What to Wear to your Fall or Winter Portrait Session | Denton County Photographer

Every fall/winter it begins again... my clients rushing to call and book their family portraits in enough time to design and mail holiday cards. The two most frequent questions I get are: "Where are we going to take our pictures this year" and "What do we wear?"

I am emphatically opposed to the matchy-matchy looks of the 90's. You know... everyone in white button ups and jeans, or everyone in black tshirts and jeans... or the other variations of the entire family wearing the exact same outfit. Where is the personality? Where is the color? Do you really want to look like one big blob of white and denim? No. I promise. You don't. 

For the past couple years I've stressed the importance of coordination but not matchy-matchy outfits to the families I photograph. However, some of my clients still get stressed at the idea of picking out the right clothes for each member of the family and having it not only look good, but reflect each individual style while maintaining comfort and confidence.

So I put together a few tips before you go hunting in the closet or the department store to piece together the perfect family ensemble. And since I am a bit obsessed with lists, of course it's in a list form:

1. Coordinate - do not try to "match"... the days of all black or white tshirts with jeans are long over. Please choose outfits that reflect each person's individual personality and don't be afraid to mix texture, color and prints. Think clothes that coordinate, not match. For example, everyone in dressy more formal fabrics but different colors... some in pants and some in skirts/dresses. Or everyone wearing winter wear (coats, scarves, hats) but each one different and unique. 
2. Layers - Speaking of hats and scarves, fall is the perfect time of year to layer your clothes. It adds texture, and also gives you more options of different looks without the hassle of changing outfits.
3. Shoes - comfort verses fashion... the age old dilemma. Do pay attention to shoes, as they will end up in some of your poses ... heels are GREAT, if you know how to wear them and feel comfortable. If you really want heels, but your location isn't ideal for them, bring some comfy shoes to walk around in and change into the heels during poses. 
4. Pants - make sure they are long enough, because if they aren't, your socks and shoes will look funny. Unless they are cropped pants, capris or shorts, they should hit mid-way down your shoe or longer. 
5. Socks - speaking of seeing your socks... when you sit down, we might see them. Choose accordingly.
6. Hats/Scarves/Jewelry - GREAT way to change a look. Just be careful not to wear ALL three. Then you will look overdone. Pick one or two and then keep everything else more subtle. One dramatic accessory can go a long way towards stating your style. Too many, and you will get lost in your outfit.
7. Logos/Prints - Avoid anything with logos, graphics, characters or labels of any kind. These will distract the viewer from the primary subject of the photo (YOU) and will date the image.
8. Color - choose one or two people in your family to be the splash of color. Have them wear a bold colored scarf, or shoes or shirt. Dress everyone else neutrally with maybe small accents of that bold color. It will coordinate but also provide personality and interest. 

9. Comfort - Now isn’t the time to break in new shoes or wear anything tight or constricting. If you’re not comfortable, it will show in the images. Pick clothing that accentuate your best feature or make you feel good.
10. Hair - always get your hair cut and/or colored at least a week before your session, that way if it's the wrong color or needs to settle some, there is time and you don't look too overdone.

I hope these tips helped you as you get ready for your family session in the next week or so.  Trust me, I stress over it as much as you do.  But don't feel like you need to go out and buy all new stuff.  Sometimes the perfect outfit is right in your closet, or in my case, in your sister's closet (ha... I borrowed the dress in our family portraits from my sister... finally payback for years of her raiding my closet).  Everyone in our pictures had these outfits in their closets (or borrowed it, like me).  Nothing was new.  I didn't spending any of our holiday budget to come up with new outfits.  
My daughter wore a shirt of mine that I never wear with my tall black boots, my oldest son wore a sweater he got last year but wore with a different combination of pants and shirt for our family holiday dinner.  The youngest is in a shirt handed down from a friend, jeans from last year and a sweater vest my mom picked up for him from a thrift store.  My husband is wearing his standard button up that he wears to work with his best jeans and boots.  The dress I am wearing was borrowed and my shoes and belt are several years old but I hadn't wore them in a while.  No one person saw our outfits and said "I've seen that before".   (Well except my sister, but she doesn't count).  And we got TONS of compliments on our coordinating (NOT matching) outfits.  Not to mention, we were comfortable, felt confident in what we were wearing and the outfits reflected our own personal style.  

image credit: Snapberry Photographs

Whatever you wear... have FUN and create MEMORIES.  Don't let the idea of family portraits stress you out or cause you and your husband to argue or yell at the kids.  If you smile, have fun and enjoy this moment together, it WILL show in your images.  And you will treasure them for years to come.  

Need to book a family session?  There are limited spots before I close shop for the Christmas Holidays.  Check out www.luckystardesigns.net for current images, promotions and to get my contact information.  Happy Holidays!!

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