I am personally not a big fan of primary colours. Red can cause a colour cast on the skin so bright colours are best avoided. Instead, choose shades like blue-grey, cream, hues of pink or soft green. Like-wise, richer colours and can also have impact depending on the location and the season of the photo shoot: olive or forest green, indigo blue and dark purples are all great colours to consider for your family photo shoot.
Solid white can appear flat in photos so choosing a shade like ivory or a light cream will appear more flattering.
Don’t forget about shoes and how they look with the outfit as a whole. Wellies are also a great option for young children during the autumn and winter and allow for jumping in puddles. For at home shoots, I prefer bare feet but if you prefer to wear socks make sure you choose the ones without holes!
Please do not feel like you have to dress smart for the photo shoot. Relaxed and casual clothing like jeans and a t-shirt or light shirt/blouse or a floaty dress work particularly well for in-home and outdoor family sessions. Starched shirts and Sunday best will feel too formal and make it harder for you feel relaxed and in the moment. The most important thing is to be yourself and feel comfortable.
Another consideration when thinking about outfits and colours for your photo shoot are the backgrounds we are shooting against. Go for shades and tones that complement the decor and styling of your home, especially if you are looking to display the photographs as wall art. A good guide is to keep things neutral.
In the spring and summer shorts and a tee are perfectly relaxed as are summer dresses. Outdoors, there is a lot of bight green around at this time of year so, consider complimentary pastel hues as well as natural shades. Dusty rose pinks, soft blues and dove-greys are beautiful spring-time colours and work particularly well when shooting against cherry and apple blossom.
For outdoor family sessions, consider the season and time of day you are having your photo shoot. For autumn shoots shades of teal, rusts, claret and mustard work particularly well as do natural tones like camel or taupe. For warmth consider knits and accessorise with a scarf rather than heavy winter coats.
A good tip is to try and coordinate what everyone in the family is wearing for a cohesive look. Choose 3 or 4 colours and shades that work well together but don't all match. A photo with everyone wearing blue jeans and white shirts will look flat and dated - let everybody's individual personalities shine through.
Mix in stripes or pretty floral prints, as well as accessories, to add interest and texture. Maxi skirts and dresses work throughout the year and are wonderful for adding movement to your photographs. Please note that some very fine stripes may not photograph very well.
The most common question I am asked by parents preparing for their family session is "what should we wear for our photo shoot?". And while I can provide some tips and ideas for outfits, I feel what is most important is that you and your family are true to yourselves. I really don't want to direct your wardrobe too much as the memories we are capturing are yours and not mine. If you want to document your children just as they are at this moment in time, it might be important for their (and your) memories that they wear their beloved Spiderman t-shirt or Princess Elsa tiara. If however, you would like some guidance on how to create a more styled look to the photographs, here are a few suggestions. Above all, make sure your personalities shine through.
If you have a younger baby here are a few ideas for dressing them for the photo shoot. If you are unsure, please feel free to have a few pieces ready and we can go through them together on the day.
1. Keep it simple. Let your baby’s natural beauty shine through. Simple baby vests, a romper, or even just a nappy, will show off their soft skin and gorgeous baby rolls.
2. If your baby has blue eyes - wearing a blue top will really help to bring out the colour.
3. Avoid brand logos and cartoon characters. Cute slogans can add personality and humour to the photographs but should be used sparingly.
4. Pretty or characterful patterns can add interest and texture, but it is best to avoid large prints or checkered patterns.
5. Choose blankets and clothes that work well with the styling of your home. Colours should harmonise and not clash.
6. Please avoid shirts with collars as they will cover your baby’s face.
I love getting to know each family before I photograph them, so I’ve put together a few questions to help me prepare for our session together. It is is really important to complete the questionnaire before your photo shoot so that I can get a better idea of who you all are and what kinds of photographs are important to you.