That's the question I get asked most often when scheduling photo shoots. I think that question is what keeps people from scheduling photo shoots because they are so overwhelmed with the idea of coordinating everyone's outfits. I hope this post can help answer that question and help take some of the stress out of wardrobe selection.
Keep in mind these are just suggestions and not rules.
I like to steer my clients away from everyone matching exactly. For example everyone in black shirts and jeans kind of matching or everyone in white shirts and khakis. There isn't anything wrong with that look and it's definitely an easy option for wardrobe, but some of the tips below will make a more visually pleasing and interesting family photo and each individual personality will show more in the photos. Think coordinating….not matching.
The most important advice is let everyone wear something they are comfortable in and will feel confident in! I have a daughter that hates elastic and hates the feel of it and if I made her wear something with elastic for a family photo she would be tugging at it and fidgeting and it would be hard to get a genuine smile out of her.
Okay, so this is pretty easy when you think of it in 3 colors. Start by picking a neutral color like navy, gray or khaki. I prefer these as neutrals rather than black. Then add another color that you like and your family looks good in. Ex. mint, light blue, yellow, salmon, coral, turquoise to list a few. Then I like for the 3rd color to sort of be a splash of color that will pop out in photos. It can be a hot pink, or a bright yellow or turquoise. So say you start with a neutral of khaki, add blue as your second color then add a bright splash of turquoise or pink color with a scarf, headband, or necklace. Sometimes even children's boots can be the fun color! So... make your brightest color your accessory color because you don't want the color to distract from the overall photo, you just want it to be an accent.
I hope this helps you in planning your photo shoot.
I added some photos of families I have photographed in the past that I think the wardrobe selection worked.
All photos © Simons Photography