I am often asked this and it is really not an easy question to answer. Above all, I would say that you need to feel comfortable and fantastic or you are not going to be happy with the end result. I think it also helps if the outfits you choose reflect your own personalities.
You don’t need to spend a fortune. Try to think of everyone’s outfits combined as one big outfit. The ultimate goal is to look put together and cohesive. I want you to understand that everyone does not need to match. As a matter of fact, everyone does not even need to be wearing the same color. You should, however, stick to the same saturation. In other words, if one person wears pastels, everyone should wear pastels. If you choose to go with brighter, more saturated colors – everyone needs to wear those types of colors.
In a nutshell, Mom, pick out your very favorite outfit – the one you feel spectacular in. Then, go to your husband’s side of the closet and find something that would coordinate with your outfit. After that, head to the kids’ closets and do the same for them. Once you have all your outfits picked out, lay them all out on the bed at the same time to see what they look like. The pile should be colorful and have some variety but still look fairly pleasing all together. 9 times out of 10 everything will look spectacular together. For that one time that it doesn’t really go, now you can head out to the store for that polo shirt that will tie it all together.
The goal of any group shot is to direct the viewer’s attention to the faces. No one family member should stand out or distract from another. To accomplish this goal, it’s important to focus on coordinating outfits. Make sure one family member doesn’t show up wearing shorts and a tank top when the rest of the group is sporting khakis and long-sleeved button down shirts.
Clothing should be free of distractions. Avoid words or big logos on clothing (unless it’s a special outfit, for example a shirt with “I’m Two” on it). Your eye will immediately jump to them. Make certain your shoes follow the same color scheme as the rest of your outfit. You never know when I will choose to shoot full length. V-necks, square-necks and turtlenecks work well in group shots. Avoid shirts with floppy necklines or bulky cowl neck sweaters that overpower the face.
Here are some examples. In all of the photos, the colors all pull together, the patterns are not matching but complement each other and each outfit seems to suit the individual style of the wearer.
Lastly, if you simply cannot decide what you like best, bring more than one outfit. We can always find some place to change and we can see what works/looks best.
The guidelines above apply to you as well. Patterns and colors are all OK as long as they coordinate with your significant other/spouse/family. The only thing I recommend staying away from is horizontal stripes.
Many of my expectant mothers want to have at least some of their photos taken in a maternity “gown”. These gowns are lovely at showcasing your round belly and show up beautifully in images. The studio does not own any of these gowns, but there are many, many different ones that can be purchased online. The most popular place is Etsy.com.