Clients often ask me what they should wear for their outdoor session. It’s hard to give them an answer that will easily fit in an email. So I decided to write a whole post about my recommendations for outfits for outdoor photography session. The 10 points below address clothing. However, if you look at the bottom of the post I have some suggestions on make-up and some tips specifically for maternity sessions. Also, if you are looking for recommendations on where to shop for clothing for your photo shoot you can find a whole separate post on that here. So if you are interested in either topic be sure to keep scrolling to the end of the post.
- Coordinate outfits – Choose colors that work well together, but that aren’t the same. You can even mix and match prints with solids. The key is to make sure that the colors you are working with go well together. If you are unsure what colors to wear consider choosing a color pallet that would look good in your home. Everyone’s preference is different, but I personally like grey, tan/cream, blush and whites together. I also really like mixing blue into that same palette.
- Don’t put everyone in the same outfit. It’s best not to put everyone in the same outfit (think white shirt and blue jeans). Instead put everyone in different shades of blue and the same color or complementing color. The more shades of the same color you add the more visually interesting the wardrobe will become. This rule goes for twins too. Twins can be dressed in matching outfits without them being exactly the same.
- Avoid neon colors – Neon colors can change skin tones and don’t look flattering in images. It’s best to avoid neon colors in all attire.
- Think layers and textures – Layers and textures add visual interest to images. Layers can be added by adding a sweater, scarves, vest, suspenders, etc. Textures can be added by choosing an outfit with textures, jewelry, lace, flowers to the hair, belts, fun tights etc.
- Wear clothing that fits well – This is especially true for children’s clothes. It’s very tempting to buy clothing that children will grow into. However clothing should fit well/snug. You should even consider sizing down in clothing sizes. If clothing is baggy, they will look baggy and unkempt in the pictures. Large clothing also does not flatter your figure. It’s also important to try your clothing on before the day of your shoot.
- Make sure you feel good – It’s okay to go a little out of your comfort zone when choosing clothing for your family pictures. However, the clothing should reflect you and your family’s sense of style. You want to look like you in the pictures and that won’t be the case if you choose something that you would never wear again. Choose something that flatters your body and that makes you feel good. This is especially important for the adults. You should wear something you feel good in. You can even start with your favorite outfit/dress and then work everyone else’s outfit around your attire.
- Feet – Don’t forget your shoes and socks. You will likely be doing some walking during your shoot so it’s important to choose shoes you can walk in. However, it’s also important to make sure your shoes look nice. Wedges are a great look for women and you don’t have worry about them getting stuck in the grass. Your child shouldn’t be in Mickey sneakers, Crocs, or neon colored shoes. No one should show up to the session in sneakers. If you have shoes that require socks make sure that your socks are appropriate as they may show when you sit on the ground. Know that during the summer months it’s completely acceptable to do some bare feet shots!
- A few things to avoid – Avoid anything with visible logos. This tends to be distracting and dates the images quickly. Don’t get a haircut the week before the session to avoid that freshly cut look. Don’t have everyone wear the same outfit/color. Don’t wear your Fitbit or other large watch that doesn’t complete your look. Don’t try outfits on for the first time the day of your shoot.
- Consider your backdrop – If your shoot is in Spring in a green field of grass then you probably want to avoid also wearing green. Keep your backdrop in mind when choosing outfits.
- Be flexible and comfortable – The day of your shoot something is bound to go wrong. It’s okay – that’s life! Make sure your kids aren’t in clothes that will make them want to get undressed before they even get to the shooting location. Also make sure your outfits are weather appropriate. If you or your kids are too hot or cold during the session it will be visible in the images. It also wouldn’t hurt to give yourself more time then you think you need to get ready… Just in case you need a quick Target run for that one thing you forgot about.
The above tips are about clothing for your session. But your make-up is just as important!
Here are a few tips to help you with your makeup on picture day…
- It’s okay (and encouraged) to use makeup for your session. I recommend using slightly more then you wear on a daily basis. If you don’t normally wear make-up consider having someone do your makeup for you. You can have this done rather inexpensively at somewhere like a department store beauty counter, the MAC store, or Ulta Beauty. If you are looking for someone to come to your home to hair/make-up let me know as I have a great stylist who will come to your home to do this (Her name is Katie and she is fantastic. I have her do my hair and makeup before any family shoot we do! She also helped me put together this section of the blog post – thanks Katie!).
- You may want to consider adding naturally looking false lashes (so not huge chunky false lashes). They can make all the difference is naturally enhancing your look. My favorite false lashes are the Ardell 110 Naturals. They are available at most drug stores, are easy to apply, and are very inexpensive (around $5.) They add a bit of length and lots of fullness without looking like you’re wearing falsies.
- Your foundation and eye shadows should not have shimmer or glitter. These pigments reflect light and don’t translate well in photos. This includes glitter, shiny powers, or lotions/fondations with an SPF in it. Mattes are the way to go!
- Remember to highlight your eyes and cheeks! This will add dimension and will keep your face from looking too “flat.”
- You will be photographed from many different angles. Be sure that your foundation blends well on your neck/chin line.
Bonus: A few tips specifically for a maternity session…
For maternity sessions the goal is to show off that baby bump. So be sure to to wear something that flatters the bump. Maxi dresses tend to look great. If you are wearing a dress or shirt that isn’t form fitting consider adding a belt to the outfit above the belly. Don’t wear black as it’s a slimming color. Try not to wear sold white as it’s hard to see definition in white. All the other rules above still apply! 🙂
Double Bonus: If you are looking for some shopping inspiration I’ve also written my recommendations on where to shop for your shoot. I hope you will find that helpful too!