A big question many parents have when preparing their children for a photoshoot is what should they get them to wear. A lot of this will depend on what you want to get out of the photo shoots. Are you after photos that are a little bit different to your normal life or would you rather capture your children as they are naturally?
One thing is for certain, the clothing your children wear will have an impact on the outcome of the photos so it is worth making sure this is not a rushed decision that you regret once you see the finished product.
As a general rule, if the photo shoot is in a studio with studio lighting, try to keep outfits simple and plain or with minimal designs. Splashes of colour are acceptable and can work really well if properly planned beforehand. Coordinating outfits or colours that work well together can look good in the final image. They do not have to be the same colours but colours with a similar tone. Likewise, if you are aiming for funky, contemporary and trendy shots, then clashing colours can work as well. The important thing is that you have put some planning and thought into it and that you discuss these thoughts with your photographer, who will be able to suggest more ideas to come up with your perfect photo shoot.
If the photoshoot is outdoors, anything that feels natural to the look and feel of the location would be good. For example, if your photoshoot is in a park and the object is to get fun family photos, then wear whatever is comfortable and appropriate, perhaps even bringing props like a kite or football. If it’s meant to be a formal/semi-formal shoot in a garden, then appropriate clothing would work best. You can also have a change of outfit to suit the style, i.e. casual for playing in the park, more formal for family portraits.
Here are some things to consider and ideas to help you plan outfits for your shoot.
White is alright
All white outfits, especially in a studio shoot, are popular choices for babies and children as it directs all of the attention onto their faces. The clean, crisp and natural look is also perfect for photography. Do you want your baby’s face to be fighting for the centre of attention with a Winnie the Pooh picture on their clothes?
Bring in the colour
It is often recommended that you steer away from bright solid coloured clothes, logos, bold stripes and plaid for portrait photography, although if accessorised tastefully and the shoot done in an appropriate location, this could work extremely well. Bright and bold colours can be a great way to capture the energy and excitement of young children. If you want to play it safe, classic is the best option: plain or pastel or floral sundresses for the girls, khaki trousers and pale coloured shirts for the boys.
Sometimes, stripes and florals work together too!
If even a white outfit is too much for newborns and babies, you can take advantage of their perfect skin by discarding clothes all together. Good, sensitive photography will ensure that your baby’s dignity is maintained.
What do they normally wear?
If picking a white shirt or bright top seems contrived to you, then maybe the best option is simply to pick something that they normally wear. One big advantage of this is that in theory it should help your child be more relaxed for the photo shoot, a vital part of getting good photos of anyone regardless of age. Also, in the years to come it can be a better reminder of what they were like as a child than choosing something they would never wear. Many children like to dress up. Sometimes, having a theme for a photoshoot also works!
Accessorise those clothes
Accessories for girls like hair bands or clips or hats can bring out the outfit if chosen well. Props can be great addition too, so consider bringing your child’s favourite book, stuffed animal or toy. It might be a good idea to get them to choose a toy from a selection you have already chosen beforehand that you know they would like and that you are happy for them to be photographed with. This will help them feel involved in the planning and look forward to the photo shoot.
Try to be consistent
If you have more than one child it is best to try to have some consistency in tone and style between their clothing. If one is wearing an outfit full of colour and patterns whilst one is in a crisp white t-shirt the benefits of both will be diluted. Your children don’t have to wear identical outfits or colours. But most often than not, planning and preparation do show and can determine how successful the shoot will be.