All I want for Christmas is one super-fantastic family photo.
Is that really too much to ask?
Yet, every year when the holiday season rolls around, I manage to convince myself that we don’t have the time to get all dressed up, or the money to pay for a professional photographer. (Not to mention that I haven’t lost those last 10 pounds of pesky baby weight yet – it’s only been two-and-a-half years, after all!)
Then, as we start to get our holiday cards in the mail, I see all the beautiful family photos and I kick myself for not making ours a priority.
This year, I’m determined to get that magic shot for my holiday card. And just to make sure it happens, I’m putting it out there on the internet so all of you can help hold me accountable!
Won’t you join me?
First, let’s talk about clothes. One of the first things clients always ask when they hire me as a professional photographer is what to wear for family pictures. The answer is unique for every shoot, but there are a few universal tips that are a great place to start.
1. Mix patterns & colors
Have fun letting everyone’s personality come out in their clothing. And don’t be afraid to mix patterns and colors – if done well, it will add even more visual interest to your photo!
2. Add a layer or two
Layering can come in the form of cardigans, blazers, tights, boots, or even a bold necklace or a scarf. Layers not only add depth and texture to your photos, but you can also add or remove them if the weather changes unexpectedly.
3. Get comfortable
Looking confident & relaxed when you’re uncomfortable is pretty much impossible. So, don’t fight it – wear something you feel good in. And when dressing your kiddos, make sure their clothes fit nicely. Baggy clothes (you know, the ones you’re hoping they grow into before the end of the season) often just end up looking messy.
4. Be strategic with your colors
Start with one outfit that you love, and then focus on making sure the others match. Try to stick to 2-3 main colors, and avoid too much white, black, or fluorescents. Bright, bold and muted colors are all great options.
When combining colors, consider mixing a few neutral items in with your bold items, and then let accessories like scarves and jewelry showcase the bright pops of color.
5. Locations have colors, too!
Standing out in your location – without clashing with it – can be tricky. Here are a few guidelines to help you get started.
6. Be ironic
In some instances, irony can make an average photo shoot really stand out. Wearing a suit & tie in the woods, or wearing a fancy dress on the beach, can create a juxtaposition that’s really interesting and unique.
Hopefully, these tips make choosing your clothes a little easier this year!
If you enjoyed this article, make sure to check out Part 2 of this series: Posing tips for family pictures.
Let the picture-taking and holiday-card-shopping begin!