The photographer is booked, the location and timings are set – now, what do we wear? Styling your family (particularly little ones) for a photoshoot can feel daunting. After all, you have invested time and money in your shoot and want to treasure your images for years to come. But it needn’t be something to worry about - here are some tips from Jill Tracey, founder of Little Threads, to help you select the right outfits for your family to ensure a comfortable, relaxed experience and cohesive images that you can enjoy for decades.
1. Choose clothes they feel comfortable and happy in
If you can, try to incorporate one of your child’s favourite pieces into their outfit or, if it’s something they haven’t worn before, let them choose which they feel best in. Feeling good in clothes automatically makes children feel comfortable, happy and confident and that will shine through in the images. Don’t try to force them into something they wouldn’t usually wear as you want the images to reflect their personality at that point in time.
2. Think practicality and dress for the weather
Think carefully about the types of activities you’ll be doing on your shoot, and check the weather forecast. Make sure your child’s clothes cover underwear fully and fit well when they’re on the move. It’s so important to make sure your child can move comfortably in their outfit (particularly for outdoor shoots) so the photographer can capture shots of all the things your child would usually do – from tree climbing to running races! For babies, pants to cover nappies are a lovely idea. For baby girls, consider sets such as dresses with matching briefs.
On colder days, put together layers that work together (think t-shirt/blouse with cardigan/jumper) and don’t forget to consider which coats, hats, scarves and gloves compliment the outfit. If it really is chilly maybe consider putting thermals under your child’s clothes. A cold child is a miserable one and will prevent you getting the most out of your shoot.
And, of course, always choose comfortable, practical shoes...or wellies if it’s wet!
3. Keep it simple – think “timeless”
A key tip is to keep outfits simple and timeless as opposed to too “fashionable”. Think plain colours that will continue to look wonderful in years to come. You can still add personality to simple outfits by mixing in different materials and textures such as wool, linen, frills and lace. You can accessories too with belts, scarves, hair bands...
Brands such as White Company, Petit Bateau, Boden and Jojo Maman Bebe are often good for producing classic styles.
4. Avoid strong patterns and characters
The focus of your photos should be your family’s faces and expressions, not their t-shirt, so I’d avoid strong patterns such as bold stripes and checks. Large words, logos or your child’s favourite Disney character can also distract the eye so steer away from large motifs.
5. Reflect your family’s personality and style
Give some thought to how you usually dress as a family and stick to that. Do you like to dress more formally in tailored clothes? Or are you a casual family who feel most relaxed in t-shirts and jeans? Whichever it is, choose a common style to run through all your outfits for a lovely, coherent look.
6. Think about the colour palette and theme as a family
By no means do you want all family members to “match” as that can look staged and cheesy, but choosing a basic colour palette and finding clothes from that palette that can work together is really effective. You could base your colour scheme around the colours in the room where the images will be displayed, or around your favourite items of clothing, or even yours and your children’s favourite colours! Your photographer can help you with this, but some effective ideas include:
Remember, it’s about co-ordination not matching – but giving some thought to consistent colours can really help enhance your images and bring it all together.
7. Have a back-up second outfit ready
We all know the reality of a day with kids (particularly little ones) and accidents happen to the best of us, so it’s advisable to be prepared with a suitable spare outfit for them to slip on without a frenzied search through wardrobes to find a clean top in the right colour!
8. You don’t have to spend huge amounts on new outfits
There’s no need to spend large amounts of money buying brand new clothing specifically your your shoot (particularly the spare outfit!). Why not consider buying preloved items – it’s a more sustainable option and costs a fraction of the price of new. Plus services such as Little Threads can hand-pick brands, colours, season and styles of preloved items to match the style and scheme of your shoot to save you the time searching.
Thank you so much Jill for sharing these top tips - I couldn't agree more with everything you've said. Follow these pointers and your family will look stunning for their photoshoot!
About Jill Tracey Jill is founder of Little Threads, a convenient way for busy parents to buy and sell beautiful pre-loved children’s clothes without the hassle of searching, scrolling and negotiating. Like a preloved personal shopper, Little Threads put together hand-picked selection boxes of stunning preloved clothes, tailored to the items your child needs and the styles and brands they love to wear. They will also purchase your outgrown but not outworn pre-loved items, ensuring they find a loving new home whilst helping pockets and the planet.
If you would like to try out the service (perhaps you need some specific items for a shoot of your own?) and order a box for your child, Jill is offering 20% off with code ABIMOORE20.
You can also check out Little Threads on Instagram & Facebook or at littlethreads.com