Monday, November 11, 2019

10 TIPS FOR STYLING FAMILY PHOTOS




Fall is in full swing and the holidays will be here before we know it!  This time of year, many of us get family photos taken for Christmas cards.  Over the years, I have been asked for styling tips for family photos so I decided to write a blog post about it.  I hope you find these 10 suggestions helpful as you are planning outfits for family photos.

PICK A COLOR SCHEME
Come up with the color scheme you want to showcase in your photos.  I recommend two primary colors and one accent color.  For example, in our photos, I decided I wanted black and red as our main colors with some accents of grey.

USE PATTERNS...BUT NOT TOO MANY
I like to include some clothing with patterns as it gives the photos more dimension.  Photos where everyone is wearing a solid color just aren't as interesting in my opinion.  With that said, you have to be careful not to use too many patterns to prevent the photo from looking too busy.  I think that no more than half of the people in the photo should wear something with a pattern.  In our pictures, my older daughter and I wore patterns, but my husband and youngest did not.

START WITH ONE PIECE OF CLOTHING
I start selecting outfits by deciding on one piece of clothing that I definitely want to include in the photo.  This year, it was my older daughter's striped shirt.  The shirt has several colors in it so I thought it would be a good starting place for planning our outfits.  If you are unsure on a color scheme, selecting an item you want to include in the photos is an easy way to start narrowing down your colors.

VARY CLOTHING TEXTURES
Just like incorporating a few patterns, a variety of clothing textures will add more dimension to your photos.  For example, I do not recommend that everyone wears a cotton shirt and jeans, as there is no variety in the clothing textures.  In our photos, I incorporated denim (older daughter's skirt), fur (younger daughter's vest), wool (hubby's sweater) and even sequins (younger daughter's skirt).

SHOP YOUR CLOSET
This goes along with my tip above about selecting one item of clothing first and planning the rest of the outfits around that.  Often, one of your kids (or even you) already has an item in your closet that you want to include in the photo.  Before going out to buy new clothes, look through everyone's closets to see what you already have that will fit your color scheme.  Every year, I find at least 2 of our outfits by doing this and then just have to buy a few things to complete our looks.

PREVIEW OUTFITS IN ADVANCE 
Before making a final decision on our outfits, I lay out everyone's clothing on the bed or floor together.  This allows me to see how each piece looks with the others and if the overall photo will be cohesive.  This way, you can make any edits prior to picture day so there isn't any last minute scrambling to swap out someone's outfit.

DON'T FORGET SHOES
It is easy to get so focused on everyone's clothing that we forget what we are going to put on our feet!  Be sure that everyone has shoes that will match what they are wearing.  I am talking to myself here too, as I have made more than one last minute Target run in search for shoes for my daughters the night before family photos.  I recommend that everyone wears shoes that look somewhat new, as scuffs and dirt on shoes can definitely be seen in full body photos.

THE TIME OF DAY MATTERS
The time of day that you schedule your photo session definitely has an impact on the finished product.  The obvious reason is lighting and depending on where you plan to have your pictures taken, morning or afternoon light may be better.  The less obvious reason (but more important in my opinion) is that some kids are more rested at various times of the day. And all of us mamas know that happy well-rested kids lead to a better experience for everyone involved.  So, keep in mind your kids' nap times and schedules when planning your pictures.  Our kids are older now, and they don't like getting up really early.  I know that if I schedule an early morning photo session, I will have two grumpy kids and may not get the most genuine smiles in photos.  Therefore, I schedule our photos in the afternoon or evening so my girls don't have to get up early.

PRIORITIZE PHOTO POSES
Usually, there are a few poses you want to be sure to capture during the family photo session. For example, you may want pictures of the entire family in a certain spot.  Or, you may want photos of your kids with their grandparents, kids by themselves, etc...  I suggest that you get those "must have" photos at the beginning of the session.  Generally, everyone is more agreeable and you can get more genuine smiles early in the photo session.

FIND A GOOD FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER
This last tip may be the most important one of all, as without a good family photographer, you aren't going to get pictures that you love.  The key word here is FAMILY. You want to find a photographer who has a nice portfolio of family photos.  Someone could be a great wedding photographer, but it doesn't mean they are also good at taking family photos.  When you are on a photographer's website or social media, look for any family photos.  Do the kids in the pictures have genuine smiles?  Is the family in a flattering pose? These are things to keep in mind as you choose a photographer.  All of the photos in this post are by Deanna Kourtney Photography.  Deanna takes most of my blog photos and I love these pictures she captured of our family as well.  If you are in the Charlotte area and need a photographer, I highly recommend her!


ME:  FLORAL DRESS \\ BLACK SANDALS \\ BRACELET STACK \\ RING
HUBS:  GREY PANTS \\ CHARCOAL SWEATER (SIMILAR)
OLDER DAUGHTER: STRIPED TOP (SIMILAR) \\ BLACK SKIRT \\ BLACK BOOTIES
YOUNGER DAUGHTER: RED TOP \\ FUR VEST \\ SEQUIN SKIRT \\ BLACK BOOTS

I linked our outfits above in case you want to check out any of the items we are wearing in these photos. I hope you found some helpful family photo tips in this post.  If you don't already get my blog posts delivered directly to your inbox, click HERE and enter your email address.   You will only receive an email when I have a new blog post and it is a great way to make sure you don't miss any of my posts!

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