The outfits you choose for your family photos are so important to the overall look and feel of your photos. Choosing outfits is often the hardest part of planning a photo session. As your photographer, I’ll help you with this process every step of the way. All clients receive my in depth styling guide as well as styling assistance from me. Below is a step by step how to guide for styling your Colorado Springs family photo session.
A Photographers Guide to Styling your Family Photo Session
Step 1: Consider your Location
The first step is to think about how your outfits will look in the location and season of your session. For example you would not want to wear a rust dress at Garden of the Gods because it would blend into the red rock background. As the seasons change in Colorado Springs so does the landscape. In winter and early spring the landscape can be brown and lacking color. For this reason I recommend rich wardrobe colors to add interest to your photos. In summer and fall however, the landscape is rich with color from green to shades of gold. Softer colors, like white photograph well during those seasons, especially summer. Location and season are so important to keep in mind when styling your Colorado Springs family photo session.
Step 2: Pick Moms Outfit First
Pick moms outfit first! This can often be the most challenging outfit to pick and it is important for mom to feel comfortable in her outfit selection. Long flowy dresses photograph beautifully and will add great movement to your images. Another option, is a slightly more casual midi dress. Wearing a cardigan hanging off your shoulders is a great addition to this look. Finally if both of those feel too dressy, jeans and an oversized sweater or T-shirt is a great casual option! Some of my favorite places to shop are Target, Baltic born, Vici and even amazon.
Step 3: Choose a Color Palette
Next using moms outfit as guide, choose a color palette. A great way to do this is by looking at the color wheel. You’ll want to choose 2-3 main colors and then add in a few neutral colors like cream, gray or brown.
There are a couple different ways you can choose your colors with the color wheel. The first is choosing complimentary colors, which are colors opposite each of on the color wheel. You can choose two complementary colors and then fill in with a few neutral colors in different shades. Something like this:
Another option is to choose analogous colors, which are colors next to each other on the color wheel. Below I show an example using warm hues, but this could also be done with shade of blue and green.
Another way to select wardrobe colors is to create a monochromatic look. This means choosing different values of the same color. Below I show and example using a dark, medium and light value of the same rich teal color.
After you figure out the color palette, you can move onto styling any little girls and babies in the family.
Step 4: Pick the Girls and Babies Outfits Next
The most important thing is that kiddos are comfortable with their outfit! Including them when you are picking it out is a great way to get them excited for the photo session. Girls 2T and up, I usually recommend dresses. Keep in mind your color palette, when making your choices. Joyfolie has beautiful and well made dressed for girls of all ages. I also really like shopping at Target and old navy.
After all the little girls are styled, move on to any babies in the family. For kiddos under the age of 2, rompers and play suits are my favorite! There are so many different types of rompers. Some work for both boys and girls. Others are more gender specific. The long sleeve ones even work in cooler weather because you can add tights. Dresses are tough for this age because they can ride up when you are holding them and you’ll most likely be holding them a bunch.
Lastly dress the boys and dad!
Step 5: Pick the Boys and Dads Outfits Last
When it comes to dressing the boys and dad, I really like to keep it simple. For shirts I usually suggest sweaters for cooler weather. For warmer weather, button up shirts or T-shirts are good options. I love henley style and pocket style T-shirts for boys and men. For boys 5 and under, playsuits and overalls are an adorable and a fun option.
Step 6: Add a Lot of Accessories
When it comes to accessories the more the better. Think about incorporating hats, bonnets, beanies, cardigans, blankets, suspenders, leggings, tights, knee high socks, bold jewelry. Accessories are great for adding warmth but also great for texture and dimension in your photos. Accessories take a simple photo and elevate it to the next level. Especially with smaller families or couples, accessories are so important to add a bit of visual interest to your photos.
If you are looking for more tips on styling your session, check out my post on spring style ideas for family photos.
Book your Own Colorado Springs Family Photo Session
You can easily check my availability and book your own photo session through my online booking calendar. If you have any questions before booking your session send me a message through my contact form and I’ll get back to you via email.
You can view my family photography portfolio or check out the blog posts below to see more of my family photography work.
Alysia Loerch is a Colorado Springs family and maternity photographer specializing in outdoor lifestyle photography.