What NOT to wear to your Family’s Fall Photo Session

Hello everyone!  I hope you’re enjoying this beautiful Thursday afternoon.  Here in Maryland it’s 80 degrees and sunny…doesn’t get much better than that!

Although we are in the height of our wonderful summer I wanted to get my clients and friends thinking about fall photography.  I’ve already been booking my calendar up with some fall child and family photography sessions.  So, if you’re considering scheduling a fall session for your fam then I suggest you get on it!

This season tends to sell out the quickest and there’s no secret why.  During a Maryland fall season there are so many gorgeous colors to incorporate into your photos.

I’m a sucker for great lighting that produces vibrant colors so it’s obvious that I love fall.  You mix the perfect sunset with the most beautiful shade of orange and voila, you get an epic family portrait!

With so much potential for an incredible family portrait there’s one thing that is a little cringe-worthy and that is BAD WARDROBE.  I know moms and dads have the best intentions when planning their photos.  But lets be honest, you’re not a designer, you don’t have time to research color palettes and have no desire to do so either.  All you know is you want a great fall family portrait.

Don’t worry.  Most of us are just like that.  We want beautiful portraits but we don’t know where to start when planning our outfits.  Well I’m here to help.

Today I want to share with you a couple of tips on what NOT to wear to your family’s fall photo session.

-DO NOT Dress Extremely Casual

One of the first questions a client will ask me right after they book their session is: “What do you suggest we wear?”  You can ask anyone I’ve talked to before.  I always say “The dressier, the better.”  A family portrait is supposed to capture your family at their best.  To show you off in the finest way possible.  So why not put your best foot forward and try to ‘fancy’ it up.

So, here’s my tip for you as you try to assemble your outfits.  Avoid things that are typically worn in a casual setting.  Instead of wearing jeans to your session, perhaps you could try slacks.  Instead of your hubby wearing his white t-shirt, maybe he could wear his white polo.  If at all possible dress your daughter in a gown!  When else is she allowed to prance around in public looking like a princess?  Seize the opportunity!

In fact, I’ll do you one more.  I actually have an entire wardrobe of gowns for moms and girls to borrow for their Paint The Stars Photography photo shoots.  Boom.  Now you have no excuse!

Annapolis Family Photography
Annapolis Family Photography
Annapolis Family Photography

The portraits above were some photos I took of my own bunch.  You know I had to put the girls in super fancy gold sequin gowns!  They had the best time twirling around and feeling gorgeous that day.  It’s great because the kids have so much fun and you get some great photos.  DOUBLE WIN!

DO NOT Forget the Accessories

I love little details that can make a portrait stand out.  I’m talking accessories, people!  The photography industry is becoming more and more artistic.  Gone are the days that you show up to your session in everyday attire.  Now there is just so much you can do to create an eye-catching and jaw-dropping photo.  In a world where Claire’s and Etsy exist there is just no way you can come to your photography session without some kind of awesome accessory.

My suggestion is to pick out your outfits first.  Figure out what theme or style you want to portray.  Then choose your accessory to match the outfit that you came up with.  I typically plan my outfits weeks and weeks in advance so I have plenty of time to search the web to find the PERFECT addition to my family’s outfits.

If the web isn’t big enough and you still can’t find that perfect added touch to your wardrobe then that’s when you need to get your creativity flowing.  Go to Michael’s and MAKE something to match!  I make flower crowns for my girls ALL. THE. TIME!

Annapolis Family Photography

This is my little Sofia wearing a flower crown that I specially made for her fall photo.  See how I matched the gold in the crown to her dress and the green and orange to the scenery?  So cute and so fun to make.

This little guy is rocking his bow tie and suspender accessories!

Accessories can also be sentimental items.  For example, if you or your husband are in the military maybe you could incorporate your hat or your dog tags?

Annapolis Family Photography

The sky is the limit when it comes to creating a great family photo by incorporating accessories.

DO NOT Dress Everyone too ‘Matchy-Matchy.’

Another way to miss out on the potential of the GORGEOUS fall season is to have your whole family matched up WAY TOO much.  There’s a difference between matching and matching OVERLOAD.  What you don’t want to do is have everyone in your family wearing the same color shirt.

If I see one more family photo where everyone is wearing a plain white t-shirt I might lose it!  You’re doing yourself (and your photographer) a major disservice when you do this.  You could potentially ruin your photos, waste your time, and waste the money that you’ve invested into getting great photos done.

So, instead of dressing everyone in one color try to choose 2, 3 or even 4 colors to coordinate around.  If you’re wearing a burgundy dress then have hubby wear a grey shirt.  Or if you have 2 children try dressing them in outfits that compliment each other instead of blending them together.  If you’ve chosen navy blue and grey as your colors then you could try dressing your daughter in a cream colored cardigan with a navy blue skirt.  Then dress your son in a navy blue vest with a white shirt underneath and grey slacks.  How sweet would that be!?

So just keep this in mind: choose 2 or 3 colors and coordinate everyone around them.  You can usually use cream and white to compliment any color palette that you’ve chosen.

Annapolis Family Photography
Annapolis Family Photography

Didn’t this mommy do a great job coordinating her and her son’s outfits PERFECTLY!?  So cute!

DO NOT Forget Make-Up and Hair Styling

Like I said earlier, you want to put your best foot forward during your family’s session.  That means bring in the glam team!  By glam team I just mean do your hair and make-up….However, if you have a professional do your hair and make-up then that’s an added plus!!!

It’s the same concept as stage make-up for performers.  They need to apply extra make-up to be seen from the back of the audience.  Your family photos are similar to that.  Since you’ll be photographed alongside your family and some gorgeous fall scenery you want to stand out.  You don’t want to get washed out by everything else going on in the photo.

If you don’t typically wear make-up and you want to look like your normal self in your photos then that is totally fine.  I don’t want you to make a smokey cat eye if you’re not used to it.  But what I do want you to do is apply some foundation, and get some blush on those adorable cheeks, and if you’re really feeling froggy, some mascara on those gorgeous lashes would be wonderful.  If you just apply these few articles of makeup then you will accentuate what is already there and make yourself stand out without looking like a whole different person.

Now, if you’re like me and you typically wear a lot of make-up, then shoot for the stars for your photography session.  I want your normal make-up but amplified!  Throw on that darker shade of lipstick!  Darken that cat eye just a tad more!  Really go for it.  You’ll thank yourself when you look like a superstar in your family photos.

Style your hair in a way that makes you feel beautiful.  If you’re not quite sure what styles look good on you then take a few minutes and watch a couple Youtube tutorials on your hair type and styling it.  I know this sounds silly but seriously, why even get your photos done if you’re going to dislike the way you look in them.  If you arrive feeling stunning then guess what, your photos will be stunning.

Annapolis Family Photography

Well there you have it.  My little list of what not to wear to your family’s fall photo shoot.  There are many other tips and suggestions on what to wear and what not to but I certainly don’t want you getting overwhelmed.  Planning your photos is hard enough.  But I think if you follow these 4 suggestions then you’ll be in great shape!

What do you think about these suggestions?  Did you enjoy this post?  What tips do you have for creating a fantastic fall family photo?

Please comment below!  I’d love to hear what you have to say!  Even if you just want to say “Hi.”

Another way to contact me is by email.  Email me at paintthestarsphotography@live.com

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Or you could follow me on Instagram!!  @paintthestarsphotography

I’ll see you guys in front of the yellow and orange fall foliage 🙂 Can’t wait for fall!!!!


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