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Family Style Guide for Spring/Summer

After a winter that seems to never let up, have you found yourself looking forward to trading the cold winter wind for the warm summer sun? The monochromatic winter wanes and in comes all the bright, vivid colors of spring and summer! This is my favorite time of year to capture families - everything just feels more fun! Next comes the questions, "what should I wear?"

Why is this so challenging?

What looks good in person, sometimes doesn't translate well on camera - large and small prints can look "funky" when turned into a picture. And, getting your family's pictures taken is an investment, so don't waste it by hating the outfit you wear. Below, I will break this down step-by-step to help you making your session a little less stressful!


1. Location

Before you even start to pick out your outfits, think of where your session will take place. Will you be in the water - try something beachy. Downtown - try something more formal. Whatever your location, think of the "vibe" you are wanting for your family pictures and match it!

2. Start with the Most Challenging: The Mom

Choosing outfits can be challenging when you look at the entire group as a whole, but think of it more like blocks. Start with one and build upon it. Women's clothing tends to have a lot more variety when it comes to prints, cuts, texture, and color variations. And...let's be honest, we are usually pickier!

3. Choose a Color Palette

Think coordinate NOT match. When you can find colors that coordinate well together, your pictures go from "that's cute" to "Oh My Gosh". Throw in a few neutrals and your colors will POP. The image to the left is an excellent way to coordinate and make those blues pop!

The color palette you choose will have an effect on how your image looks. Warm colors like peaches, creams, browns will give a softer glow - perfect for sunset! Bold, vivid colors will give a very sharp and stand-out appearance.

Here are a few different examples of bold vs soft.

4. Colors

Bold, neon, overly saturated colors do not capture super well on camera. Love the color orange, swap out the blaze orange for a burnt orange.

5. Coordinate

Ever seen the pictures where everyone wears a white t-shirt and light blue jeans? Those days have moved over to make room for individuality.

Instead of "matching" think "coordinating". Once mom's outfit is picked out, find those coordinating colors and find the rest. Avoid wearing the exact same color as your spouse.

6. Add Texture

To add some "oomph" to your photos and give depth and variety, add a few patterns and/or texture.

When adding patterns, pick a few that have coordinating colors. This image is a perfect way to add a pattern to their family photos. Avoid bold, over loud prints and textures. Add a bit of variety by layering with a shall or cover.

7. Fitted Clothing

Flowy clothing is absolutely whimsical in person, but on camera, it will hide your beautiful figure. In 20 years, you will want to look back and think "wow I look amazing", not "why on earth would I wear that".

Flowy can absolutely work when balanced with a tighter fitting top! Think of this as a balancing act. If you choose a loose top with a jean jacket, pair it with a legging. Or, if you choose a loose skirt, wear a tight fitting top.

This picture is a perfect way to balance! She is wearing a beautiful, flowy top, and paired it with a super cute legging - AND SHE ROCKED IT!

8. Know the Weather

Your outfits can be absolutely perfect, but if you are sweating or freezing, your session can go

Minnesota can be unpredictable, so plan for it. Bring layers, have water, and be prepared for a change.

One of the biggest things to remember is to keep your kids happy and comfortable.

Just remember: Cold Kids = Sad Kids

9. Be You

Wear things that you would wear - don't dress like someone else you randomly saw. When you book your session with me, I want your photos to represent you and your family.

Love rock 'n roll? Wear band t-shirts!

Love your dog? Bring them and play!

Whatever represents you, be it.

10. A Few Extra Tips

Comfort - Feel comfortable in your clothes. Choose outfits that allow you to play with your kids - chasing, playing in the water, or running.

Accessories - They can complete your outfit. Remember jewelry, hats, and those shoes. If you are wearing a necklace, add a bit of lash glue in the back to hold it in place.

Makeup - Makeup appears less in photos, so add a tish bit more than you normally would. Blend your foundation down your neck, and no eyeliner around your entire eye. Chapstick for everyone to avoid a dry lip look.

The Don'ts

  • Oversized clothing - they do not show you off

  • Thin stripes - can be distorted in the camera

  • Bright whites - they wash you out.

  • Neon colors - can reflect on your face

  • Logos - distract from the photo

  • Strapless outfits - if you are self conscious of your arms, find a cut sleeved outfit.

  • Baby clothes that show the diaper - a perfect moment can be ruined with a diaper coming through.

  • Athletic shoes - Find an alternative!

  • Transitional lenses

FINALLY, I will show you my personal family photos - We chose burnt orange, navy blue, and greys. Photo Credits for this photo to Katie Brock Photography.

Are you ready to book your session? Contact me to schedule your family session.

Let me know what you think about this blog - leave a comment below of what you want to read more of!

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