It's the tone that makes the song
In every day life we might dress to stand out, to be individual, to make a statement and show our personality, but in a family photoshoot the objective is a little different. The idea is not to take away from your personality, but instead to present a harmonious image with colour tones that work well together. There is no rule book, and no reason that everyone should wear the same colour, but tones that blend well together will create a much more pleasing result.
I've had a hunt around to find an example of what I mean and I've found an amazing colour chart posted at CreativeColourSchemes.Com (click to see what I mean). This chart demonstrates the varieties of colour that you can achieve all beautifully and subtly toned in together. You could wear key items of clothing across these colours with a simple white or gentle grey t-shirt for example, and accessorise within the same tone and we would be sure to achieve a wonderfully cohesive final result.
You might also want to think about what you would like to do with your final images. If you want to purchase wall art for example, try to think about what colours and styling would tone with the room where you would like your images displayed.
You can always find distraction if you're looking for one
Whether styling for a family or a baby shoot I would always recommend that you steer clear of clothing that is highly patterned, or that contain a slogan or logo. It is natural for our eyes to try to read words or to make sense of patterns that are in front of us. Including them in your image will distract peoples attention away from the true intention of the portrait - to focus on the love and connection between your family. We also want to minimise distractions as much as possible, for example to remove hairbands that have been saved on wrists and bulky watches (unless they have sentimental value, and will enhance your connection to the image of course).
The past becomes a texture, an ambience to our present
Whatever you wear, please also bear in mind that while some patterns can be distracting, texture can enhance your images. Soft knits and layered dresses for example will add an interesting dimension to the final result. I prefer to shoot using a white background on the most part, and so texture can add a lot of depth particularly if the clothing is also white or neutral. Additionally, if your baby is 'styled' in just their nappy, for those really simple, clean images, then a ruffly nappy cover can look super cute on girls. The ruffles also look so much nicer under dresses than a nappy on its own, as dresses can get caught up when little ones are being held in family shots. I also love those completely stripped back skin on skin shots - so babies in just their nappies, or soft trousers, and parents in a simple vest or bare chested for men - if you're brave enough!
Stress doesn't really go with my outfit
Ultimately, even though images might look better if they have been carefully styled, the style choices that you are making shouldn't cause you any worry or stress. I have started to pull together a Pinterest board to help to guide you on what to wear (work in progress at this early stage of my business). Or you can always take some phone pics of your choices and send them over and we can have a chat through before your shoot.
It also will not be the end of the world if outfits aren't styled to perfection - your smiles and affection will match. x