January 16, 2023
My name is Adrianne Shelton, I am a Richmond family photographer, and I have been in the family photography industry for over seven years. Welcome to my family photography blog, where I hope to help both families and photographers alike with insight on session planning, posing tips and more! If there’s one question I hear more than any other when it comes to family photo session planning, it’s what to wear for family photos. While wardrobe styling can seem like a daunting task (especially for large families), I’m here to tell you that it should be fun!
As the daughter of a professional photographer turned professional photographer myself, I have had many years of experience both in front of and behind a camera. Unless you have model experience, chances are it is somewhat intimidating to have your photos taken professionally. Rest assured, you are not alone! Even seasoned photographers like myself can be incredibly camera shy, but the trick is to be prepared, be comfortable, and be confident.
I’ve had my own family photos done enough times to know that being self-conscious (especially as a woman) is a real thing. With a little forethought and the guidance of a professional photographer, you can definitely avoid the awkward angles and unflattering posing. When it comes down to it, if you don’t love the way you look in your photos, then you won’t love them, want to display them, and get that continual investment that I want you to have.
When I guide my clients on what to wear for family photos, I take into account several factors:
I don’t speak for all family photographers, but when I guide my own clients through wardrobe selection, these are my tips on how to achieve timeless family imagery. On any given day, you’ll find me wearing black, grey, purple, and other bright colors, but for family photos, I would always suggest you leave those at home. Your photos will look much cleaner, brighter, more flattering, and timeless if you stick to neutrals and soft tones.
I DO recommend the following:
Neutrals: white / cream / grey / tan / beige / light denim
Colors: soft blues / blush pink / sage green / pastel purple / very muted yellow
I recommend the clients AVOID the following:
Red / mustard / navy / any bright color / any dark color / strong patterns
Now that you have an idea of what to look for, I’ll share one of my best tips when planning what to wear for family photos: Dress Mom First. Depending on the size of your family, one to two outfits can have subtle patterns or soft colors without them being a distraction to the overall image. It’s so important for mom to be comfortable and confident when it comes down to it.
In photos, women especially tend to critique and over-analyze our figures. Most women, myself included, are almost always happier with the end results when they are wearing sleeves, flowing dresses, or loose blouses.
Skip the short skirts, sleeveless dresses, and clingy materials, and you’ll be able to relax and enjoy your session while focusing on each other. And while I would love to make every woman confident in your body, I am also a woman and I know that these tips will produce results that will make you happier with what you see in your final artwork.
In my years of family photography experience, I have learned that moms have so much on their plate already that they would love nothing more than to have someone else do the planning work for them when it comes to what to wear for family photos. Here at Beatific Visions Photography I am so honored that I am able to offer free dress rentals with all of my full family sessions, allowing moms to select from my collection of over 100 flattering dresses in all sizes.
Ask your photographer if they offer dress rentals, allowing you to save money, time, and stress when it comes down to the wardrobe planning process!
Choosing a wardrobe should be fun, so to get you started let me tell you about some of my favorite places to shop:
BONUS TIP: Search these brands on Poshmark! Sometimes a “New to Me” dress is even better than a new one.
In conclusion, planning what to wear for family photos should be FUN! Whether you are looking for a Richmond family photographer or you’re across the globe, I hope this guide has been helpful to you. Be sure to join my email list for blog updates and more!