The number one question Moms ask about their upcoming family photo sessions:

“What should we wear?” Just follow these few tips and it will look like you hired a personal stylist. I hate to start on a negative note but knowing what “not” to wear is good place to start.

Don’t…

1. Don’t get too matchy – matchy!  Everyone in the same colour shirt is at the very least, outdated, and at worst – worthy of submission to “bad family photos”. Avoid solid black or solid white. It’s boring. Neither of those colours photographs well in studio lighting and they don’t anything for skin tones.

2.  Don’t dress in your Sunday best. Unless you are planning on running for office and need a very formal portrait, upscale casual is usually best. It is hard to get genuine smiles out of children when they are in suits and ties or starchy dresses.

3. Avoid logos or branding on shirts. If GAP, or OLD NAVY is written across your toddler’s chest, these words will be the focal point of your portrait. Even the smallest Polo logo on can be distracting. There are exceptions, like when you are sending a cute message: “I’m going to be a big sister”, or when the graphic is part of your overall art direction.

4. Don’t be afraid of combining patterns. Patterns create visual appeal so throw in prints that coordinate with your colour splashes. For example, put Dad in a plaid or paisley shirt under a neutral toned jacket or your little girl in a floral dress with your accent colours in the pattern.

5 Don’t wear revealing necklines. A blouse that is perfectly normal in person can look rather sexy in a photo. So unless that is the look you are comfortable with, don’t show a lot, if any, cleavage. Fashion scarves are great for camouflage.

6. Don’t ask Dad to go in bare feet. It’s a fun look for kids but very few men are comfortable with showing off their toes. If your photo is of just the kids, having bare feet is cute. When adults are in the picture, step up your look and make your shoes part of the outfit.

DO!

1. Select a neutral colour and then accent with pops of colour with accessories. For example, grey is a great neutral and compliments almost any accent colour. (Red, yellow turquoise, pink…)  Add 1 or 2 of your accent colours with accessories and layers: scarves, shoes, jewelry, vests, bow-ties or hats will complete the look.

2. Use colour to balance your photo. The larger people in the photo should be in more neutral outfits with pops of colour and children can wear more prints and full colour pieces.

3. Mom, decide on your outfit first! It is much easier to shop for outfits for your kids than for yourself. Once you’ve put your look together, the rest will fall into place. Wear something you love and will be flattering on you. If you are self-conscious about your arms, don’t wear sleeveless blouses, even in the summer time. Step it up with a leather jacket, blazer or cardigan. Show off your best assets and you will feel comfortable and look great in your photos. If you are unsure, bring a couple of options. Our photographer will show you how they look on camera so that you can be sure.

Here are more examples of some great color and style combinations.

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