I have had a lot of clients email me asking about what to wear, so i thought I would put my suggestions together in one place. I know a lot of people have a hard time coming up with good, solid wardrobe choices for family photography. It can be stressful, but also fun and I LOVE putting outfits together for my own family or clients, so please do not hesitate to ask for my help if you feel lost.
The days of really matchy outfits and everyone wearing the same color is a thing of the past. It's a great time to embrace your individuality with your favorite looks, bold colors, prints and layers. It's more about coordinating then it is matching. I'm also a believer in everyone has their own style, so remember to stay true to that and be comfortable.
Tips for what photographs well: (summarized some of Sarah Beth posts on this topic and added some of my own thoughts as well)
Steer clear of fluorescents. Fluorescent colors tend to color cast on faces, necks and hair and can be really harsh in photos.
Stay away from wearing clothes that blend into the background. Meanign if we plan to shoot in an area with a lot of green, you might not want to wear a long green dress. Accent colors is great though.
To get the flow going with the wardrobe, start with one outfit that you really like. From there, build from it for everyone else. Don't feel like you can only use the colors in that first outfit either. Coordinate, not match.
Wear what you feel good in. If you are comfortable, it will show. If you can't find a dress you feel good in, but you rock a good pair of skinny jeans, do that. If you can barely walk in heels, no harm in doing a cute and comfy boot or bootie or some pretty sandals.
Layers! They add dimension and depth. If you have a beautiful dress, try adding a beautiful scarf or shawl, can add a lot to the photo.
Movement and flow. This is for the ladies and girls. I love photographing movement especially in the wind. You might in fact find me going crazy if I see your hair being caught up in some wind. Finding a dress, skirt, shawl or anything that can flow an move as you walk can make a photo.
Buy clothes that fit now. I know it's so tempting to buy a size up when you are already buying new clothes, but I promise the photos will look better if everything fits well.
Coordinating colors, not matching. Have I said this one yet?? It's big.Wearing the same color shirt, shorts or pants is awkward, unless your hearts of hearts wants to (by means wear what YOU want to) but photos look better when things are coordinated not matching. A suggestion here is to pick maybe 2 or 3 main colors and then add some accent colors. Some families want neutrals which is fine, just don't recommend wearing all the same color neutral.
Dress for the weather and be flexible. I had my family's photos done one year and it was sunny but when we arrived at the beach it was freezing cold and windy. I had on nothing more then a thin dress and my kids has summer clothes on (it was June) Luckily for me I had some nice layers, blazers, vests, etc to pull out and they turned out to be still on of my favorites just like that. Pack extra layers that still go with your outfit just in case. Hats, scarves, vests, sweaters, etc.
Maxi dresses are flattering and can be so beautiful. It's hard to go wrong with a beautiful maxi dress. Skinny jeans and boots can also look great. Again wear what makes you feel your best! http://www.freepeople.com/ is a favorite place for amazing breezy, boho maxi dresses. Jen's pirate booty is very expensive, but some gorgeous dresses for beach sessions. http://www.jenspiratebooty.com/ I think if you have the right eye you can find a beautiful outfit at so many places, even your own closet.
Make-up and Hair recommendations. I used to never get my hair and make-up done for photos, but I'm a believer now in how big of a difference it can make for photos and in the way you feel. If it's something you are interested in, there are so many places. I recommend los Gatos Blow Out Bar for make-up and hair and well as Sephora for make-up only. You can call or schedule online.
My favorite place to shop for kids outfits for photos is Zara (at Valley Fair) or Zara.com. They have some of my favorite clothes for kids, especially boys. Boys suspenders, adorable hats, boots, dresses, you can find it all here.
Here is favorite places to shop taken directly from sarah beth photography.
