It’s no small task choosing family photoshoot outfits for your entire family! There are just so many options, right!?! And how do you know how it will all really look like in the end!?!
Well, I’ve done some research and come up with these 10 Tips for choosing family photoshoot outfits. I’ve used some of these tips myself in the past and am using the rest to plan our next family photoshoot. Hope you find them helpful!
1. FIRST, Be Intentional About Color Choice
Color is a very important piece of the puzzle when choosing Family Photoshoot outfits. The colors of all of your outfits matter. But, the colors in your location matter as well. The goal is for the colors of your outfits to be either Complementary, Analogous, Split-Complementary, Analogous or in some cases Monochromatic to your location. I will go through examples of each below, but if you’d like to learn more about this, check out this article, it lays it all out rather nicely and quickly!
Complementary colors are opposite colors on the color wheel. When used together they create an eye pleasing contrast.
Split-Complementary colors are the two colors that are next to the complementary color of your color choice.
Analogous colors are right next to each other on the color wheel.
Monochromatic colors are the hues and tints on one color.
It helps to think about your family photos as a painting. You want the colors to complement each other and create a cohesive theme.
Canva has a super fun and easy to use color wheel that you use to determine your first color choice. Begin by choosing the main color of the location of your shoot. Then, see what the complementary color is! It’s a simple way to get started and heading in the right direction. Here are some Complementary Color Combinations to consider for your next photoshoot!
I started with evergreen for the Christmas trees in our upcoming photoshoot. The complementary color is this Plum color, and it will be the color I am choosing for my dress.
If I was planning a beach photoshoot, I may go with this main color combo.
A great color combo for a golden colored field could be this!
2. Coordinate Outfit color choices with the location of the photoshoot
The first step here is to look up examples from your photographers’ website or Instagram Profile. Once you find a picture from your chosen location for the shoot you will then take a screenshot to use in the next step. Next, go to Adobe Color, a free and handy tool for creating your color palette to base your outfits choices on. There, you can add the image of the location of your photoshoot to make perfect and exact color choices from!
I’m currently planning for our Christmas 2021 Family Photoshoot and used a past photo from our Photographers Instagram page to base our color choice off of.
First, I imported the pictures to Adobe Color.
Next, I checked out the complementary and split complementary color choices. I preferred the choices in split-complementary.
I decided upon these plum colors and made a note of the Hex colors. You can use this bottom number, the Hex#, to plug into your final palette. They are universal design program numbers that designers use.
3. Create a complete palette
Finally, you want to put all the colors together in one palette. Include both the colors of the location and the main colors of your outfits.
I tused Coolors to create the color palette options for our Family Christmas pictures. If you haven’t used Coolors.co before, its so easy and helpful! When you go to their website you can click on generate and then enter the Hex numbers from your location, then lock those colors in the palette. After that, just keep pressing your space bar until you find a complete color palette you like! Coolors will keep suggesting more and more options. You can lock colors one by one until they are all to your liking.
Below are the color palettes I am working off of for our future Christmas Family Photoshoot. The first color is the snow, the second is the color of the trees and the third is the blue color on the truck that will be in the pictures. The complementary color that keeps coming up over and over is the fourth plum color. I also chose a lighter purple color for my daughters dress. I’m thinking of dressing the boys in neutral colors that are similar to our plums and pinks. It’s a work in progress though, so I will share more when I make more decisions!
Here’s some alternative palettes I am considering! Please let me know what you think in the comments!
4. Start with mom’s dress
It may seem a little self centered, but let me explain why it’s best to start with Mom’s dress. First, your dress is the most difficult outfit to find. It will require the most searching and trying on and retuning. (Make sure you order from places with free returns!) The style of dresses vary so much, and to find one in the color choice you need, it’s going to take some work!
It is much easier to find dresses for your daughter. There are so many options in all price ranges available for kids. Plus, many companies now offer mommy and me options so there’s always that option too. If you’ve got some men and boys to dress, they are even easier! Their outfits are often not as complicated and easy to find.
Check out our Shop the Blog page for some help finding dresses!
