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Wednesday, November 16, 2011

{photography with lei} what to wear?

So what's the hardest part of getting a good family photo?  Picking the right date is tough.  Location - also tough.  But the real difficulty usually lies in what to wear.  Some people plan months ahead by making their appointment and pouring over location options.  And then start to think about their wardrobe the week before.  *insert wrong answer buzzer from annoying game show here*

It's not likely that many families can afford a makeover just for family photos.  So it's easy to procrastinate this very important step. The ideas I am sharing with you today are pulled from a variety of popular online stores (J Crew, Downeast Outfitters, Piperlime, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Gap).  Some of them pricey, yes.  But they will give you an idea of how far outside (or inside) the box you can think when it comes to color.  I have some general rules of thumb for those that plan on sticking to their closets for inspiration as well.  And a few pictures of my own family and color combos we've chosen over the years.

What I recommend is choosing 2-3 predominant colors, and supplement with neutrals.  Use one or 2 colors for your accents.  And keep your bottom half relatively consistent... i.e., everyone wear jeans, or maybe jeans/khakis for the boys.  Shoes the same color (brown or black).  This usually isn't a difficult formula to follow.  It's usually the color combinations that throw people for a loop.  The possibilities are endless.  You can't really go wrong, these days!  Keep prints to a minimum: maybe one bold print amongst solids, or light pinstripes on 1 or 2 people.  So in the board above - the basic color scheme is rose, maroon and teal.  I filled in with creams/browns.  Have jeans on Mom and Dad, brown cords on one boy, cream leg warmers on baby girl and teal cords on the other girl.  There is one bold print - the baby girl dress.  You can always get away with a funky print on the baby!

If formal is what you are going for, check out my board on Pinterest HERE.  I've selected a more dressy palette from those that prefer it, using the colors red, black and gray.  Oh and follow me while you are there snooping around. ;)

Here are a few of our family photos.  As you can see, I've gotten bolder over the years!

tan, pink, orange
{photo courtesy of Leisha Kelsey}

purple, gray, yellow

pink, orange, brown
{photo courtesy of Kristin Duke}

turquoise, lime green, coral, yellow

Inspiration is everywhere.  Your favorite fabric, paint chips, magazines, model homes, pinterest...  all can get your juices flowing.  If you want to stick to what you've got, start with one article of clothing.  Go pick your favorite thing in your closet or your kids closet and build outward from there.  Consider allowing yourself a small budget for accessories to help your photo session feel special and everyone to feel their best.  Most importantly, make it fun and not stressful by allowing yourself plenty of time to pull it all together.



Blogger The Miller Five said...

Great photos! We had ours done in August and I was thrilled. We choose denim, white, red and plaid. They turned out amazing!

November 16, 2011 at 11:51 AM  
Blogger Amy said...

Here's a question for you... :) We are having our family photos taken @ my husbands workplace. He is a police officer so he will be dressed in his First Dress. (blue uniform with red striping and a hat blue/red). Any suggestions for the rest of us? (Myself, & 3 kids..)

November 16, 2011 at 1:38 PM  
Blogger Lei said...

Amy - if you aren't a conservative dresser I would have fun with the red white and blue. If you have a daughter, consider putting her in something red/white polka dotted. Navy sweaters or pullovers for boys. And you'd look nice in something tailored to mimic your husband. Maybe a nice blue button down? Or white button down under a navy cardigan? A nice pair of trouser like jeans and some comfy brown heels.:)

November 16, 2011 at 8:16 PM  
Blogger Lei said...

I guess those are retry conservative suggestions now that I think about it... Except for the red polka dotted dress. Thought of one more idea... I love the sport coats I've seen at Gap and stores like that (children's place maybe?) that would also be cute if you have boys - navy blazers over an untucked, rolled sleeved lightly checker/plaid button down.

November 16, 2011 at 8:19 PM  
Blogger Lily said...

Amazing photos:)

Lily @

July 13, 2012 at 1:34 AM  

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