Spring is here, with summer around the corner which means family photos will be taken! This season is a perfect time to update those old outdated family pictures with some new portraits. I absolutely love taking family portraits. If I could do family pictures seasonally I definitely would, however, my husband thinks that is a bit overkill. I love documenting our growth and getting dressed up together as a family.
Taking family pictures with a toddler can be quite a battle, so we have agreed that we will do one holiday photo shoot, with a strong possible for Spring photo shoot. The reason why I don’t want to just do a holiday photo shoot is, because holiday colors really don’t match any décor in my house. Yes, I am that person that thinks about my home color scheme when choosing picture ideas.
Styling a full family can be difficult. Especially when you have boys, I swear it is so hard sometimes to find coordinating cute outfits for boys. Because of this I first pick out the boys outfits and then style myself, and then my husband. And yes, I am that crazy mom that likes to coordinate our outfits. (sorry, not sorry).
Tips for styling and coordinating boys
Pick a common theme you want for the shoot. Example, for Easter I wanted our colors to be Pink and Blue.
My personal favorite places to shop for my boys that will have coordinating clothes for both sizes is Gymboree, Osh Kosh, Children’s Place, HM, and Ralph Lauren. My boys grow so fast I typically do not spend a ton of money on their clothes. Not to mention, Cameron comes home with a hole in his pants pretty much weekly. However, sometimes Ralph Lauren will have some great deals!
Plan and shop early. You are not the only family taking pictures or coordinating for a holiday. In the past I’ve needed a bow-tie for my toddler that tied in all outfits together, but by the time I went to purchase it they were sold out everywhere. Couldn’t even get it online (tragic news of course LOL). Due to that I’ve learned to always buy the boys outfits early.
Primary and Secondary policy: When I style my boys it typically involves a certain print. Personally, for me I think it is a bit over powering to have both wearing a shirt with a certain print. Example: I will have one of my sons wear a shirt with plaid as primary, and the other with accent colors of print (I.e. Suspenders or Bow-tie) as secondary. I rarely have them completely matching. Not to mention my boys have a 5 year age gap, so I am almost positive my 8 year-old would not like being in the same outfit as his toddler brother. However, if your children are closer in age I love the twinning look.
Oh and if you are like me and buy children’s clothes one size bigger because they grow quickly, for this occasion buy true to size. For pictures you want them to look tailored and finished. No long shirts or pants rolled at the waist.
Tips for styling the parents
The boys in most cases carry the pattern, myself and my husband will bring simplicity to the coordination and wear solids typically. We will each be in opposite colors of our chosen scheme. That way it doesn’t look too matchy.
After I figure out what the boys are wearing I then get to focus on myself next. Family pictures and/or holidays are an opportunity for you to glam it up a bit. I search for big skirts or flowy dresses. Skater or A-Line silhouettes are a favorite. For me personally, that shape allows me not to worry about if a stomach roll is showing or anything in between. Maxi dresses are great too!
Makeup- I usually keep my makeup more natural, personally I don’t want to look too overdone for family portraits. I made the mistake one time and got a black smoky eye that was too over the top I felt for pictures. I ended up washing it off to get something more natural.
Accessories: Keep your accessories classically simple. I normally stay away from overpowering jewelry for pictures. I don’t want any one item to take control of the picture. Not to mention, in many of our pictures I am holding my toddler, and I am almost positive he will grab a hold of any over sized jewelry.
For my husband I try to keep him pretty simple. He doesn’t like anything too over the top. However, he does enjoy a nice bow ties I use that as an opportunity to have all the boys in bow ties. As he would call it the bow tie gang. I get almost all of his bow ties from The Tie bar. It hasn’t failed me yet, they have so much variety. I choose his bow tie that is similar to the children pattern to help tie it all together.
Blazers and cardigans are a go to when styling my husband for pictures. I feel suits look a little stiff for our pictures, so I try to find a middle of casual and dressy. Thankfully, I have a husband that loves how I style him. He does put his foot down on a few of my suggestions, but overall open to my picks.
While my husband first seeks comfort for his pants. My husband is normally a relaxed pant fit type of guy. I force him to be in a slim fit pants for our family pictures. Who wants to see sloppy or baggy pants in a photo. NOT ME!
Find an awesome photographer that does great with kids. That makes all the difference in your photos. It is a tough task trying to get to younger kids to smile for a camera. Choose wisely and find a photographer that also knows how to pose a family. Nothing I can’t stand more than seeing an awkward family photo.
Make sure to try on all the outfits prior to the day of the pictures/event! I made the mistake of not putting the kids clothes on until we were preparing for the pictures. I found out one of their pants were way to large. I then frantically had to run around for a replacement, which in turn made us late for our shoot. Try on everything, you want no surprises!
ALSO, if you have a toddler or baby I’ve found that morning photo shoots have the best cooperation from my toddler. He is most pleasant right after breakfast, and not yet too busy. If you are coordinating your outfits just for a holiday or celebration, make sure to take pictures before the event. Guarantee if you wait too long your kids will manage some way to get stains on their clothes!