It seems like my Facebook news feed has been blowing up with professional family photos, and they are all just gorgeous. (I’ve got a pretty good looking Facebook news feed if I say so myself!) I am thinking its because of the stage in life I am in. Most of my friends and family are married, and are either having babies, or have already had babies. Thus…family pictures, newborn pictures, maternity pictures…you get the picture (yes, pun intended…hehehe).
One of these many beautiful families that I have been seeing pictures of is Jen, from LaBella Vita Photography. She is extremely talented at what she does, and you can tell just from looking at her photos that she has a passion for it as well. Plus, her family is gorgeous. Gorgeous!
Jen asked me to do guest post for her blog about putting together outfits/looks/etc. for family pictures, maternity pictures, whatever pictures you may have! I didn’t have to think twice about doing it! Any chance to talk fashion, I am in!
First, let me say that picking outfits for family pictures (at least for me) is stressful. It’s something I plan really far in advance. These are important pictures that are going in picture frames, will be given to family members, so of course I want them to be perfect. The outfit planning process usually starts as soon as I book a session.
There are some things you might want to take into consideration when picking out your ensemble:
1. The first and most obvious-time of year. Obviously, the weather needs to play a factor in what you will be wearing. Don’t sweat it out in your pictures because you want to wear long sleeves, or a sweater. You will find something else weather appropriate to wear. I promise!
2. Is there one piece of clothing that is a definite MUST for the photos? If so, plan the rest of the looks around that.
3. Understand the difference between matching vs. coordinating. Yes, there is a difference.
4. This sort of goes along with what I just mentioned-most likely, you wouldn’t wear all one color from head to toe, right? (well, maybe some of you would…that’s a topic for a whole different blog post!) With that thought in mind, don’t dress everyone who is going to be in the picture in the same color! (Ex: everyone wears white, black, blue, shirts)
I want to elaborate a little on the last two.
Matching for a photo session is basically saying you will all look the same, whether you are all wearing the same color top, or the exact same outfit. You will look like your sister, who looks like your cousin, who looks like your daughter. Nobody is really an individual!
Coordinating, on the other hand allows you to be an individual in your pictures. What you are wearing compliments each other, as opposed to being exactly the same. When people will look at your pictures, they will look at each individual person and not everyone as a whole. After all, we encourage everyone to be an individual, why would you want someone to lose their individuality in something that is going to be documented forever?
To show you what I mean when talking about coordinating, here are a few pictures that I have had taken over the years. Take a look at how my husband and I (and by “my husband and I” I truly mean me!) coordinated our outfits.
For this look, I chose my daughter’s dress first, and planned the rest around it. I knew I wanted to bring out the coral in her dress. Having my husband wear turquoise would have been too much turquoise, so white was the perfect compliment! This is all something that reflects our personality, and something we would normally wear.
For this, I knew I wanted to wear this dress. Although you can’t see it, I was very pregnant in this picture, so I had a limited wardrobe as far as what fit and what looked good! Luckily, Ella had an outfit that complimented my dress (it took some major bribing for her to wear it…maybe that should be added to my list of things to take into consideration: bribe your children if you have to!). I’ve always loved turquoise and pink together- the pattern in my daughter’s outfit helped compliment the two colors.
Again here, I just knew I wanted to use neutrals to coordinate. Plus, it was fall (obviously), so I knew the neutral tones would be perfect!
A good place to reference is the Pinterest board, What to Wear Family Portraits, or just simply typing in something like “what to wear for family pictures.” The resources are really great. There are plenty of boards that have outfits created already, and also color combination ideas.
If you want to start from scratch, I recommend finding color boards like this one for color inspiration! I personally love these boards because there are so many color combinations that I never really thought of a compliments to each other. It sort of gives you the nudge to think outside of the box! You never know what you already have in your closet!
Hopefully this has helped clarify a little and help you plan your outfits a little easier for your next photography session! If you can simply remember the difference between coordinating and matching you are already ahead of the game!
Happy coordinating (not matching!!)!