Can you believe it’s already October? It seems like once school starts, time flies by. Christmas decorations are already up at some stores around The Woodlands! That means it’s time for cooler weather, pumpkin spice lattes… and family photos! Today I’m sharing my favorite tips for beautiful fall family photos you’ll want to give as gifts and use as Christmas cards.
01. Moms should choose their outfit first.
That’s right, mama, for once you’re first instead of coming in last, after everyone else has been taken care of! Before you start coordinating outfits for your family, settle on something for yourself that you like. What colors are most flattering? Would you rather wear jeans, black pants or a dress? If you feel good about your outfit, it will show in your photos. Our tendency as mamas is to serve our families first, but you don’t want to throw on whatever you can find at the last minute, an hour before your photo session. That guarantees you’ll hate the photos. So, go shopping for something new or pull out a pretty top that you don’t wear too often. Then think about everyone else.
Keep in mind that you’ll probably take standing and seated photos – make sure you’re comfortable sitting down in your outfit too.
02. Clothing for you and your family coordinate, but don’t be perfectly matchy-matchy.
Can we please never, ever take photos again where everyone is in khakis and white shirts? My mom has photos of our family while my brother and I were still living at home. Everyone is in jeans and button up blue shirts. The photos are nice, but totally boring. Skip boring! Be adventurous!
Pick a color palette that compliments everyone in your family. Maybe it’s black, navy and maroon or cream, gray and khaki. In general, for every three people, put one person in some kind of pattern or print. Old Navy is such a great place to shop for clothes for family photos. In fact, that’s where I snagged dresses and shirts for my kids for our pictures. Once I settled on a shirt and pants for myself, I found a shirt + jeans combo I liked for my daughters, with the middle kiddo in a dress.
Here’s how this worked out for us: I wore a bright blue shirt with black pants, with my husband in jeans and a gray polo shirt. My oldest wore a navy shirt with tiny flowers + jeans, my middle kiddo was in a dress with the same print as her sister’s shirt, and my youngest wore a cream shirt + jeans. The tiny flowers on my girls’ clothing went along with my shirt and coral necklace. With me in black pants and one of my girls in a dress, everyone’s outfits coordinated without us matching perfectly. I can’t wait to get our photos from the beautiful and super talented Laura Watson, a sweet friend from high school.
03. Accessories add visual interest
After you settle on outfits for your family, it’s time to accessorize! For you and/or your girls, this means adding in headbands, bows, barrettes, scarves, necklaces, bracelets, cardigans or tights/leggings. Your jewelry could consist of a statement piece that really catches the eye, or you could wear a timeless, elegant piece that is more understated.
For guys, you can layer a polo shirt with a nice trucker jacket if it’s cool enough, or maybe a hat. Skip the sunglasses for your photos!
Check your shoes for scuffs or marks ahead of time. If you decide to wear heels and you’re taking photos at a location where it’s not easy to walk in them, bring comfy flats and just wear heels for the photos.
04. Try on your clothes before your photos with the undergarments, accessories, shoes etc that you plan to wear
This allows you to confirm that your outfit will come together the way you’ve planned. Avoid last minute panicking and have a little dress rehearsal a few days before your photos!
05. If you’ve got little ones, talk up your family photos as an exciting adventure
My kids are used to always having a camera in their faces – but they are going through stages where they don’t always like to smile or look at the camera. The morning of our pictures, we talked about going on a fun family adventure for family photos, so they were looking forward to it. I also promised them a fun surprise if everyone acted really good for photos! A little bribery goes a long way with little ones!
Above all, mama, relax! Trust your photographer to catch some amazing photos of you and your family. We have quite a few tricks up our sleeves to elicit genuine smiles and real connection between family members.