Parents, raise your hand if the thought of having to find the perfect outfit for your family portraits stresses you out. Raise your hand if that stress has prevented you from booking a session and capturing the moments of your life before they pass by. Although I can’t see you through this screen, I have a feeling that those thoughts might have crossed your mind once or twice, am I right? I don’t blame you!! But – let me ask you this: is not finding the perfect outfit worth missing out on capturing the moments when your son had his first missing tooth or your daughter turned one? Is it worth missing your year as a family of four before another bundle of joy came along? It’s not!! Today’s blog post is all about how to take the stress out of picking outfits for your little ones to be photographed in (before they go and grow up on you!).
My number one piece of advice… Children will be children! While I encourage you to make sure they have a nice outfit for the Christmas card portrait, I want you to understand they’ll run around, get in the dirt/water and I’m perfectly okay with that! I usually recommend getting the more formal outfits out of the way so we can spend the remainder of the session letting them have more freedom. What does that mean for choosing outfits? Bring something you think looks ADORABLE on them and matches your color scheme, but remember at least one outfit for them will get dirty before we’re done. (I work to get the formal shots out of the way before we all have some fun so don’t worry, you’ll have that pristine shot first!).
Another piece of advice? Bring another outfit (we’re up to 3 now!) in case your little one throws a fit because something is scratchy, annoying, the wrong color or whatever their reason might be. Be flexible and understand that they’re going to have reactions – they don’t know me (usually), we’re in a new space and I’m asking them to smile over and over. Hey, if I was 2 and could get away with a small tantrum over wearing my jeans, I would definitely be the first one throwing out some tears! 🙂
When it comes to the kinds of outfits I recommend, like my adults, I definitely recommend something lighter in color and with more muted or calm patterns. Of course, children have the most adorable outfit choices in the world, so if you have that pink and gold tutu outfit that your baby looks perfect in, by all means bring it! Balance out the outfits you love or that highlight the occasion (yes, I’m looking at you 1st birthday onesies) with more neutral outfits that will match well with mommy and daddy’s choices too!
Also – if you’re talking about family portraits – remember… coordinating colors is better than everyone wearing the exact same outfits! That might look like… a pastel pink dress for mom, a light white shirt for dad with khakis and a sweet little pink (or even yellow!) dress for your little girl. Mix a pattern in there if you feel like it! Again – nothing wrong with the matching family shirts but know that I will encourage you to spend more of your session in the coordinating outfits (trust me, you’ll thank me later!)!
Don’t let the idea of your child running around in whatever sweet outfit you picked scare you away from having a portrait session. That’s what kids do, and honestly, we should let them! I don’t know about you, but having my family portraits look natural and comfortable is more important to me than the perfect outfit staying perfectly clean. Things happen, life happens – remember to just be flexible and know that the memories I capture and the moments you create during your session will far out live the outfits you were stressed over. 🙂