’ll try to explain what I mean with the images below.
| 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 |
In the first photo, the dress the woman wears provides softness in that it is drapey and the small floral pattern of the girls dress adds texture. Also, the little girl becomes the focus because both mom and dad are in neutrals while she is in color.
In the second, the matching father and son isn’t over done-they each wear a bow tie and white shirt, but that is the extent of it. I love that the woman chose a gray textured dress to tie in with the guys’ gray pants. The bow ties and dress also make it appear to be more formal, even though they are in the middle of a grassy field.
The flowy shirt and dress in the third image really add visual interest and having both the man and woman in jeans bring them all together. This is also an unexpected and great color palette for fall!– Burnt orange, dark blue, light blue and ivory
The fourth photo is a good example of how a large family can coordinate but not match. The girls are each wearing pink, but not the same color and the boys are all in a more formal outfit, but not the same. See how the photographer used what they are wearing to create balance in the photo?–the pink is equally spaced across and the darkest gray that the father wears is directly in the middle
In the first image, the young girl and woman immediately become the center focus because they are the only ones wearing the pop of color. I also like that they are both wearing flower crowns, but they aren’t identical.
Again with being outdoors, but in more formal attire. A big tulle skirt and a suit in the second photo immediately take this location from simple to fancy–this is the perfect setup in the fall for taking photos that will be ready for your holiday cards!
The third photo is casual-wear done right. The plaid shirt and striped shirt both provide texture, but it isn’t too busy because she layered her stripes under the cream sweater. And the red in her vest with the plaid in his shirt are similar, but not matching. Also, the little boy’s outfit adds the perfect neutrals to not seem too overwhelming.. Here’s a tip: If your husband would never wear what this guy is, flip the boys’ outfits. Your husband can wear the more plain shirt and jeans with a little boy in plaid.
The fourth is another large family who did a great job coordinating. No two people are in the same outfit, but they all wear colors/patterns that go well. The pop of red brings your eye across the photo, even though only three of them wear it. Also, I love that many of them are wearing fun accessories; the boys’ vest, suspenders & hat and the girls’ scarves, fur jacket & floral rain boots!
There are tons of other examples on Pinterest for family photo outfits, but I hope these tips help you narrow down what you’re looking for and more importantly why.. from the photographer’s perspective!