the complete outfit style guide
Choosing outfits for your photos is probably the hardest thing about taking pictures. Frankly, it's why many people tend to steer away from or put off taking pictures with their loved ones, so I want to help!
It's so important that each person in my photoshoots feel confident! Confidence is much more important than just what's in style. Wear what makes you feel good- which is not always what is the latest and greatest in fashion! (But please for the love, do not wear all white and khaki or do not put everyone in the exact same color. Please, please please. I'm begging you, hahaha)
I know that many photographers these days provide a "client closet" with beautiful outfits to choose from but that's not something I feel is right for my business at this time. I feel like it's only right for each person to have their OWN unique look. It's about YOU!! THE REAL YOU!!
Let's capture YOU and hopefully these tips and tricks on styling that I've learned over the past 10 years will help!
Keep scrolling for more! :)
*I feel like I need a disclaimer here. If I have taken your pictures and you did NOT follow any of these tips I'm about to list that is OKAY! I promise! Like I said before, if it makes you happy and makes you feel confident- WEAR IT! :) These tips are ONLY my opinions. *
Image taken by our friend Blakelee at H&H Photography
Lance and I always enjoy the challenge of styling our family's outfits for pictures. :)
The easiest way to begin styling your family or your group is to focus on the ladies! The daughters or the mothers are typically going to be who everyone looks at first in a photograph. It's just how it is, sorry guys, haha. So mama is typically who I suggest styling first.
Here are a few steps to create a timeless look for mom:
Step 1: SCROLL THROUGH PINTEREST!
As annoying as it can be sometimes, it's usually the best place to begin! Search "family photo outfits" or "fall family photo outfits" or "spring family photo style" or something similar. If you're a bride looking for engagement outfits type "engagement outfit ideas" or something like that OR you can just click here for my sample style guides: here & here . After you find something you like- just COPY it! If it looks like it's a photo from 10 years ago, maybe just stay away from that, haha.
Step 2: FIND YOUR FIT!!
Almost every dress is flattering on almost every body type. So girls, when in doubt-wear a dress!
Of course if you'd rather die than wear a dress- a great fitting pair of pants and flattering top is always cute too! (P.S. A great and comfortable pair of heels will always make you look more lean! Even just a small heel will make you have legs for days, momma!)
DON'T DO- super bright colors. Sometimes it's harder to match with the rest of your family, it will reflect on your skin and other people's skin too ANNND we want the viewer's eye to travel all through the image instead of just getting stuck on someone wearing a solid and bright color.
INSTEAD DO- Softer neutrals, pastels or muted jewel tones are usually better. I love Jasa's tan colored checked dress against the white and pale pink of her family. So timeless! You might also notice the theme of the mom being the pattern and the rest of the family being in more solids or smaller patterns, like Emily in her floral dress with Zach and Kam in repeating colors from her print. LOVE IT!
Step 3: SHOP TILL YA DROP!!
Online shopping is your bff. My favorite places to shop for dresses online is Freepeople, ASOS, H&M, Riffraff, Lulus and Old Navy! My favorite places to find cute tops and pants would be H&M, Abercrombie, Aerie and of course Old Navy and Target. Walmart is coming in hot lately too!
DON'T DO- Type "cute fall dress" in your search engine when online shopping and then give up because you can't find anything you like. .
INSTEAD DO- Be as specific as you can like "cream knit sweater turtle-neck" or "black floral long-sleeved maxi dress." It might take a few tries to find the perfect match!
MOST IMPORTANTLY- READ THE REVIEWWWWWSSSSS!!! :)
the gang's all here!
Ok! So we have the girl's outfit nailed down, what about the rest of the gang??
Step 1: COORDINATING COLORS!!
Think of the rest of the family as accessories to mom, haha. That might be a tacky way to word that, but I think it makes the most sense.
Here's what I mean: If you were wearing Emily's floral dress up there with the pinks and the greens and the whites, what color jewelry would you pair with it? Would you stick a neon orange necklace with it? Or what about bright red or dark navy? No!!!! You would choose a color that is already in the dress to make it match!
That's what you'll simply do with the rest of the family's outfits. Make them match the focal point- not COPY mom's outfit, but just "go" together. I've said it before but I'll say it again; pleeeeeease don't wear all of the same color. I love how Jamie's family all wore pieces that were very similar to hers (like the pinks and the white and denim), and coordinating but no one was wearing the exact same color!!!
Step 2: FIND THE PATTERN!!
Try not to put a whole family in all solids from head to toe. SOMEONE has to create a bit of interest to break up the blob of solid colors with a pattern.
Pattern mixing is a HUGE YES!! If it is done correctly.
If one person is wearing a smaller pattern (like a small plaid) someone else can be wearing a larger pattern (like a large floral). Also try not to put more than one person in the same color. If Dad is wearing solid white, little brother doesn't need to be wearing that too.
Step 3: LAYER, LAYER, LAYER!
Layering looks great with guys! If he feels most comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans, throw on a solid or printed button down over the t-shirt just to make it more interesting!
If your little man is wearing a printed t-shirt but you're afraid the print is too loud (like a large striped shirt) you can have them wear a light bomber jacket or even a cardigan with it.
If your tiny dancer is wearing an adorable poofy dress- add a sunhat for some of the pictures too!
Adding layers always make it more interesting, but be careful to not add weight to anyone with your layering!
YOU'VE GOT THIS!!!
I could literally talk about this all day and have many, many more tips and opinions but I don't want to put anyone to sleep or overwhelm anyone, haha. SOOO if you are ever stumped and just don't know what direction to go in, send me a picture of what you have so far and I'll do my best to help!
ALSO, if you ever don't feel like bothering with putting together your own outfits, if you book a few months in advance, you can purchase the add on where I put together a style guide specifically for you and your family. The style guide includes live links and pictures of pieces that I find online for you. Basically I do all of the leg work and you just click "buy" haha. The Douglass family (that you see in the green above) chose the style guide add-on option and I hand picked all of their outfits. I love how it came together and was so thankful they loved the pieces! :) Feel free to ask me about this service if you're interested!