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What Not To Wear

The number one question I am asked by clients is "What should we wear for our photos?'


TLC's hosts of "What Not To Wear"

While I've never been a big fan of TLC's show "What Not To Wear" I have to admit that I would love for them to come and find me at the grocery store or perusing Tuesday Morning for the perfect find while sporting my sweaty gym attire and whisk me off to NYC where they insult my sense of style, and as a reward for their bullying, buy me a brand new $5,000 wardrobe. I mean, who wouldn't want to be a part of that!!

While I may not be the best dressed girl on the block, I have learned a thing or two about what makes pictures look awesome and what doesn't. So, if you are having pictures made soon, here are my go-to tips for picture perfect outfits!

1. Pick a color palette.

There are multiple ways to go about picking your color palette.

Two of my favorite ways to get started with my colors is to either go to my own closet and pick out something I look great in or go to my daughters closet and pick out something that is irresistibly adorable, something not too loud and something that I love!

I like to start in my own closet because I am the pickiest one in the family (although my five year old is giving me a run for my money with her "fabulous" fashion requests). If nothing is catching my eye in my own closet, I can almost always find something precious and picture worthy in my daughter's fabulous five year old wardrobe.

Once you have your first outfit picked out, start compiling complimentary colors that work well within the same color palette. Pinterest can give you all kinds of color palette ideas.

If you chose this beach color palette, you would start with grays, cremes and khakis as your base colors and add blush pinks and sea greens as your accents or "pops of color," as I like to say. As you can see in the picture below, you could easily sneak some brown into this color scheme.

2. Patterns and Textures

The rule of thumb here is to find things with textures more so than patterns. This means don't dress everyone in complete solids, rather find textures, patterns or stripes that are subtle but add visual interest. My rule of thumb is to limit patterns to ⅓ or less of people in the picture. Because there is no concrete rule like NO PATTERNS or ALL SOLIDS... this idea is best explained with pictures. Here is a family that I photographed last Spring. They actually won the photo shoot at a fundraiser give-away for my local M.O.P.S. group. I thought she did an excellent job with subtle colors and patterns.

I absolutely love the oldest daughters romper-so cute and perfect inspiration for a color palette. As you can see, she was able to pull gray and brown from the background color of the romper, then the beautiful pop of coral and baby blue from the flowers. Notice her scarf that pulls it all together, I'll discuss this in my final tip...

3. Accessorize

Accessories are the icing on the cake. Bows, scarves, necklaces or bowties can be fun ways to bring in your pop of color without over-doing the color. You definitely don't want to overdo your color.

If you love this look, go for it! But my personal opinion is, they overdid the color... EVERYONE is wearing the pop of color and almost everyone is wearing a solid. Its visually distracting.

Instead, try letting 1-2 people wear the color (depending on the size of your family). And then finish it off with accessories or a subtle patterns/textures that have the color in them, but nothing too loud and obtrusive. Again, the subtle coral flowers in the little girl's romper above are the perfect example of acceptable pattern. Finally, back to our mom's scarf, The patterned scarf is perfect, it ties together all the colors from the family and because its just a scarf that is patterned and not her whole outfit, it makes it subtle and does exactly what it should do; it completes the picture!

When you think you have the perfect combination of outfits, try laying them out together accessories and all and snap pictures of your choices. You may want to change a shirt out for a different one, or try a different necklace, earrings or scarf. By taking pictures of the changes, you will be able to spot which combination is just right!

Because picking the perfect outfit combinations can be stressful, keep in mind the purpose behind why you are having your pictures made and keep it all in perspective. Your family doesn't have to get 1000's of pinterest posts to look perfect. You will look great and capture precious memories in whatever you wear. So, just have fun with it!

I hope this post was helpful to you! If you enjoyed it, please share it!

~ Julie

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