What To Wear At An Outdoor Family Photoshoot
Dressing yourself in the morning is hard enough when you don’t have to stand in front of a camera and be your best self. Choosing what to wear for a photoshoot can trigger even the most confident style icon to pull their entire wardrobe out onto the floor in search of a perfect outfit.
So if it feels overwhelming when you think about what to wear and how to dress you all as a family don’t worry. This is SO normal! Before you loose sleep or spend endless hours online shopping, putting clothes into your cart only to take them out again, let’s talk about what works and what doesn’t…..
Your Style Guide!
1. Location, Location, Location…..
Before you consider what outfits you want to wear, we will talk to you about location options and what you feel best represents your family’s story. Will you have a casual beach session or would you prefer a woodland setting, running through fields of wildflowers or hiking to an epic mountain location? Check out 5 Of Our Favourite Locations!
The first thing to remember when it comes to picking a location for your family session is figuring out the vibe you want. My advice to you is pick something your kids will enjoy that suits your families style and personality. The more excited they are by their surroundings, the happier they will be.
You and I will be collaborating on telling your story together. You will want to be warm enough (or cool enough!), have pain-free feet and look relatively native to your environment. For at home sessions, slip into your comfies and rock that. The idea is to authentically capture you wherever you are making sure your outfit compliments the environment-keeping the focus on you.
Think through your clothing choices logically based on location, vibe and comfort level. Wardrobe is such an important part of your family session. It should be comfortable but also reflect your family style as it determines the overall look and feel of your final image.
2. Let’s Get Started
I always recommend to start with Mom since women’s clothing tend to have more colours and prints not to mention we are typically pulling the outfits together and we are more critical about ourselves! up to 2-3 outfits you feel amazing in and we can play around with different combinations.
I really do encourage Moms to wear a dress. Long dresses that have some transparency, texture and allow movement photograph so beautifully. Not only are dresses flattering but you will feel good in it. If you hate dresses, think about a skirt/top combo, top and trousers with Kimono or something that is slightly dresser than your everyday look. Pick fabric that move and flow with you. Ones that add a cosy texture, or get picked up by the wind, filter the later afternoon sun and glow in the morning light! Natural fibres like lined, cotton or wool are amazing.
Once you’ve chosen Mom’s outfit, dress the rest of the family. Take that outfit and use it as inspiration for other outfits. Think about 2-3 colour co-ordinations, one of which pops with a pattern or texture and brings life to all the outfits. Avoid clothing with words/large logos on the front, neon or bright colours. Embrace the cold with layers and cute accessories. You can use hats, tall socks, chunky knit cardigans or other accessories to add layers to your family’s wardrobe. Dressing for the temperature outside is so important, layering is the perfect solution for this chilly Irish evening’s or sweltering August days (here’s hoping!)
I’m not encouraging you to go with the current trends, I’m looking for YOU. If authenticity is what you are after, you are going to have to show up as yourself. And if you want to capture this time of your life in all it’s glory then it’s about the feeling of being in your own skin. I want you to come to your session with your true, full personality! I am giving you all the permission you need to just go for it!
3. Colour Scheming
We suggest warmer earthy tones like cream, browns, mustard yellows. Remember the colour wheel from 6th class? This is a great reference point when trying to figure out what colours look a bit weird together against those which compliment each other creating visual harmony. Complimentary colours sit across from each other on the colour wheel (for example blue and orange, red and green).
Also, the colour palette you choose will affect your appearance and the overall look of your photo. A rule of thumb is to choose to either compliment your natural environment or contrast it. A mustard dress in a deep green forest will look epic, whereas a bright pink, patterned dress doesn’t really fit in with your surroundings.
Atlhough its not all about contrast. We’re all built so differently and respond to colour combinations differently. For those less taken by the ‘pop” Analogous colours could be the way to go. They are next to each other on the colour wheel and can be quite soothing to the eye. Think of Ireland and all the lush variations of green or the ocean and the infinite hues of blue.
4. Add Variety with Subtle Patterns and Texture
They say that variety is the spice of life, right? To add depth and interest to your photos, create dimension by having primarily solids with a few co-ordinating subtle patterns and textures. Patterns are great in small doses and add a lot to your photo. Avoid large bold, large prints that can distract from he photo though. Try to limit yourself to one pattern at a time. You want your photos to be about you and not your outfits.
5. Just Be Yourself-Make-Up and Hair Do’s (and don’t’s!)
So this is totally your call! But, if I may…..I would suggest cultivation a bit of “oh-natural” that balances elegance and ease so well. I want you to look like you. So do whatever you need to do to feel confident and beautiful. Hands tell such a story about who you are and where you’ve been and play a crucial role in portrait photography.
As for hair, I adore the way a wild mane blows in the wind. Hair down is the way to go. It means you get movement, you get interest, you get some perfect slices of imperfection in the best possible way.
6. Remember The Shoes
Shoes are a key part of the look and have the power to complete an outfit or completely destroy it! Think about your session location and what you would normally wear if I wasn’t following you around with a camera. If you are in a field, for instance, you won’t be able to walk in those stilettos. Avoid bright white shoes, all athletic sneakers, and kids’ shoes with cartoon characters and sparkles. Being barefoot makes sense on the beach and boots are beautiful in the mountains. Leather is great for boots and know that sandals win over flip flops by a long shot. Always consider context when choosing footwear for both aesthetic appeal and practicality.
I am more than happy to help with any clothing questions or concerns.