You’ve booked your session but then you realize…
What the heck are we going to wear?!
Choosing family fall outfits can be tricky. With cooler temperatures on the horizon, it’s best to plan to layer yourself and the kids in outfits that will keep you warm.
Ontario can get cold this time of year. Mornings and evenings are mostly much colder than the forecasted highs of the day, so it’s good to check the weather by hour to get a sense of the actual temperatures during your session. Cold kids = sad photos… Keep those kids warm!
Keep in mind, layering is your friend, especially if you aren’t a fan of big chunky coats, like me. Ontarian weather can be unpredictable, so instead of a cold fall day, we could easily end up enjoying a warm October day. If we luck out with a warm spell, simply get rid of some of the layers and you are good to go!
What is your vibe?
Take a moment to ask yourself ‘How do I want my photos to feel?’ I am going to be honest, the clothing you wear makes a BIG difference on the vibe, way more than the setting. I can pick a beautiful location, but if you wear sweat pants, a neon shirt, or a sweater with a big logo, the ‘vibe’ will be off and you probably won’t end up with the family photos you’re after.
Start with mom’s outfit
Where to begin? Think of choosing your outfits as if they’re building blocks. Start with one outfit and take it from there. My recommendation would be to start with mom’s outfit, since women’s clothing tends to be more colourful and have more prints. If you feel great when wearing a dress, wear a dress in your favourite colour! Not only are dresses flattering, but you will also feel great in it! If you’re not really a dress wearing woman, think about a skirt / top combo, or a pair of well-fitting jeans with a top in your favourite colour. Find clothes that are neither overly baggy nor too tight and think about balance between your upper and lower half. If you have a flowing skirt, choose a fitted top, and with a loose top, choose skinny jeans. It’s all about finding balance.
Choose a colour palette
After you’ve chosen mom’s outfit, think about adding 2 to 3 coordinating colours. Choose colours that complement each other but are not overly matchy-matchy. My personal favourite colours for fall are mustard yellow, rusty orange, navy blue, olive green, burgundy and aubergine (eggplant), especially when they are mixed with neutrals, such as greys and creams.
Your best bet is to pick up two to three colours and mix with neutrals for a put together look. To add depth and interest to your photos, create dimension by having primarily solids with a few coordinating subtle patterns and textures. Patterns are great in small doses and add a lot to your photo. Avoid bold, large prints that can distract from the photo though. You want your family photos to be about you and not merely your outfits. Layers are another way to add variety with cardigans, shawls, scarves, etc.
Try to avoid big distracting logos and stay away from fluorescent colours, such as coral and bright pink. The issue with these types of colours is they reflect tones onto the skin that are very unflattering.
Include your kids
When you involve your children in planning and choosing outfits, they will most likely be more excited about family photos if they like what they are wearing. This doesn’t mean that you should let your daughter wear her favourite princess dress, instead incorporate her favourite colour. Please don’t make your kids wear something they hate, you want them to be happy for your session.
Don’t forget about the shoes
Think about the session location of your shoot. If you are in a field, or in a forest for instance, you won’t be able to walk in your stilettos. We’ll most likely go for a short hike, so make sure that the shoes are comfortable and you don’t mind them getting somewhat dirty or wet from walking through the forest, or tall grass.
Try it on
No, I am not kidding! A couple of days before your family session have everyone try on their outfit and line up together. By doing this, you can make sure everything fits well and it will help you visualize how the colours, patterns, accessories and layers work together. If you are unable to do this, take all the outfits and lie them out on the floor. If you have little kids, hold them on your hip, lift them in the air and have them move around in it. Consider a change if you notice you have to constantly tuck in a shirt, or pull up your kid’s pants.
But most important: JUST BE YOURSELF
You want these photos to represent the real you and your family and not be something you aren’t, so don’t dress like someone else you saw on the internet, just because you found an amazing outfit idea. Just be you!
If you have any questions, please feel free to send me a photo of your outfits! It makes it easy if they’re laid out on the bed/floor taken using natural daylight and I can give you feedback.