So from both my own experience and what I’ve heard from all sorts of AGP clients, the story usually goes something like this….
Happy that session is booked.
Relieved you can cross something of your “to do” list.
Excited to get great images to hang on the walls.
And then the dreaded question. “What are we going to wear?”
Some of us think about it for only a few minutes. Some us think about it a ton. And a small percentage of us (maybe even a little more) analyze every little detail and end up completely stressed out. (Believe me, small percentage… you are not alone!)
At AGP, we get it. You want your loved ones to look awesome. But of course, this awesome look needs to look effortless at the same time – like you all just stepped off the pages of a magazine. Really, we get it!
While Angel and I don’t have the keys to your closet, we’re certain that the general tips we’re about to share will help you design the perfect outfits for you and your people. (And you’ll look casually cool, we promise.)
Read on to the bottom for information on related posts coming soon – yes we are all about elaborating on this topic!
Step one, coordinate with one another. This doesn’t mean you have to match…. it simply means you shouldn’t clash! The easiest way to do this is stick to a basic color palette. (Warm colors, cool colors, earth tones, etc.) The Crovo’s nautical-chic look at their family session was awesome. (Way to work the marina in the background, Crovo family!)
Remember that color is fun. Pops of color are great so don’t be afraid to go bright or be bold. Just make sure all your colors compliment one another and that everyone coordinates! We loved the blues and greens that Oliver and his family wore during his eight month session.
Solids are safe. Throw in the right patterns… priceless! Of course you don’t want a ton of competing patterns taking the focus away from your family, but the well-planned mixture of solids and the perfect patterns make for a wonderful image. If you choose to go with a patterned piece or two, start there and build other outfits and colors around it. Ron’s plaid shirt matched with the girl’s coordinating earth tone outfits made for some beautiful images. Check out their family session here.
Layers and accessories always add interest. Every season offers the opportunity to accessorize. Scarves and jackets in the winter, a cute sun hat in the summer, your favorite chunky bracelet in the spring, a sweater in the fall. Think layers for dimension and think accessories for style. (Side note…. in moderation, of course.!) Nobody does accessories like Mary Gray. Any season, any occasion, even no occasion at all, Mary always has the perfect accessory!
And, yes… one of our favorite layering examples comes from a baby. (Her mom has great style, what can we say?) Nola’s soft cardigan layered over her pleated dress seriously couldn’t be any sweeter. Take a look at her eight month session and soak up all that sweetness.
Add a touch of texture. You can really find texture anywhere. Whether it be in a sweater, a scarf, the perfect pair of denim, a super funky hat… remember to find texture! When photographed, it will add depth to your images without even trying! Davy’s lace dress from Urban Outfitters is the perfect example of great texture. Take a look at the rest of their engagement session as well as their recent wedding.
Let them show their personality and bring simple props. OK, so maybe not in every photo, but at least in a few! I can almost guarantee that the image of him wearing his favorite cowboy boots, her wearing her larger-than-life tutu, or your baby girl wearing a vintage dress hiding behind her best friend (who just happens to be a stuffed bunny) will most immediately melt your heart. (Side note. This little girl is mine. Bun Bun is hers. And in all honesty, I didn’t really mind when the shaggy little rabbit found its way into a few of our family pictures.)
And speaking of props, look at the fun the Hurd girls are having. There is nothing like an unrehearsed, full-out, arm-in-the-air beach concert during a family photo shoot. We love their bare feet, their pink tutus and especially their magic microphones.
Keeping the little ones comfortable, means keeping you calm. We love newborns and we love children. There is really nothing like capturing those precious moments. But in order to capture those precious moments, they actually have to happen. So, quite simply… keep them comfortable. Comfortable for them = a better mood = more cooperation = a completely calm experience for you = happy kids. (And of course amazing pictures, that is what we are actually working toward, right?) During Alex’s 8 month shoot, he was cool and comfortable in these adorable overalls. He wasn’t worried at all about what he was wearing. Just a boy and his stick…..
Agree with the world around you. Take into consideration your surroundings. Look carefully at where you’ll be photographed. Try not to overdress for the environment. Remember that you may be sitting at some point during the session. Wear clothes that that compliment each other and the setting! Ricki and David’s casual outfits in shades of blue were perfect for their maternity beach session.
Be inspired. Lucky for us we live in a world full of inspiration! Look through your favorite magazines, surf the web (pinterest is perfect,) visit at the AGP blog…. ideas are everywhere! For specific clothing choices, you can also check out this awesome resource on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/WardrobeWednesday
Zulily often has great deals on unique children’s clothing too!
Most importantly, be yourself and have fun. Remember what you’re dressing for… to capture a moment in time. Sure, it can be stressful finding the perfect outfit to highlight your amazing family, but if you plan ahead and remember these few tips we’ve offered, we’re sure you’ll be comfortable in what you’re wearing and feel good about how your family looks. (And that will certainly show in your pictures!)
Keep in mind, these tips are designed to help everyone. In later entries we’ll be exploring more specific “what to wear” genres (think maternity, baby, engagement, high school seniors.) We’ll highlight color combos, feature specially designed tips for unique shoots, help maximize what is already in your closet, and all kinds of other fun stuff. Have specific questions? We’re taking topic requests, so leave your thoughts for that in the comments below plus let us know if this has helped and if you have any questions!
Can’t wait to see your outfit!