Being a mother to four of my very own kids, and a professional family photographer means this is the busiest time of year for our family. Everyone is trying to get their pictures in during peak fall colors, and in time to get those Christmas cards out. The number one question I get when scheduling sessions is, “What should we wear?”. There is always a fear of being too matchy, or not matchy enough. What will photograph well, and what won’t? Trust me when I say, choosing what to wear for fall family photos can turn something that should be fun, into a source of stress. I don’t know about you, but I don’t have time for more stress. Here are some of my go-to tips for choosing your family’s outfits for fall pictures.
what to wear for fall family
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1. BEING MATCHY-MATCHY IS OUT.
Gone are the days of all white shirts and jeans. Choose a color pallet and run with it. I often tell people to find one outfit you are dying to have photographed that has a few colors in it, and pull from it. Besides having an outfit you absolutely adore to start with, it will help to have a starting point rather than trying to decide on something for everyone all at once. Some fun colors for fall pictures are navy, gold, maroon, brown, purple/ plum, or cream. Adding a pop of color to your outfits here and there can also add a nice touch to your pictures.
2. CREATE TEXTURE IN YOUR IMAGES BY ADDING LAYERS, AND PATTERNS.
One of my favorite things about fall pictures is the accessories that can be added to outfits. Adding simple things like scarves, hats, jackets, cardigans, ponchos, vests, jewelry or even boots can create more dimension and texture to your images and make them more interesting. Adding patterns to some of your clothes helps with this too. Don’t be afraid of patterns. They will also add more dimension and personality to your images. What’s more fun than plaid in fall?? If you’re nervous, you can always find a scarf that adds a little plaid to your session! Etsy has the best knit hats and scarves, and there is no shortage of colors or one of a kind pieces.
3. PAY ATTENTION TO COMFORT OR CLOTHING THAT WILL NEED TO BE ADJUSTED OFTEN.
I can’t tell you how many times I have had sessions with children, or parents who are chasing their children, and they have spent more time readjusting collars, sleeves, shoes, etc than they have enjoying their time in the limelight! I’m all for a cute outfit, but make sure the outfit fits correctly, and isn’t going to obstruct the face. If you fall in love with a puffy vest, try it out and make sure the collar isn’t going to cover faces.
There is also something to be said for the comfort of the outfit. Children are easily distracted. If they are uncomfortable, you will likely spend more time convincing them to stop messing with their outfits than you care to do. The same holds true for adults. Of course, we are able to suck it up for the session, but if you find an outfit that you love, but only if you’re sitting “just so” it’s a good idea to move on. Trust me on this one, you don’t want to get your pictures back and think, “Oh, I wish I wasn’t wearing that!” Feeling comfortable and confident in your clothes doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style!
4. CONSIDER WHO YOU ARE DRESSING.
I talked a bit about this when I discussed what to wear for summer pictures. The ultimate outcome of your session is capture who you are as a family right now. Of course you want everyone to look put together and clean on your big day, but try to consider who you’re dressing when you’re choosing outfits. One of my boys despises wearing dress clothes. I’m holding out hope that this will one day change, and he will enjoy getting cleaned up once in a while. In the meantime, I make it a point to choose something less dressy for him when I take their pictures. He might wear a henley, or a polo shirt as opposed to a sweater or full button down shirt. I wouldn’t dream of asking him to wear a scarf or a hat. Sure, he might humor me, but I wouldn’t be capturing who he really is right now.
One year, I even let him wear a flat bill cap for pictures. I remember someone joking that their son would be jealous if he had seen the picture because she would never let him wear that. He actually looked really stylish though, and he loved that hat! My daughter, on the other hand, loves all things sparkles, and dressy. I would love to put her in a pair of leggings and a cute sweater, but that wouldn’t really be “her”. Dresses all day, everyday for her. I’d be crazy not to capture that! When you pick up your pictures from this year in 10 years, they should take you back to the time they were taken. Choosing outfits that match individual personalities is key!
5. DON’T FORGET ABOUT SHOES!!
Please, oh please, don’t wear running shoes to your photo session. Tennis shoes (think converse, adidas, vans) are fine. But straight running shoes, just don’t. In the summertime, the option of taking your shoes off and going barefoot is always there. In the fall, it’s usually a little too chilly for that. The bonus is there are so many fun fall shoes.
I hope these tips help you to choose some really fun outfits for your family’s photo session. If you’re looking for more ideas for fall pictures, check out this list of fall photos to capture this year or some secrets to taking awesome Halloween pictures this year. Your kids will grow up faster than you thought possible. Don’t let these moments go by without capturing them!
This article, while written entirely by me, was originally featured on Sweet Tea & Saving Grace where I am thrilled to be a regular contributor.