With Queensland coming out of lockdown, yayyyy! I am busy rescheduling my family sessions and a question I get asked all the time is ‘What do we wear?’. This question isn’t just asked by my family clients it’s a universal question I get all the time, from my engagement photo sessions to my senior sessions.
We are so lucky on the Gold Coast to have the weather that literally allows you to wear anything you want. You do not want to look too matchy-matchy, you want your family to be coordinated without trying too hard.
THE NUMBER ONE RULE FOR A FAMILY PHOTO SESSION
The ﬁrst rule of family photo sessions is that mum gets to choose what she wears ﬁrst, then everyone else coordinates around her.
Since Mum is probably choosing her own outﬁts and everyone else’s, start with the queen of the household, Mum. Photos are your rare chance to be seen in all the invisible work you do every day, day after day. It’s time to step into your queen mama glory. Lots of mamas ﬁnd that long dresses (midi or maxi length), but anything you can sit, stand, lie down, twirl, tickle, and run around in will be amazing for pics. Above all, choose something that makes you feel amazing. Full stop.
OUTFIT FORMULAS FOR THE WHOLE FAMILY
For a coordinated but not-matchy, perfectly imperfect vibe. Since you’ve started with what you’re wearing, mama, you’ve got 1-3 colors to pull from already. Use these as your color palette and dress your family members in each of the colors pulled from your look, or add more colors if your look doesn’t have enough.
If you have more family members to dress, go for lighter or darker shades of those colors. Try to avoid having any two family members dressed in the same color unless it’s broken up between top/bottom, i.e. one family member is wearing blue pants, another can wear a blue shirt. Work with solid colors, small prints, + textures.
The camera loves texture + detail, so use these to add variety and cozy factor when you don’t want your crew to look like a bag of skittles. Texture = eyelet, stitching, ruﬄes, knit, denim, etc. Avoid logos and small patterns as this can create strange visual effects in the digital camera.
Neutrals such as blush, tans, link pinks, faint blues and teals, creams, grays, and whites will always result in more of a light and airy look to your images.
FAMILY MEMBER 1 (MAMA): starting point for the color palette + vibe of the outﬁts
FAMILY MEMBER 2: SOLID COLOR 1
FAMILY MEMBER 3: SOLID COLOR 2
FAMILY MEMBER 4: SMALL PRINT in color 3
FAMILY MEMBER 5: SMALL PRINT in color 1,2,3, or 4 FAMILY MEMBER 6: SOLID COLOR 3
FAMILY MEMBER 7: SOLID COLOR 4
The more family members you have, the more colors + prints you can introduce. So, a family of 4 might have a color palette of 3-4 colors, and 1-2 prints. A family of 6 might have a color palette of 4-5 colors and 3-4 prints.
These are more guidelines + a jumping oﬀ point rather than hard and fast rules :)
DON’T FORGET THE EXTRAS! DOS + DON’TS
- bold makeup, a glitter eye, or a fun accessory can add wonders to shoot but ONLY if it ﬁts with your personal style.
- if you can plan ahead, take oﬀ smartwatches and lose the watch tan line before your session.
- be aware of bra lines, tan lines, + anything else that makes your clothes not support you. You are amazing.
Your photoshoot should be about you, and your family's love, and your clothes should support the feelings you want to feel + create during your session.
Can I end with some cheesy cheese? You're never fully dressed without a smile. :) Okay, but seriously…the best possible thing you can bring to your in-session is a willingness to be emotive, loving, and open.
Hire a photographer you trust + you’ll get beautiful images no matter what everyone is wearing (or not wearing.)