I am a blessed woman — I married a man who not only tolerates standing in a wheat field or under a cherry tree for family pictures, but he actually encourages it and never hesitates to spend money on pictures of our children that someone else captures.
As a military family, we move every 2-3 years. By taking pictures each fall and/or spring of our family, we not only document our growing family and children, but we also are able to document our time at a place that we called home, even if it was just for a year.
Our home is decorated with photos of our kids throughout the years and the frames are our favorite deocr in our home.
My goal is to coordinate our outfits for the pictures, but not to the point where they are matchy matchy. I want us to look good standing next to each other, but feel comfortable too.
So where do you start? How can you coordinate so many little bodies and have it all look GOOD at the end?
Here are my top five tips for styling your family for your photo session:
Think About Your Venue
Where are your photos going to be captured? What time of day? What season is it?
I always first start with the season and location. If I’m going to be in a wheat field in fall, I’m going to go with warm colors and some patterns and texture. The beach in summer? Flowy materials, light colors, things that are easy to move in and that will also catch the breeze a bit, but not too much.
Bottom line, be smart here. If you know you’re going to be on the beach, shoes aren’t really necessary. Likewise, if your walking through a field heels aren’t a good fit.
Dress Mom FIRST
Let’s be realistic, if you, mom, don’t feel confident, then it is going to show on EVERY picture that is captured. So, start with you. Find something that you’re comfortable in, that covers your chest and your butt (hello bending over!).
For our most recent photos, I had this beautiful cable knit burgundy sweater that I LOVED. I paired it with a pair of my favorite skinny jeans and brown flats (we were in a wheat field!). DONE!
I felt confident in it, I was covered to make sure when I had to bend over nothing showed, and it was appropriate for our venue.
Dress the Family
When I go into dressing my family, I like to mix and match with colored bottoms and tops as well as patterns. But, I keep it in the same color family.
You have to take into account where your family will be standing in the photos and if you (or your spouse) will be holding any of your kids. You don’t want to have the same color on top of each other when you’re standing next to one another.
So, since I had on dark burgundy, my husband wore a khaki, oatmeal color sweater. My older kids wore light colored tops and patterns so that way as we stood next to them or hugged, we didn’t blend in.
Personally, I don’t like putting my kids in the same clothes; I want them to feel unique! But if you choose to do the same clothes, more power to you.
Enjoy shopping for your kiddos! Remember, you can always return clothes. So if you are torn, grab both and see it all come together.
It’s really easy to find sibling clothes that coordinate when you shop at the same store — Old Navy, Target, and Carters are my usual go-to’s. But here’s the thing, if you have a solid color palate from YOUR outfit, mom, then it’s easy to coordinate everyone else’s! I also love to add things into my cart and see it all together.
Where to Shop
For our most recent shoot (pictured above!), my outfit is from Target (top, bottoms) and my shoes are from TJMaxx (about 3 years ago!).
Matt’s outfit is from Target and those are his “dress jeans” *insert giggle and eye roll*
My oldest daughter’s outfit is Carters (jean jacket), Old Navy (dress), Wal-Mart (leggings), and Target (shoes).
My oldest son’s entire outfit is from Target.
My youngest daughter’s outfit is from Target (sweater), Old Navy (pants), and her big sister’s old shoes.
My youngest son’s outfit is from Target, online.
My girls’ bows were a two pack from Target.
I am a big old cheapskate, and I always pull from what we have first, then I hit the clearance racks.
Keep it Comfortable
At the end of the day, a family photo session should capture your family having FUN. Your little ones are going to have a hard time running shoes that they’re not used to and who wants to listen to a whining kid who is uncomfortable, then expect them to smile?
Feeling good is half the battle for your family to look good. Keep it comfy and smart.
At the end of the day, this is about capturing memories of your family. Have FUN! If you go into your shoot feeling good and with the expectation of fun, you’re bound to capture beautiful images.