Family Photographers spend a lot of time and effort trying to communicate to their clients what they should wear. The truth is, however, that there are a lot of different choices out there that work great for family photos. I think it might be easier to talk about my top 10 “what not to wear” suggestions for your Boston family photography session.
P.S. While I talk about what NOT to wear, I am going to pepper you with images of a family who did everything right!
P.P.S. If any of the things I recommend against make YOU happy, wear them! This is just one professional opinion ;).
My sessions, especially when small children are involved, are pretty active. Moms, I am looking mostly at you here! While beautiful, this is not the place for tall wedges and high heels. Even if you feel like you can move okay in them, you’re going to have trouble running, swinging, and getting very playful in them. Throw in some grass and uneven terrain and comfortable footwear becomes imperative. Some locations, like this one at Spot Pond in Stoneham, can require a 5-10 minute walk to get to. No one wants to end their family photography session with blisters.
Let me preface this by saying that I am not a photographer who wants everyone in neutral colors. I love a pop of color on my clients. However, the fact is that muted colors and jewel tones look better on camera and are more flattering for skin tones. The last thing you want is your eye drawn only to the bright pink shirt your two-year-old insisted on wearing which is now casting a pink glow on everyone around her! My goal is to take beautiful family photos that focus on your family connection and the surroundings. This is best accomplished when you avoid distracting colors.
This seems obvious but let me expand on some common clothing mishaps.
Dads often wear shirts that are too short for their torso. Dads should expect to be swinging, tossing children in the air, giving piggy back and shoulder rides. At home, try lifting your arms to the sky. If your shirt comes way above your belly, it’s probably not a good choice!
Moms tend to sometimes wear shirts that don’t fit right in the chest. If they are too small (resulting in gaping between buttons) or too large of a neckline (resulting in gaping open/showing bras), it can be hard to navigate during a session. The last thing we want to do is be constantly adjusting clothing!
Large patterns, whether on shirts, dresses, rompers, etc tend to overwhelm the subject. This doesn’t mean that you need to avoid pattern altogether! Patterns are great and can really pull a family outfit together. Try to choose patterns that are smaller and less pronounced. This will also help your images to look timeless years from now.
Don’t get me wrong, I totally understand why someone would want to wear a short dress or skirt during the heat of Summer. The trouble with shorter options comes when we transition to seated poses. There’s not a great way to position someone in a short dress on a quilt without being very limited in angles. If you love a short dress, consider something with a fuller skirt with drapey fabric that can more easily be arranged around your legs.
Babies and toddlers have big heads and tiny necks. Their clothes have a tendency to ride up when being held and those collars end up blocking their face/mouth/neck. When at all possible, choose a neckline without a collar!
Headbands constantly slide down/off kids’ heads. It doesn’t matter if you’re a baby or a five year old– same situation! Nothing kills a natural/relaxed photo vibe than needing to adjust a hair situation every couple minutes. In a more posed style session, a headband might be great! When you’re moving around, playing, walking, running, and tickling you need something that will stay put. If you’re worried about bangs hiding your child’s face, consider using an elastic or clip to secure it back.
Open necks are the most flattering for both men and women. Turtlenecks and scarves can really add bulk where you don’t want it. I suggest avoiding turtlenecks entirely and wearing a loosely draped or unwrapped scarf in the colder months.
If you’re a very formal family and can’t imagine wearing something more casual to a family photo session, we probably aren’t the best fit! My sessions tend to be informal, fun, relaxed and active. The biggest culprit of being “too dressy” is actually normally the dads! When I am asked what dads should wear, I always suggest a simple crew neck or henley t-shirt. When Dads come in dress slacks and button downs, they often look like they are uncomfortable moving around, sitting on the ground, and getting playful with their kids which can translate to a “stiff” look on camera.
If the trend is currently boho fashion a la Anthropologie but you’re more of a JCrew family– be a JCrew family! You will look and feel uncomfortable if you aren’t dressing true to yourselves. If you want advice on what TO wear in a style you love, email me! I am confident that I can pull together a great look for any style whether you’re boho, preppy, rocker, or classic.
"To say that I love each one would be cliche and a total understatement, but seriously... She nailed it. Being a photographer myself, I am very picky and searched dozens of photographers before coming back to lyndsay and booking her and I am so glad I did. I can't even remember the last time I hired a photographer and was this in love with the images and unable to pick just a few favorites. Thank you, lyndsay, for making the photo session easy (with 3 kids), fun and providing this mama memories for a lifetime.”
"Our images are so special and really captured our joy and the sweet personality of our little girl. Lyndsay did a great job going beyond the typical posed shots and making our photos feel authentic. We will treasure them forever."
- amanda, northborough
"We have done multiple sessions (family and newborn) and we’re so happy with the results. Lyndsay makes you feel comfortable and is able to truly capture the moment. We will have her prints hung in our house for years to come."
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"We've done it all - newborn, maternity, cake smash, family photos - and every single time we are amazed by the quality of the end product. Lyndsay captures beautiful moments that we will treasure forever!"
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