What to wear?! It’s probably the third most important question after you nail down date and location. I tend to downplay the importance because I’m just not a clothes person. But after years of photographing families, I can tell you it make the difference between a ‘nice’ photo and a stunning photo.
Dress for your location. If you’re going to be outside (and most of us are) don’t wear business attire, not even business casual. Slacks are out of place. So are loafers. That brings me to…
Shoes matter. You could be looking good and your sneakers/running shoes/crocs/$3 flip flops ruin it. No shoes is a great option for beaches and kids.
Don’t match. The days of all wearing the same color, and especially white shirts and denim, are over. Please let it die.
Have a vision. It doesn’t matter if your vision comes from Pinterest, a catalog, or you think it up on your own. If you don’t have any inspiration, check out Pantone’s Fashion report. If you have a color in mind but need help on compliments, check out Design Seeds. You can search palettes by a single color.
Start with your hardest person first. For me, its my husband. He’s already been photographed in half of his wardrobe! Next, the kiddies. But I have a secret. Shop somewhere like Old Navy or The Children’s Place that has a mix & match line. Usually you can find some great complementary shirts and pants that work all in the same place. But mix in what you already have – O has a shirt, L has shorts, R needs a whole outfit, J needs pants.
Accessorize! Sunglasses, long necklace, big floppy hat, fedora, scarf, bracelets, the options are endless. You don’t need to wear them the entire shoot, but having something to do with your hands makes for much more natural shots and interaction. Check out the dollar store (Daiso) for some great options on all of it.
At the end of the day, aim for a better version of your every day selves. Not too nice, but nicer than usual. Comfortable! Something you’d wear again and again.
Here’s how we turned out
Next in the series will be make up and hair!! Stay Tuned.
Alison Bell is a lifestyle photographer currently living in Okinawa, Japan specializing in families. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org for booking. She lives with her best friend and Marine, and their four lively boys.