1. Start with 1 or 2 Colors
Build your pallete
Start with one or two colors and build a palette from there. The easiest way to begin is to start with your favorite colors or an item(s) of clothing you already have and love. Depending on how many people you're dressing use at least 2 colors and throw in neutrals as needed. Add white, cream, black or brown to fill in outfit details and add variety in the palette.
Use Pinterest or a site like Coolors.co to explore color palettes.
2. Pops of Color
Use pops of color to stand out from your location background, to draw attention to photo subjects and to keep the images interesting to the eye.
Keep it interesting
3. Add texture & layers
Create depth in your images by wearing layers and details. Pull color coordination together with small pops of color in several outfits for a group of people. Jewelry to match a main color, a belt, shoes, a hair clip, scarf, socks, vest, jacket. Accessories and layers can help tie and coordinate outfits together. Try for different materials and textures: corduroy, linen, cotton, jean, etc. Think about light and dark tones, jewel tones, muted tones, decide what will work best for your family/group. Stay away from tight prints like plaids and small lines, they can create odd looking optical illusions in images. Also steer clear of graphics and wording on clothing as it draws the eye and isn't as timeless, brands and styles change in popularity through the years.
Most importantly choose clothing that makes you feel your best! That goes for every member of the family.
4. Be photo ready
Get enough sleep and stay hydrated because it helps your skin look plump and refreshed. Make sure you plan for enough time to prepare yourself for photos. Time to dry and style your hair. Enough time for makeup if you wear it. If you do, use a little extra mascara or fake lashes to accentuate your eyes. And bring lip color options to switch up your look. There is always less time than you think once the time draws near. Plan accordingly to keep your stress levels low before your session.
5. Don't sweat...
the small stuff! Seriously something always goes "wrong". Either it's something with your outfit, an item not delivered on time. It doesn't fit correctly anymore. Or one of your family members has a runny nose and isn't in the mood for photos. NGL who is ever in the "mood" for photos. Just take a few deep breaths and go with the flow. It's worth it in the end to put up with the temporary stress.
Do not worry about what your images will look like. A giant pimple erupted on your forehead...it's ok, it can be edited out. Point it out to your photographer and RELAX. The more relaxed you are the more genuine your smiles and facial expressions will be.
6. Worst case
How bad can it be? You despise every image? I've been there. Sorry but it's a way to learn what you don't like and fix things for your next session. Maybe it's outfit related, your makeup or hairstyle, really it can be a number of things adding up. Maybe they don't make you happy but those moments have helped me to understand how to look and feel my best in front of the camera and they are invaluable learning moments.
I've made my fair share of mistakes in dressing my family of 6 (+ my Mom so 7 of us) over the years. I've learned from each cringey set of images and improved along the way.