5. Don’t forget about the shoes! And Accessories
Often, shoes are the last part of the outfit that is chosen. But, they are still very important! If you are heading to the beach for your photoshoot, consider wearing no shoes at all! It makes for an easier shoot, especially with children in tow. Going barefoot also gives your final images a more natural, bohemian look that is perfect for beach photoshoots.
If you are planning on a photoshoot in a field, it may be better to wear some shoes. You never know what you may step on and shoes that protect your feet are a good choice. If you can rock some boots go for it! Joyfolie has some amazing and very unique shoe choices for photoshoots. They are a bit pricey, but they may be just the touch you need to complete an outfit. Target is also a great option! I have been pleasantly surprised with the quality of their shoes lately, and you can’t beat the price.
Hats! Bring some! My kids loved wearing hats in our last photoshoot. The only thing I wish is that I had taken their hats off for some of the pictures. And, also that I remembered to bring my hat too! Mom brain…
I continually update our Shop the Blog page with find for photoshoots, head there if you need more recommendations.
6. Lay it all out together and take pictures of the outfits before the shoot
This is an o-so-necessary step that is often skipped. Either hang up or lay down everyone’s complete outfits and take a quick picture! If you’ve got multiple options to choose from (I always have trouble deciding so I end up with more than one option) take photos and compare the outfits with each other. Even better, head to Facebook and ask other people what they think looks best! It always helps to get other’s opinions, and a fresh eye, when you are really close to a project.
You can also join our Facebook Group to share your picture! It’s a group for anyone who’s planning their Family Photoshoot and a place to get feedback and help from other’s in the same position as you! I hope to see you in there and I can’t wait to see your outfits and pictures!
7. Try to stay away from loud patterns
Loud patterns and designs in photographs can be distracting. It’s best to pick clothing that doesn’t distract one’s eye too much and become the focus of the photo. Most of the time, you want the landscape and location to shine, not your shirt. Try not to wear anything that has words on it, that is also distracting as our eyes are immediately drawn to words in photos.
The dress in the right picture doesn’t interfere with the environment at all. The dress in the picture on the left both clashes with the gorgeous background and is a louder pattern that distracts your eye. A more neutral dress would help that image to be the best that it can be!
8. Neutrals are an easy way to get it all done!
If you are pressed for time and need to make quick decisions, go with neutrals like white, beige, and very pale colors. Or, even if you aren’t pressed for time but want no fail choices for your photoshoot outfits, stick with neutrals! They are your best bet for awesome photos that will be easy for your photographer to edit. Most people, and most skin tones, also look great in neutral colors as well. And you are guaranteed that the outfits you choose will blend well with the location.
One thing to note when choosing neutral colors is to be careful not to match each other too closely. You run the risk of looking like one big blob of color in your photos. If two people are hugging and wearing all white, then there will be visually no difference between the two of them. The trick here is to pick different textures, when dressing in similar colors. You can shoot for monochromatic or analogous color choices, that go well with your location.
9. Ask your photographer for help Choosing family photoshoot outfits
I heard from a little bird that your photographer wants you to ask for help! Each photographer has a particular editing style and the outfits you pick matter! So, if you’re photographer hasn’t already mentioned services in regard to outfit choice, then go ahead and ask them if they have any recommendations.
10. Look up other examples on Instagram from real photographers in locations similar to yours
If you don’t have any examples of outfits used in the location directly from your photographer…then stalk other photographers on Instagram! Lots of photographers take pictures in pretty fields, with sunflowers or wildflowers, close to Christmas trees…etc. Take a look at some real examples on Instagram, tags like #familyphotographer or #familyphotographer(add the location you are in) are helpful and will give you tons of examples of outfits in real photos to help you chose your own outfits! Also, sometimes you’ll even get lucky and the dress worn in the pictures you find and like will also have a link to where to purchase the same dress or ensemble! If the link isn’t there, go ahead and ask! Sometimes the photographers are able to share that info!
Then the search for your outfits begins!
I’ve started early choosing outfits for our family photoshoot coming up in November, so I’ve got some time to do all of these steps! But, if you are pressed for time, going neutral makes it easier!
If you are looking for help, or need someone to bounce ideas off of, please join our Facebook Group.
If you would like a major shortcut to choosing family photoshoot outfits please take a look at the Shop the Blog page. Links to tried and true options are there for you!
Happy searching! 😍