family portraits

What to Wear for Summer Family Photos

Summer is a great time to schedule your family photos! The gorgeous sunsets, awesome weather... and gorgeous trees and nature backdrops all around us. And you need amazing outfits for your family too!

These will be the images on your walls that make you smile for years to come. So it makes sense to plan ahead of time. Think about the colors you love. Think about  which rooms you plan to display the photos. What colors are those rooms? Don't do what I've done is wake up on the day of your family photosession and scramble to find whatever is clean.

I want you to be beautiful. I want you to be comfortable. And, I want you to love these photos for years, so, let's face it, the outfits do matter.

So, here are some do's and dont's to picking awesome outfits.

Let Your Personalities Shine!

DON'T

Don't let the outfits steal the show. You are the heroes, not your clothes. When you look at your photos for years to come, you want your awesome faces to be the star of the photos. So, please stay away from logos, large distracting patterns and fluorescent colors.

DO

Reflect a bit your family's personality. Are you a hike and picnic in nature family? Do you all spend lots of time at urban festivals and museums? Let your passions and your personality show in your clothing!

Amazing boho outfit choices for a family photoshoot.

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Just the Right Color

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DON'T

Don't go matchy-matchy. It's not how you dress in real life, right? I do admit that my 5 and 7 year old like to wear matching shirts sometimes, but my husband and myself? Uh, no.

DO

Find complimentary colors for the family to wear. Do you love blue? Instead of wearing matching blue button downs, have each person wear different shades of blue. My sweet friends (to the right) did a beautiful job combining blues and greys for an authentic representation of their family

Looking for a hot weather version? Check out this collage of blue outfits with hints of brown and grey. Perfect for a family photo session at The Claremont Colleges or the beach.

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Who is the Star?!

Pick a Feature Outfit

DON'T

Don't try to style everyone in their favorite outfit. If Dad wears his favorite striped shirt and Mom wears her favorite flowery dress and the kids each wear their favorite neon-shirts, the end image will be way too busy and detract from the beauty of the actual people.

DO

The goal in finding outfits for your photo session is to create a cohesive look as a family. So, pick one outfit to be highlighted or featured. That can be the chid who is the picky-est dresser or Dad who insists he'll wear his favorite striped polo or Mom who purchased a gorgeous dress just for the session. Then, find outfits for everyone else that match or coordinate with the colors and style of that feature outfit.

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Family Photo Ideas at The Claremont Colleges

Sibling and Family Photo Ideas in Claremont, CA

Ready for some family photo ideas?

Back in October, my dear friend and I were brainstorming some family photo ideas for her Christmas cards. Though we have many beautiful nature areas near our homes, she was hoping for a more urban feel.  Luckily, we live near The Claremont Colleges which are filled with amazing architectural details. I've wandered all throughout the colleges before with my own family and there are just so many picturesque corners everywhere you turn. So, after she picked out an awesome wardrobe for her entire family, we picked a day and decided to wander around Scripps College in Claremont.

Tips for Getting Successful Family Photos.

1) Look for the light. This can be backlit sun or reflected light off buildings or a myriad other other light sources. The goal is to follow the pretty light.

Individual and Family Photos in Claremont, CA

2) When in urban areas, find interesting architectural details. Stained glass windows in libraries. Gorgeous tile stairs in hidden corners. Or, in our case, Scripps College has the most interesting walled garden with "graffiti" from each graduating class. Extra points for cool light through windows!

Family Photo Ideas in Claremont, CA

3) You can often still find nature in the midst of buildings. Ivy walls are great (just watch for icky spiders). Rose gardens are always gorgeous. And fountains can be a nice place to recharge and capture some candid photos. 

Children and Family Photo Ideas
Siblings hug during family photos at Scripps College in Claremont, CA
Children play with nature during family photos at Scripps College in Claremont, CA

4) Now, change your plans when the kids could care less about "looking at the camera and smiling." Decide to make them laugh instead. Maybe have them throw leaves at you. Or have have the kids try to pull their parents' arms off. We gotta make these photography experiences fun after all.

Children play during family photos at Scripps College in Claremont, CA
Family Photo Ideas at Scripps College in Claremont, CA

By the way, do you recognize their daughter? She had her premier on my blog about x years ago! Check out that session here! Ahh, now she's all grown up and wrestling with her brothers (and sometimes ignoring them).