Favorite Places to Shop
Price points: $-cheap, $$-average, $$$-high, $$$$-expensive
1. Gap.com. They provide a great option for “basics.” Just about anything you’d need, you’ll find on their website. And Gap frequentlyoffers sales and discounts if you sign up for their email list, plus their sale rack prices are amazing! $$-$$$
2. Freepeople.com. Free People is my happy place. Think easy, breezy, comfy, boho chick. $$$-$$$$
3. Anthropologie.com. It’s a little bit more on the expensive side, but the clothes are quality, unique and last forever. $$$$
4. Jcrew.com. Their Crew Cuts kids line is probably one of my top 5 sites for kids clothes. Also, their shoe selection for kids alone makes me giddy. $$$$
5. Mak-rose.com. A great cheap site for girls clothing. Boutique dresses, sweaters, blazers, tights, etc. Not much on that site I don’t love, and it’s very affordable. So, if you see something you like, it’s best to purchase now, because she sells out fast, and once it’s gone, it’s gone! $-$$
6. HM.com. I consider H&M the holy grail for all things boy and men. And, they just recently started selling clothes online! Eep! Their price point is ridiculously low, and the clothes are my favorite. My boys’ closets are stuffed full with H&M swag. Their trouser pants are around $10 and are amazing quality. Amazing. Also, the cutest little cardigans, sweaters, button downs and other great accessories for super low prices. Keep in mind that H&M sizes are a little different, and they run big. If your son is an average size 4, buy him the size 3-4 pants. The 4-5 seems like the obvious choice, but they’ll be too long and too big around the waist. $-$$
7. Forever21.com. Cute clothes for women of all sizes (and men!) on the cheap. Take someone with you if you choose to shop in-store. It’s a little overwhelming. But honestly, they have some amazing wardrobe choices and the best (cheapest) jewelry that won’t break the bank. $-$$
8. Zara.com. I get lost on this site, seriously. So many adorable pieces, shoes, accessories, etc. For men, women and children. $$-$$$$
9. Modcloth.com. A fun, flirty and pretty affordable site for women’s timeless dresses, fun tops and the best shoes and accessories! $$-$$$
10. Shopruche.com. Another great site for women’s dresses and tops. Gorgeous, gorgeous clothing. $$$
11. Joyfolie.com. Shoes, shoes, glorious shoes! For girls and women. Breathtaking dresses, jackets, caplets. Moms will thank me for this. Husbands, notsomuch. $$$$
12. Fleuranddot.com. The most adorable girls clothing you’ll ever find if you’re vintage-inspired in your look. Hands down. $$$$
12. Catch-alls. Antique stores. Garage Sales. Flea Market. Target. Ebay. Zulily. Hand-me-downs. Possibly even your photographer’s closet! Always keep your eyes peeled! You’ll be pleasantly surprised by what you find.
See this dress my niece is wearing? It was $3 at an antique store in Effingham, IL. It’s held together in the back by an old safety pin. And it’s easily one of my favorites! You just never know what you’ll find.
Alloy. WWW.ALLOYAPPAREL.COM $-$$
American Apparel. WWW.AMERICANAPPAREL.COM $$$
Nordstrom Rack. SHOP.NORDSTROM.COM/C/NORDSTROM-RACK $$$
Dottie Couture Boutique. WWW.DOTTIECOUTURE.COM $$-$$$
Urban Outfitters. WWW.URBANOUTFITTERS.COM $$$
The Oxford Trunk. WWW.THEOXFORDTRUNK.COM $$-$$$
Nordstrom. WWW.NORDSTROM.COM $$$$
Urban Outfitters WWW.URBANOUTFITTERS.COM $$$-$$$$
Zulily. WWW.ZULILY.COM $-$$$
Le Coxa Boutique. WWW.LECOXAJBOUTIQUE.COM $$-$$$
Dutchess and Lion. WWW.ETSY.COM/SHOP/DUCHESSANDLION $$-$$$
The Children’s Place. WWW.CHILDRENSPLACE.COM $-$$
Loola. WWW.LOOLA.BIGCARTEL.COM $$