Outfit planning causing you stress? Enter Christina...
Fortunately for you, I've spent a lot of time helping people put outfits together! I was a wardrobe stylist for Trunk Club/Nordstrom for a few years, so I know a thing or two about clothing! The rule I always follow is, go with the classics. After all, these photos are going to be hanging up on your walls in your home, so let's go with a more timeless combination of outfits for the fam, right?
General tips on colors...
I'm a big fan of neutrals and earth tones as they tend to photograph the most classic and will end up looking the most timeless as well. Think creams, tans, grays, oatmeals, etc. Stay away from overly bright, neon colors and huge, distracting prints. Incorporating a pop of color can be nice, too. I've included a neutral and "pop of color" palettes below that can help you with your color choices, so scroll down! I highly approve of all of these colors, just so you know. ;-)
Solid colors tend to look best, and incorporate different textures (i.e., knits, chiffon, chunky fabrics, layers, etc). Classic prints and patterns are great as well (like stripes, polka dots, and florals), but make sure that only one or two people in your family are wearing patterns, otherwise it gets too busy!
Have you ever heard of complementary colors? They're the colors that are opposite on the color wheel. So when us photographers say to wear "complementary colors", we mean the following (just more muted versions of these): Side note, the Christina version of each color is in parentheses)!
- red and green (burgundy and olive)
- blue and orange (dusty blue or navy and rust)
- yellow and purple (mustard yellow and dusty lavender)
LET'S START WITH MAMA...
I don't want to make assumptions about the person reading this, but I'm guessing you're a mom (and you likely booked the family photos with me). Am I right? Whether that's the case or not, I like to recommend starting with mom's outfit first. As women, it's hard for us to feel completely confident in our clothing if something isn't exactly right - the color needs to compliment our skin tone, it needs to hug in all of the right places (and not hug in others), the neckline needs to be right, etc. Guys on the other hand? Not so much - guys (for the most part) are cool with whatever they are wearing, or are told to wear! Once mom has her outfit, you can plan the rest of the family's clothing around hers.
When it comes to outfits, I like to recommend mom wearing a gorgeous dress 99% of the time (or even a skirt/top combo). If wearing a dress or skirt isn't for you, perhaps a jumpsuit or jeans and a cute top. I've included some beautiful, easy outfit recommendations below.
Let's move onto dad...
Guys clothing? So much easier. Earth tones and classic colors are your friends. A good rule of thumb is to wear either a dark shirt with light pants, or a light shirt with dark pants. Here are some of my go-to suggestions: henleys (you know, the short or long sleeve crewneck shirt with the three buttons at the top?), sweater and jeans, casual button-down shirt with jeans or khakis/colored pants, or a simple t-shirt and jeans. Does your shirt have an obvious logo/brand name on it? Wear something different! ;-)
Hair, shoes and accessories: Make sure your hair is styled of course! No baseball caps. My favorite shoes for guys are dressy sneakers, loafers, cap toe dress shoes, chukka boots and absolutely noooooo gym shoes. Don't forget about wearing nice socks that share the same colors as your clothes! Lastly, swap your Apple Watch for a classic analog watch. Trust me.
and now, the kiddos!
The kids outfits are generally where you can have some fun! Put your daughter in a cute dress with tights and booties. Have your son wear a classic striped sweater and colored pants. If the parents are in solid colors, have your kids wearing a print/pattern to add some visual interest (and vice versa - if the kids are in solid colors, have mom wear something with a print).
The one thing that can be a struggle for dressing little ones are the shoes. Don't forget about cute shoes! This is often overlooked and can end up taking a super adorable outfit into a bit of a mess. Target and Old Navy typically have really cute, dressier looking shoes for kids between $10-20. It's worth it!
HAIR, MAKEUP, SHOES & ACCESSORIES
Hair and makeup should go with your clothing selections - make sure your makeup is natural and not overly done and hair looks best when it's down (unless your hair is pulled up 24/7 and in that case, wear it up, girl!).
Accessories, footwear & random stuff: As far as jewelry goes, wear what you like! If you feel like you're wearing too much, take one piece off. Wedding rings are a must and even though I wear an Apple Watch myself, it's best to leave it off for the photos (same with Fitbits!). Make sure you don't have elastic hairbands around your wrist, too. Shoe-wise, wear something classic like flats, fashion sneakers, dress shoes, etc. Lastly, make sure your nails look nice! I love getting detail shots and you don't want chipped nail polish in the photos!
MY FAVORITE STORES FOR CLOTHING
Here are some of my favorite places to find amazing clothes for your photo session. I'm always trying to update this list so if you have any favorites I haven't come across yet, let me know!
- Baltic Born
- Old Navy
- Piper & Scoot
- Old Navy
- Old Navy
LAST BUT NOT LEAST...
If you're still having trouble putting outfits together, text me. If you feel good about your options but need a second set of eyes? Text me. I also have a lot of recommendations on colors, clothing options, etc. on my Instagram highlights under "Outfit Ideas". Don't stress - you're going to look great!