Planning family pictures is always very stressful for me. Finding the perfect outfits that coordinate, aren’t too matchy, matchy + fit the personality of each person in my family is always something I spend way too much time agonizing over. This time was no different, only added to it was the pressure of having pictures not only for our Christmas card, but that I could use for some fun changes coming to this little ol’ space of mine. But more on that later.
After spending way too many hours shopping for new clothes, we ended up using mostly pieces we already owned. #bestlaidplans
So I thought I’d share some tips to help you this holiday season, find the perfect outfits for your family.
Tip No. One: Be familiar with the area you’re taking pictures
When planning an outfit, it’s always important to know the layout of the landscape where you’re taking your family pictures. If there’s a lot of color, you might want to look for outfits that won’t contrast or take away from the natural color. Or, if there’s a lot of dirt terrain, you may want to steer clear of open toed shoes, white pants, shirts, etc. Anything clothes that will show the dirt.
For example, we once shot at a vineyard. I had Brayden in light blue chambray pants, a white vneck + gray sweater. Before we even took the first picture, Brayden fell and got covered in red dirt. It was impossible to hide in any of the pictures!! Had he had on dark denim we might have been able to wipe the dirt + hide most of the mess.
For our family pictures this time around we shot at a location called The Lab, or the “Anti-Mall.” The Lab has a lot of color and repurposed wood, so I knew I needed to find outfits that would work with all the color.
Tip No. Two – Find outfits you’re comfortable wearing
There’s nothing worse that trying to take family pictures in an outfit you can’t move around in. For me, I’m always so focused on getting the perfect picture of my kids so having an outfit that doesn’t make me feel hot + sweaty and can withstand holding my kids, sitting and standing are all important things for me to think about. Be aware of how much “moving” you’ll be doing and pick an outfit that’s conducive to that.
Tip No. Three – Make sure the outfits reflect your personalities
With this photo shoot I was really hoping to have our outfits reflect our personalities and be something we would wear again. I really believe that certain outfits might look great on the hanger, but when you put it all together + start shooting pictures you might find that your pictures come out cute, but you many not look comfortable in them because it’s not something you would normally wear.
Since Katelyn loves anything and everything glitter and sparkles right now, when I found her skirt (on sale) at BabyGap, I knew it would be perfect. In fact, I built the whole outfit concept from her skirt. It looked adorable with black leggings and a navy + white striped shirt. Then when I found the super hero hooded shirt I had to snag it for Brayden. It looked great paired with a shirt he already had and skinny jeans.
Tip No. Four – Sometimes you need to take a risk
This outfit was a huge risk for me. Mixing chambray, a gray silk dress + dark brown boots may not be considered “matchy.” I remembered recently seeing someone pair gray and brown together and I loved how it looked so I took a risk. All the pieces are ones that wear regularly, I had just never worn them together. I’m glad I took the risk, I love how the pictures turned out.
Tip No. Five – Always have a back up plan
We all know that at the end of the day, kids are kids and they run, play + get dirty, so always have a back up plan. A second shirt, sweater, pair of jeans, dress, etc, just in case. For this shoot, my husband grabbed the great sweater seen in below pictures and I had packed a denim jacket for Katelyn, a sweater fro Brayden + extra sweaters for me as well. Just in case a situation or change of background warranted a change. I never ended up putting on my yellow sweater mostly because we decided it would clash with the background + the weather warmed up so Katelyn never needed her jacket. Was I glad I had them, just in case? Most definitely!
My last tip has nothing to do with your outfits, but I have to share it…
Don’t be afraid to let your kids be kids + just have fun. Some of your favorite pictures may end up being the fun ones.
All pictures were taken by Cristina Robeck Photography. If you’re in the Southern California area, please check her out and book her for your holiday pictures. Cristina is doing mini sessions in two weeks or you can use this coupon to book a full session with her.
Do you have any tips for taking family pictures?