As we gear up for the back half of the fall season, let’s talk about kids clothing for family photos!
I know, I know, it’s a little different that what I usually blog (HA, as if I blog enough to have a usual), but with the change of seasons, finding cute clothes that won’t totally gouge your wallet or freeze your butt off can be so hard! And for the mamas and papas struggling to coordinate family members at the last minute, it can be overwhelming. So, some tips:
I know how tempting it is after a long day of working, parenting, pandemic-virtual-schooling, to throw the kids in yesterday’s t-shirt and hope for the best, and truly I will make the best with what you give me. But GOSH is the right styling so important.
Look y’all, I’m a photographer. I’m not a magician. What you put into your portrait session is what you will get out of it, I’m simply here to direct, assist, and document. While ultimately it’s the moments, not the clothing, that make a portrait, the right clothes for kids can take a cute moment from ending up as a screen saver to becoming a literal piece of art in your living room.
Dress it Up
The most important thing to understand about styling is that it gives your portraits context. Portrait sessions aren’t normal. No, really, think about it! When was the last time you, as a family, hiked through a gorgeous meadow and played Ring around the Rosie during golden hour?
Most families are typically eating dinner or hurdling through the ninth round of a bedtime story at the time we shoot. In the same way I wouldn’t recommend wearing a suit and tie to bed, I don’t recommend wearing jeans and a t-shirt to a glowy, romantic, grassy field. This doesn’t mean you have to wear a ball gown, but put your best self forward.
Keep it Simple with Coordination
The right clothes tell the story without distraction. They let the viewer become immersed in the connection created between family members in the image, versus struggling to read text on a graphic tee, or squinting to make sense of too many patterns.
Dang, though, coordinating clothes is hard, isn’t it?!
When choosing outfits, I always recommend starting with the hardest person to dress. For us, that’s our son. He’s extremely picky about his clothes (no tags, no seams, prefers dinosaurs and Poptart crumbs on his shirts whenever possible).
So, here are my top 5 places to start if your child’s wardrobe needs a little something before your portrait session:
Honestly, you can’t go wrong with Reverie if you have little ones. While most of their products are made for itty bitty babies, some products come in sizes up to 5. Reverie Threads brings so much warmth and texture to photos and each piece usually has a pop of uniqueness. Plus, purchases from Reverie help fund a motherhood journey for a cancer survivor— seriously what more can you ask for?!
Alright, before you tell me I cheated with this one, hear me out. H&M’s kid’s clothes are CHEAP, y’all. Do not come to your session expecting to stay clean. In fact, if you are not the type of person to allow their ch
ildren to jump in puddles, get dirty, and roll around in grass— I’m not your photographer, and I’ll be happy to send you someone who is. Truthfully, H&M clothes probably won’t hold up as well as you’d like them to, but they sell necessities like t-shirts and kid’s pants, in packs up to tweens and teens sizing so it’s easy to grab a few different options in case back up clothes are needed while on a shoot. While most of H&M’s products are pretty basic there’s beauty in simplicity when it comes to coordinating amongst multiple family members. Plus, I’ve got no complaints about H&M’s seasonal color pallets— it’s hard to mess it up!
Like a Free People but for little girls. Seriously, I just can’t with Joyfolie. Not only is every product to die for, but the quality of their pieces is just fantastic. Joyfolie can get a little pricey, but every season comes with new markdowns and sale items— that’s when you gotta swoop in and snag your little lady’s new photo shoot gown. The dresses retain their shape even after they’ve been washed, snagged, rolled up in a ball… whatever kids do with their clothes. If you’re dying for magic, magazine level imagery, Joyfolie’s where you need to be.
A small Etsy shop, Belle and Kai have one of the most unique product lines I’ve ever seen, at prices that will agree with your pocket 100%. A Belle and Kai dress will most definitely be the focal point of any collection of outfits, making your life that much easier when all you have to do is build the family’s wardrobe pieces around your little one’s new dress
Ethically responsible, totally cute. MITH is a little on the pricey end, but you truly get what you pay for AND you’ll be supporting a responsible company when you buy. MITH has clothing pieces for both boys and girls, in textures like linen, corduroy, and knits that are to die for. If you’re looking for an earthy, vintagey vibe, MITH is perfect for bringing quality accessories or statement pieces to your portrait outfits.
Of course, everyone has their own style and by no means are these five places the only spots to snag gorgeous children’s wear. BUT, if you’re finding that coordinating outfits has been harder than you thought and you want a good starting place, here you go! I highly recommend taking full advantage of all the styling resources included in a Brey Photo portrait package— from readable style guides, to mood boards, to personal style consultations, I am here to take the portrait experience from a stressball to a fulfilling experience.
If you follow my guides, are open to some suggestions, and really take control of your wardrobe during your portrait hour, you won’t just be left with pretty photos. You will have created some serious art.
Alright, peace out, happy shopping!