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6 things you need to know about what to Wear for an Outdoor Photo Session

The first question every family asks or thinks about once they have booked their family Portraits. What to wear for an outdoor photo session? It can be a daunting task. Especially if you are like me, indecisive and not confident in your styling capabilities. Dressing oneself and looking pulled together can be challenging, never mind trying to dress the whole family including kids. End of the day, it doesn’t need to be hard.

We have learnt a thing or two photographing people and here are 6 things you need to know about what to wear for an outdoor family photo session.

What to do with photos from your Outdoor photo session?

Let’s start with a bigger picture in mind. Before we start thinking about what to wear, you will need to know what you want to do with the photos from the session. Do you want to create a wall art collection for your home or have them in an heirloom album that you can pass on to your kids as they grow? If you want to do a wall art collection, where do you want to display them? Are your walls bright or dark? If the wall where you are planning to hang your family portraits is brightly coloured, you may want to avoid brightly coloured outfits so the colours don’t compete. You can use neutral or muted tones. Little things like these help you decide on what to wear for an outdoor photo session.

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How to choose colours for your photo session?

  • Consider the location:
    • Once you have decided what to do with the photos from the session, the location of your session can help you come up with outfit colours. For example, avoid white when taking photos in the snow. If you are having your photos in one of our beautiful river valley locations in Edmonton, consider colours like blue, tan, white, burgundy or muted tones.
  • Consider the season:
    • In Edmonton, we have a long winter and we can have all 4 seasons on the same day. If it is cold weather, dress in layers so either you or your kids are not cold. If it gets warm, you can always remove one of the layers. It will also give you the option to create multiple outfits with the layers
  • Compliment & Coordinate Outfits, don’t Match:
    • Choose colours that flatter everyone based on your skin tones and hair colours. Everyone doesn’t want to wear the same colour or dress in the same style. Therefore, each person can dress in a way that fits their personality and it will look coordinated for the photo session.
  • Start with one person and use what you have:
    • If you have a favourite item or outfit for your kids, I would start with that. Add accessories and outfits that match the item. Once you have the full outfit idea for one person, it is easier to look in the closet and add complimenting outfits for others which includes yourself. With this technique, you can easily decide on what to wear for an outdoor photo session for everyone quickly.

How to decide on what Kids wear for an outdoor photo session

Mom and Son Winter family photo Edmonton
  1. Avoid dressing the little ones in short dresses. During the session, you will spend time playing with your little one. Be sure that the outfit you have chosen is play-time appropriate.
  2. Use spandex shorts if you are putting your child in a dress.
  3. Try your best to hide the diapers. Bloomer pants or a long shirt that is tucked in will help.
  4. Do a wardrobe test run if you are unsure of your kid’s attire.

What not to wear for an outdoor photo session

So far we discussed, what to wear for an outdoor photo session. Here is what not to do.

  1. Graphic tees or clothing with large logos can look great in casual everyday wear. But in pictures, they tend to steal all the attention. So it is best to save them for another occasion. The same is true of any neon colours.
  2. Anything that shows your bra straps or underpants.
  3. All White or all-black attire.
  4. Hoodies or short dresses. A short dress can significantly limit your ability to pose comfortably for your photos. Test out your favourite dress to see if it’s appropriate for your session by sitting on the ground. If you are uncomfortable sitting in it, it will be best to choose a dress that is longer.
Edmonton Photo

Choose appropriate footwear

So far we discussed clothes but it is the little details that will make or break a photo. Take a moment to pick out shoes to match each person’s outfit, so an old pair of sneakers or flip-flops don’t get thrown on last minute on your way out the door. You can also use your choice of shoes to add a pop of colour to your outfit or to help bring two outfits together. Just like clothing, use the same principles for footwear. Think about the terrain and how your attire and footwear will need to support each member of your family for both stability and comfort.

What Accessories to wear for the session?

Accessories and jewelry can have the same impact

  1. Jewelry like Earrings, necklaces, bracelets, and rings can add sparkle to your photos.
  2. Scarves: Scarves can add texture and colour to your outfit
  3. Shoes: Shoes, complete an outfit and add height or colour to your photos.

Lastly, wear clothes that fit and the ones you are comfortable in. Most importantly, let’s have fun and make memories.