Hello! My name is Kimberly Churchman (Owner of Kimberly Diane Photography), and I’m not only a mom myself but also a professional photographer specializing in family, newborn, senior and children portraits and I’m here to blog about something that is ALWAYS a struggle.
Can you guess what it is?
“What do you suggest for attire? I have no idea where to even start or how to go about this.”
Let me tell you all, you are not alone. EVERY mom (well I mean maybe not every mom, but a good majority) has this same struggle including myself! Yes, yes….. I’ll admit it. I can help other families like there’s no tomorrow but when it comes time to style my own family, it’s a bit of an anxiety attack for a bit. SO with this being said, I’ve learned to take notes over the years of capturing many families and learned what works and what doesn’t, as well as how to address the wardrobe issue that us mom’s face.
First things first, always ….. and I mean ALWAYS find YOUR outfit first. Here’s the deal, who are these photos for when it’s all said and done? Dad’s generally aren’t all about photoshoots and well kids… they usually can’t wait for it to be over with BEFORE it’s begun. Why go through all of this trouble if you yourself don’t feel gorgeous and comfortable in what you’re wearing. Now, when choosing what to wear, I am a mom myself so generally I like something that’s going to flatter myself and accentuate all of my features that I may still have after babies (hehe). Long flowy dresses that are cinched in under the bust are always a go to. You want something that’s going to flow in the wind and not be so uncomfortable that you can’t move naturally or be yourself in. There are many different online boutiques nowadays that have gorgeous options, so just choose a color that you feel you look your best in, and go from there! (Avoid anything super bright such as neons).
Next, choose the kiddos! I often tell my clients to choose items that are not generally the same colors (matchy-matchy isn’t really the “in” thing anymore).
For little boys, focus on different textures of clothing such as jeans, corduroys, linens etc. for the bottoms. Colors that compliment each other but are in different textures can really make for a great image without being too much. Caution the white socks! I can’t tell you how many times I have little boys that show up with such cute outfits and then BAM white socks haha. Choose socks that will compliment what they are wearing.
Shirts for little boys are usually the easiest! Choose something simple (don’t overthink it!). I love the look of button up shirts but the more relaxed kind. You don’t even necessarily need to tuck them in! (I think it’s better to leave them out so that it’s not so stuffy). Mixing cotton, linen, jean material and chambray are always a nice choice.
For the girls, they literally are such a blast to shop for because let’s face it, there are SO many options nowadays and they are all so darn cute. Choose something that compliments your outfit, but maybe add in some accessories that make her stand out from you so that when you have portraits done with her, you still have your own look. For the fall, adding in knee high socks with little Mary Janes are always a favorite and classic look that I feel can go a long way.
If you’re going to add in a pattern, I highly recommend only one person in your group to do so. Make sure the pattern isn’t so strong to where it takes away from the subject in the portraits. Make sure that the pattern incorporates colors from the rest of the family’s outfits.
Accessorize! Accessorize! Accessorize! I can not stress this enough. Adding in color and textures with accessories can add SO much to an image. By accessorizing, I mean things like suspenders for little boys, cute little hair ties or headbands for little girls & knee high socks.
Scarfs are a huge trend for fall portraits and can really add to the images. PLUS bonus! You can take it off for a few portraitsto switch it up so the images are just a tad different.
The husbands or dads! Their outfits should get picked out last. Most guys literally will wear whatever the mom wants because if mama ain’t happy, well it’s just not fun haha). I usually recommend darker dressy jeans without holes for dads and nice button up shirts with the sleeves rolled up and shirt untucked. This will give the appearance of a dressy vibe but also more relaxed and usually keep dad happy because he’s not feeling like he can’t breathe. Polos are also a nice choice for dads.
Lastly! This is for the moms. Your hair and nails 🙂 This is something that SO many tend to over do on photo day. I highly encourage all of my moms to just be themselves. That doesn’t mean don’t worry about your hair and nails, it just means don’t over do it. I love for my mom’s hair to blow gently in the wind. It adds another element to the image and makes it “real.” So ladies, put the hairspray down or just not as much.
Nails! Many many times then not, moms worry about matching their polish to their outfits. I’ll be honest with you, no polish is WAY more flattering and complimenting than having polish on. If my clients are those that have to have polish or they don’t feel human (oh yes I know what you mean), then I strongly suggest wearing nude color or light light pale pinks. Plus side, you don’t have to worry about it chipping while you’re busy getting the family ready!
Hopefully someone can find this information helpful and help ease your mind when prepping for your next portrait sessions. Most of all, don’t overthink it. Portrait sessions should be fun and about capturing your family as you are. If you’re stressed to the max prior trying to make sure everything is perfect, the kids will sense that and it could just all be downhill from there. So relax and trust yourself and your photographer will do the rest!