What to Wear - Ideas for Spring Family Photos | Mechanicsburg, PA Family Photographer

I don't know about you but I'm starting to long for spring!  Last week at the mall, the stores were brimming with spring colors and short sleeves. It made me really itch to get outside for spring sessions.

So - in anticipation of spring sessions being just around the corner, I thought I'd post about something I get asked by lots of clients, "What should we wear?"

This is especially challenging for family sessions. I'm not going to lie.  The most stressful part of my own family photos is finding cute, coordinating outfits for everyone to wear!  I'm pretty sure this is the case for lots of families and thought it might be helpful to launch a new series with inspiration for what to wear for your photos.

To kick things off, let me start with a few tried and true rules for my family when it comes to pictures:

1.  If Mama Ain't Happy, Ain't Nobody Happy.  Yup - you heard me right. I need to feel happy about what I'm wearing. After all, if I'm in the photos, I'll be checking to see if I look good first. If I don't, I won't be ordering it.  So, my advice to fellow moms out there is to start by finding some things you feel comfortable wearing and that make you feel good about yourself.  Have a little black dress in your closet that you love? Try it on. Black is always slimming for photos but be sure add some pops of color with your accessories.  Better yet - head to the mall with a girlfriend and try on some new outfits. Use them as the starting points. And while you're there, be sure to snag a few cute accessories! A cute necklace can make any outfit shine!

2. Coordinate. Don't match. Okay, so I'll confess. I have some of those "white shirts and khakis" photos taken at the beach in my house.  When you are trying to coordinate clothing for 10 or more people, it isn't a horrible option. For just my family, though, I can a lot better. In my opinion, the best family photos aren't all matchy-matchy.  Family members coordinate but aren't in the exact.same.outfits.  This, my friends, is where I start to stress out.  The stores don't make this super easy.  I can't remember, for example, the last time I went into Gymboree and found cute coordinating outfits for my two year old daughter and five year old son.  So where do I start?  Personally, I start online. It is easier and faster for me to browse online than to schlep my kids with me to a bunch of stores.  I check out my favorite kids' clothing sites and see what colors are in right now.  Then, I start looking for myself and work backwards to the kids.

3. Comfort is important, but...  I truly believe everyone should be comfortable during a portrait session. For my family, and my style, though, this does not translate into "wear your favorite t-shirt."  Now those that know me well, will know my kids don't own shirts with characters on them nor do they have anything with sports logos.  It just isn't me.  (I do buy character pj's for my son - but that is it.)  My son is comfortable in button down shirts and sweaters. He wears them regularly to preschool. My daughter loves to wear a dress and tights.  So that is usually what they usually wear for photos. If your son has never before worn a collared shirt, though, portrait day is probably not the best day to start. Know what I mean?

4. Oh, yeah. Then there's dad.  For my husband, this is pretty easy. He wears a suit every.single.day to work. He has no interest in dressing up on the weekends when we usually schedule family photo.  I try really hard to make it easy and comfy for him, too. Jeans or khakis with a button down shirt or sweater are his go-to outfits.  I usually don't have to buy anything new for him, either. Easy peasy.

5. Look down. Why, you ask?  Because your feet and shoes will be in photos, too. Make sure you have shoes that will work for each family member.  For moms, I'd suggest these be shoes you're comfortable wearing where the shoot will be held. If you're meeting me at a park, for example, you might not want to wear your favorite heels.

So, what might I pick?  Well, check out the photo below for some ideas. These are all items currently being sold for this spring from major retail stores. Notice I started with something I'd be totally comfortable wearing.   Notice the similar color palette but nothing actually matches.  Notice I had to hunt for things at different stores, because none of these stores has great coordinating looks for the whole family.

What do you think?  Could you pull together something like this? If you need help, give me a shout. I'm happy to help you think through things as we get ready for your session.  Believe me, I know - if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy.  And I want all the mamas to be happy!

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