One of the number one questions that I get asked, “but what should we wear?” And really it’s a valid question, because what you decide to wear to your photo session makes a HUGE difference in the final product that you end up with! Clothing choices absolutely help tell a story. Here in these farm photos I wanted a country feel, but I still wanted my kids to be comfy, not overdressed, and definitely looking for timeless in these photos. I knew exactly where I wanted to hang them in my house BEFORE I took even one photo. Making those decisions early really help create a product that you will love for years to come <3 Notice that we have no logos, no words on shirts, and a really specific color pallet. I chose these because I knew they will match the decor and overall vibe of the room I’m planning on hanging them in. Even in 20 years, these simple clothing choices will still be timeless. And hopefully these kids won’t be cringing when they look at themselves as kids and saying “mom what in the heck did you make me wear!” Like I did to my mom in the 80’s hahahaha.
When we work together we are creating art. I’m the painter, you guys are the canvas… but the paint colors, that’s up to you! The clothes you wear will decide the overall feel of the photo. I always say to match the feel of your home, because ultimately that’s where you will be viewing your new art piece. Is your home light, airy and colorful? Well then you should probably consider those words when choosing your clothes. Is your home traditional and formal? Then definitely consider dressing up to help match the decor of your home. You get the idea! This helpful blog post from Click Magazine will help clear up some confusion on that one huge question, what should we wear?
There are also some super great shopping links in here too! And I mean who doesn’t want to shop for new pretty things?
Link to full article: http://www.clickinmoms.com/click/the-style-guide-how-wardrobe-can-make-or-break-your-pictures
And then some of the highlights!
Some dos and some don’ts (but more dos)
There are definitely some rules to using fashion to it’s greatest potential in photographs. Let’s start with some YESSES.
YES to timeless and classic. This includes:
- simple dresses
- button downs
- baby rompers
- pea coats
- ballet flats
- brown knee high boots
YES to trendy items. But keep them small, like accents if you will. And if possible, keep them timeless, too — like animal prints, military-inspired pieces, sequins, wrap dresses, patterned clothing, little black dresses, etc. If you have a child who is totally into the trends of the year, try to steer him/her into choosing a trendy accessory item, like a headband, scarf, or hat, so you can remove it at some point in the session and get a few classic pics, too!
YES to mixing it up with different patterns — checks, plaids, stripes are all okay! Keep them on a smaller scale if you are trying to style a group. You don’t want loud patterns to take attention away from anyone but play with the large scaled patterns if you are trying to make a funky, loud, and colorful portrait of an individual!
YES to keeping it real. I have never gone out and bought something special for a shoot and I tell my clients they don’t need to either. I can guarantee you that there is already something in your closet that will work perfectly. Keeping it comfy is key, too. Anything stiff and too formal will translate so in the picture, especially for kids. Keep the dresses and boys clothes in soft cottons or flannels. Not only will they be more relaxed in these types of items, but these materials photograph better, too. They don’t get wrinkled or look too starchy, know what I mean?
Okay! So now we are onto the NOS. I hate to be negative, but some of these nos can really break a picture. There are not many rules here, but the ones I have picked I consider important to follow.
NO logo wording on clothing. No “GAP,” “Old Navy,” or “POLO” splashed in huge letters across a shirt. Sorry, but this is never okay. When shopping for your family, just stay away from this trend all together and you will never have this issue. If consulting with a client, please make sure you bring this up. It can truly ruin a photograph. Your eye will go straight to those words, therefore deeming them the most important part of the picture!
NO to little newborn babies in starchy, frilly, or detailed outfits. And no jeans! Babies don’t wear jeans. These outfits make baby drown in the material and they can easily get lost in the photo. Keep babies in a simple onesie or soft cotton rompers. Also, make sure that all of baby’s clothes fit perfectly. I stress this to my newborn parents. Sometimes I even suggest sizing down in their onesie if they have just grown into that next size because usually that new size is still too big on them.
