Styling your family photos with Emily of Young Love Story
Who here still needs to get those fall family photos all figured out? It can be a little overwhelming rounding up the fam for a shoot, but take it from us, it’s totally worth it to be able to look back on a set of photos featuring the whole crew. (And to have something *current* to send out for the holidays!) Today we’ve got family photographer Emily of Young Love Story here to help us square away one of the biggest challenges in a family photo shoot, the outfits! See E’s top outfit picks and tips for where to begin when selecting each person’s look:
Mom’s Dress: Doen Prem Dress / Dad’s Shirt: J. Crew / Dad’s Jeans: Buck Mason / Brother’s Henley: Spritely Kids / Brother’s Jeans: Levi’s / Little Sister’s Dress: Mabo / Little Sister’s Shoes: Young Soles / Little Sister’s Hair Bow: Free Babes / Baby Sister’s Romper: Soor Ploom / Baby Sister’s T-shirt: Mabo / Baby Sister’s Shoes: Freshly Picked / Baby Sister’s Bonnet: Briar Handmade
Start with a general mood that you want to capture. Consider colors that coordinate and complement each other that convey your vision. Don’t focus on “matching” everyone’s colors, or it can come across as too forced and posed. Our family will likely be in relaxed California casual, because that’s basically what we are, which brings me to my next tip…
Mom’s Dress: The Great / Mom’s Shoes: Sven Clogs / Mom’s Hat: Gigi Pip / Dad’s Sweater: Old Harry / Dad’s Jeans: Buck Mason / Brother’s Cardigan: Lennon and Wolf / Brother’s Jeans: Target / Little Sister’s Dress: Rylee and Cru / Little Sister’s Boots: Tocoto Vintage / Baby Sister’s Pinafore & Shirt: Soor Ploom / Baby Sister’s Hair Bow: LuluLuvs
Let everyone be themselves. This doesn’t mean you have to let your little one wear a bright red Spiderman t-shirt if you really don’t want that printed and framed for all of eternity. But it is nice to capture everyone as they are at that point in time, and that means letting their personalities come through. Right now my 3-year-old daughter really loves wearing twirly dresses, and she will be most happy in a twirly dress. There’s no point in me trying to convince her otherwise. If your kids (or your spouse) are likely to put up a fight, get them involved in the decision. I like to give two or three choices, any of which I would be happy with, and let them decide. It makes getting ready on the day of the shoot much easier. And if they change their mind last minute, fine. As long as they change their mind to one of your other pre-approved options. And if it all falls apart on the day of the shoot and you just can’t win, then be prepared to accept whatever they want to wear. You really just want everyone to be having a fun day together, and battling over wardrobe is not a great way to start.
Mom’s Dress: Ulla Johnson / Mom’s Boots: Free People / Mom’s Cuff: Tom Tom Jewelry / Dad’s Sweater: Rag & Bone / Dad’s Pants: J. Crew / Dad’s Shoes: Trask / Little Sister’s Dress: Bonpoint / Little Sister’s Shoes: Zara Kids / Little Sister’s Hair Bow: Hadley Girl / Brother’s Suit: Crewcuts / Brother’s Shoes: Stan Smith Adidas / Baby Sister’s Dress: Two Els / Baby Sister’s Hair Bow: Tutu Du Monde / Baby Sister’s Shoes: Freshly Picked
Make sure everyone is comfortable. Your photographer may ask you to sit, stand, cuddle, run around, put the kids on your shoulders, or swing them around. Once you are shooting you don’t want to have to think about your clothing. If someone’s outfit requires a shirt tucked in just so, or if their shoes don’t fit right, they might not be the best choice. Make sure women’s shirts and dresses are not cut too low, even when you are holding your kids or leaning forward to be closer to them. Everyone should be free to move so your photographer can focus on the interactions between you and your kiddos, not worrying about someone’s outfit being out of place.
Mom’s Sweater: Misha and Puff / Mom’s Jeans: Vintage Levi’s / Dad’s Pants: Bonobos / Dad’s Shirt: Faherty / Little Sister’s Dress: Old Navy / Little Sister’s Vest: Fawn Shoppe / Little Sister’s Shoes: Minnetonka Moccasin / Brother’s Hoodie: Spritely Kids / Brother’s Boots: Target / Brother’s Pants: Gap / Baby Sister’s Dress: Little Minis / Baby Sister’s Bonnet: Briar Handmade / Baby Sister’s Socks: Soor Ploom / Baby Sister’s Shoes: Zuzii
Be prepared. Give yourself time to find pieces you love. Your shoot day should be about spending time with your family, not about one last quick trip to the store for the perfect hair bow. Try to set yourself up for a calm, relaxed day. You and your family will have so much more fun!
Big thanks to Emily of Emily of Young Love Story for the family photography tips + outfit inspo!