Spring and fall are really popular times of year for family photos. Since these are memories that you'll likely be hanging on the wall, making an album, or using for your next holiday card, keep reading to make yourselves look and feel your absolute BEST! I am sharing my five tips for planning your outfits so that you're photo session is perfection!

Before we talk about outfits, there are a few things to consider. Location plays a big part in how you plan. Think about how you want to see yourselves in your photos. Are you in a park in springtime wearing a flowy, flowered dress? Are you in a more urban setting with darker tones? Are you on vacation at the beach where it might be really windy? Keep in mind a short dress may not be the best option!

How do you envision your photos in your home? Will you be hanging them on your walls? Are you thinking of a big statement piece like a canvas or large framed print? Or maybe a gallery wall with smaller framed prints? If you don't have much wall space, wooden trifolds are one of my absolute FAVORITE accent pieces that are perfect for a shelf or mantle.

Part of my service includes a consultation to help you plan exactly how you would like to see your photos displayed. You get to see and touch various sizes of professional canvases, the difference between professional prints and "drug store" prints and the high quality of professionally printed albums.

If you would like more ideas, check out my blog post below called "Thinking Beyond the Digitals."

99% of the time, moms are the ones who do all the planning and coordinating so I highly encourage all moms to choose your outfits FIRST! A dress is always a great option and it's the first thing I recommend when we have our consultation. Dresses are flattering from all angles and bonus...you can twirl with the kids!

A-line, chiffon and linen are great options for a flowy look. From my experience, try to avoid anything that clings to you or makes you feel uncomfortable in any way. If you don't feel confident in your outfit, it will show in your photos! A few years ago before our beach photos, I bought a dress online that I fell in love with at first sight. Unfortunately when it arrived, it didn't look that great on despite my efforts to alter it. I knew that no matter how great the photos were, I wasn't going to like them as much because I wasn't in love with the dress. So I went with something I felt comfortable in and it made ALL the difference!

If dresses aren't your favorite but you still want a dressy look, a skirt and top will also look amazing! Add a cute jacket for an extra layer (we will talk about accessories in bit).

Ultimately, these are YOUR family photos and you can get as fancy as you want or you can stay casual. I'm here to help you plan so feel free to send me a pic of your outfit choices before our session together.

*Photo credit to the amazing Jessica Wason in Tampa, FL.

Ok moms- now that you've gotten yourself organized, let's plan for the rest of your family! My best advice is to choose a color palette versus what I call "matchy-matchy." For example, instead of putting the whole family in jeans and white shirts, choose one solid color as a base. If you like neutrals and you have chosen a blush colored dress, add in khaki pants for your husband and off white for your kids. Try to stick with three colors and mix and match with those. If blue is your favorite color, I suggest a mixture of navy, teal, baby blue or white.

If one person has a clothing choice with a bold pattern like flowers, shapes or stripes, make sure the other clothing pieces compliment that by not being patterned. For example, for our sand dune photos in Michigan, (taken by the very talented Josh Hartman) I really loved this flowered dress. So I used the colors of the dress to choose a palette of navy and teal for the boys and my husband. To see if everything looks good together, lay everything out on a bed or the floor and send me a pic...I LOVE outfit planning!!

If this seems like a LOT of info, I'm including a "cheat sheet" with the tips for you to have at your fingertips at the end of this blog post!

After you've chosen your outfits, don't forget to accessorize! Add statement pieces that will really make your outfit pop! For guys, a nice watch or cufflinks can really a make a simple shirt look very classy. For ladies, I highly recommend earrings, bracelets, necklace, a jacket, or even a cute hat. Adding just one accessory can really bring an outfit together! Just a few tips...if your dress is already a bold pattern, focus on the earrings or a fun bracelet. If you're dress is plain, go ahead and add that bold necklace to draw the eyes in! For example, for our Christmas photos, I always wear a sequined dress. It's been a tradition to get really dressed up so I tend to not wear a necklace because the dresses are usually sparkly enough. But I will make sure that I have some earrings or even a hair clip in that adds a little something. For our other family photos above, since I wore a plain blue dress, I found a starfish necklace at a local jewelry store in town and thought it added a "beach vibe" to the photos.

I hope this helps you to plan for your next photo session! Don't forget, I'm always here to help you with your inspiration and plan the session of your dreams that you will enjoy forever!