NO to matchy-matchy. Just no. A group of people in all the exact same outfit is boring, strange, and very 1995. Right? I don’t think this needs much more explanation.
Now where do I find some awesome clothes and accessories? Don’t worry we’ve got ya covered. More from the article at Click magazine below!
Where to Shop
Our world is essentially one big store everywhere we turn and so many choices. So which stores can you find the best clothing pertaining to what we talked about here? Here are some of my favorites and what they offer and what their price points are (refer to the key for pricing info):
- $ Bargain finds
- $$ Not cheap, but do-able
- $$$ Paycheck blown
H&M and Zara: These stores are so great for boy’s clothes. Seriously some of the cutest boys clothes out there. They are marketed as bargain stores, but I’ve seen cheaper. $$
Nordstrom Rack: Nordy Rack has some great finds and carries some solid brands, like Peek and Tea. (Side note: Peek is awesome for finding shirts with cool quotes). They also have some amazing shoe racks. And their clearance racks can blow your mind sometimes. I won’t shop full price, like ever, so to the Rack I often go. $$
Janie & Jack: Oh my goodness, the wonder of Janie and Jack for those very special pieces that are classic and timeless and precious all rolled up in one. Beautiful coats, 50’s inspired swimwear, fedoras, capelets… the list goes on and on. But you pay. A lot. $$$
Crewcuts: Okay, I will admit it here, I am a Crewcut fanatic. I just can’t get enough. It’s fun, spunky, colorful, stripy, glittery, sassy, modern but classic. I am just such a fan. I never ever buy this stuff full price though because unfortunately it is quite pricey. It pays to subscribe to their mailing list for notice of sales. They have really solid sales quite often, like 40% off clearance. Really awesome! But regular priced stuff? $$$
Target: Yes, I am a sucker for Tarjay, too. But you know why? Because they tend to rip off Crewcuts! I can’t tell you how many times I have bought something JCrew inspired from there and tricked other Crewcuts fans. It’s the best. $$
In fact this whole outfit is from Target! And I mean, well he’s adorable so….
Boutique Consignment Stores: I am a huge consignment shopper. I believe recycling clothes is best for the environment and best for my pocketbook. I seek out the stores where the least expensive brand they accept is Gap. It saves me time sorting through a lot of junk and some of the brands I find are amazing, like Marc Jacobs, Burberry, and Vince. This stuff isn’t marked cheap, but the condition the clothes are in and the quality of the pieces make it worth it. $$
This sweet little dress was found at a kids consignment store. It would have been big bucks new, but I found it for under $20! The hat is from the dollar store of all places, and the little lace coat is from my closet, and I shared so nicely with my cute little one.
Garage Sales: Dig and you shall find. $
Once Upon a Child: This is a chain store consignment store. If you dig here, you can come up with just as amazing brands as boutique consignments. I have found many Crewcuts, Janie and Jack, and Matilda Jane for practically pennies. Great place for accessories, too! $
Anthropologie: Need I say any more? No but really, this place has amazing pieces for photo opps (as does it’s sister store Free People), including tons of accessories. But be prepared to pay. $$$
Aritzia: I love this place for it’s modern, yet simple clothing with really beautiful, neutral palettes of color. $$$
ASOS: Awesome online store for all different types of trendy clothing. You can find everything from shoes to coats to party dresses. They offer petites, too! $$
Boutiques: Boutiques can be awesome for finding those special one-of-a-kind pieces. But again… $$$ (sigh)
And for same reasons stated above:
Nordstrom Rack: $$
H&M/Zara/Forever 21: You can find awesome accessories for women at these places! $$
Boutique Consignment Stores: $$
My favorites for Men:
Target (Merona Brand): $$
Nordstrom Rack: $$
Banana Republic: $$-$$$
Urban Outfitters: $$
I hope some of these ideas and thoughts help when pondering: “Whatever shall I wear?”