Here is a guest post I wrote for a friend of mine's photography blog. I thought I'd post it here too, since some of you may be getting ready for family photos. ;)
Feel free to check out her stuff, she's awesome, at www.lydia-phillips.com.
photo by Alicia Perkins
Hi y'all, I'm Regina, and I blog over at Live Delightfully and I also own an Etsy shop by the same name. I've known Lydia for over 10 years now because we used to be *gasp* rivals. I know, right?! Lydia and I played on opposing teams in softball and basketball back in Oklahoma during our high school years, and since our schools were in the same conference, we were rivals. Luckily, all the rivalry is over, and we've been able to keep in touch via Facebook. Since I love fashion and write about it a lot on my blog, Lydia asked me if I'd share some great family photo outfit ideas and tips. And I'd love to!
With the holiday season upon us, many of us are rushing around to get family photos done in time for sending out all those Christmas cards. BUT, I don't think it has to stop there. Instead of adding to that ever-growing holiday to-do list, send your pictures out post-holiday madness. My sister-in-law sends her holiday cards out for Valentine's Day, complete with pictures, updates, and stories about what everyone has been up to and the things the kids are in to right now. It's wonderful! She takes advantage of the post-holiday slow-down, and puts everything together to send out. It's a brilliant idea.
But whether you want you family photos/cards/updates sent out before Christmas or after, here are some helpful tips and outfit ideas for your family, no matter the size, gender, or fashion preferences of the members in your family.
How to choose your color palette. The days of everyone wearing white or black shirts and blue jeans are over. Seriously over. So choose a color palette, meaning choose 2-4 complementary colors for your clothing.
1. You want colors that can span generations and genders easily. Hot pink may be a favorite color for your little girl (or a little boy I know), but may not be great for your husband to wear. This might sound difficult, but it's actually very easy when you go shopping for your new outfits or for new pieces to bring your wardrobe together. Store displays and mannequins will have outfits already assembled in complementary colors. Take a photo, then use that as a foundation for your own family's ensemble. Blue is a great starting color. You can find it in so many different shades: pale blue, cobalt blue, navy. It looks classy and chic on you, your daughter, and your husband. And it also pairs well with other colors like orange, yellow, and even neon purple. So, let's say you pick blue as your first color, and since cobalt blue is trendy right now, it'll be very easy to find cobalt blue items to complete your look.
2. You want pops of color, but you also need neutrals. Greys, browns, creams, these are all great colors to add to your color palette. Maybe your daughter already has a grey sweater, or your son already has grey jeans. Perfect, now you've got 2 colors of your color palette: blue, grey.
3. Avoid "traditional" holiday colors. Your family might have done the red sweater and santa hat photo when you were little, but that doesn't mean you have to continue that tradition. Is that a picture you're going to want to stare at even in July? Consider picking colors that don't scream Christmas. This will help you give photos to family members that don't just stay up for the season, but that are truly treasured all year around! So let's add mustard yellow (another trending color, and one of my favorites) to our color palette. Now we've got a gorgeous color palette : cobalt blue, mustard yellow, and grey. Perfect!
How to buy without breaking the bank. You don't have to buy an all-new wardrobe for family photos. Just buy a few select pieces to tie everyone together. You've decided on your colors, and you already have a few of the pieces, so how do you get everyone else tied together?
4. Don't over-match. So you love the trendy color cobalt blue. Great! But don't go buy a new cobalt sweater for everyone. Instead, think of including cobalt anywhere from head to toe. Shoes, accessories, jeans, shirts, hats, scarves, all of these are areas you can bring the colors in.
5. Choose now and later over just now. Buy pieces that reflect someone's personal style, and that they will wear over and over again. Buying yourself a pair of yellow skinny jeans is a great idea. You can find them in tons of stores and I guarantee you, for less than $30 if you do a little research. Plus, you can wear them for any season! A sweater and boots for winter, a top and blazer for fall, a tank and sandals for summer, and a tunic and flats for spring. A mustard yellow sweater for your husband may be something he only wears for the family photo, so that's a no-go, but for you, the yellow skinnies may prove to be a valued investment.
6. Assemble the ensemble. So you chose your color palette (gorgeous, by the way) and you know you don't want to buy everyone a brand new outfit (how smart of you), so now what? First, shop your closets. You might have forgotten that you bought your daughter a new sweater when it went on sale in the off-season, or that your husband just bought some new jeans not too long ago, or that your friend sent you a new scarf last holiday season. Go through all the closets in your house and see what you already have. Then compile a list of what you need to buy to complete all the outfits and pull it all together.
And when you're done....
Most of these items are from Target or Old Navy, so you know they'll be reasonably priced and (usually) easily found. (If you can't find them in a store near you, check out online, they usually have amazing deals for online purchases anyway.)
And if mustard yellow and cobalt aren't your thing, try something like this:
A wonderful combination of turquoise and purple, come together in a family portrait that you can mail out to family members at the holidays, or even in late winter/early spring. Have a daughter that is obsessed with purple? That's okay, pair it with turquoise-y blue, greys and blacks and it will tone down the purple hue, while adding some chic sophistication to the ensemble.
There are so many lovely outfit ideas for you out there, and if you stick with my tips, you'll have a wonderful outfit put together for everyone in your family, while still maintaining there own personal style, all without blowing your budget. It's the perfect family photo trifecta!
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Thanks for reading and a big thank you to Lydia for 1) asking me to come guest blog for her, and 2) for being SOOO incredibly patient while I went through a serious writing drought. Thanks girl!
It was fun to write a guest post for someone else's blog. If you are looking for a guest blogger, now or sometime in the future, let me know. ;)