Styling Your Family

(From the perspective of one of my clients)

Figuring out what to wear can often be the hardest thing to organise in the lead up to your session, especially with extended family members involved. If you've made it this far, perhaps you have read my styling guide and just need a bit of an idea what it's like styling your family from the perspective of another client who has done it all before. I'd like to introduce Sarah. She's had two sessions with me now and each time I was amazed at how well she styled her family and how their wardrobe really complemented the location.

Anyway! Enough from me, you can see for yourself and read about her experience below.

"Professional photography is an investment that warrants a little preparation and forethought. I

often see advice online that suggests you start styling a group by dressing the baby of the

family first and selecting the other outfits to suit.

My little boy has, by far, the superior wardrobe of anyone in our family, so for our most recent photoshoot with Angelica, I focused on finding those of us who are challenging to dress something to wear first and selecting my son’s outfit to suit.

Being photographed can be stressful for some, so think empathetically about the people in your group and make sure they have something to wear they feel comfortable and beautiful in. 

Before previous photoshoots, I looked over inspiration images on Pinterest and Instagram to

help decide a colour scheme. Angelica has made things easy by developing a colour

palette guide which I shared with my mum to help her outfit selection.

I narrowed down a colour palette based on her choices and rearranged combinations of outfits on our dining

room table until I was happy. I prefer high/medium tonal variation and textural contrast

between materials, but you will be work out what appeals to you visually without having to

articulate what that is specifically. I like the idea of using one person as a sort of 'anchor' -

who shares a colour in their outfit in common with each person.

This would be the place to make a shopping list for anything you are missing - but I try not to

buy anything new for photos because I want the clothes to be familiar when I look back at

the images. For that reason, I ended up putting my little boy in a pair of brown overalls he is

on the verge of outgrowing because I wanted to capture them before they get packed away

with all his other little things. My sentimentality extended to picking jewellery that stylistically echoes pieces my mother wears daily. 

Co-ordinating larger groups is labour, and it can be frustrating when your

preferences don’t align with others. I have previously used visual aides to communicate and

coordinate colour schemes, but this is a place to tread delicately - a relaxed smile is more

precious than a perfect outfit. Having said that - don't feel silly having and expressing

aesthetic preferences! If you are engaging a professional photographer, then you clearly value

beautiful things, and you should feel entitled to advocate for them – especially as you’ll be

the subject of the photograph for a change rather than the one always holding the camera!"

Sarah Darling