Family photos are easily an overwhelming to-do on the holiday lists of most moms. A task usually left to us to tackle alone, it’s hard to know where to start, or when to start! Last year, I had no idea I’d be so behind on the timing of when fall photo sessions typically are booked. It was after Thanksgiving before I began shopping for a photographer, and most were booked solid and/or out of my price range.
I vowed this year to get a jump on holiday photos, and I hope this helps a few mamas out as well to proactively plan ahead to avoid one less holiday planning stressor that easily gets the best of us.
We have you covered in the photographer—Bailey Wilson Photography is a local mama herself and is known for gorgeous, intimate family photos that capture the little moments of family. (She’s even offering East Valley Moms a discount for holiday sessions—she shares more about that in the interview below!).
In the first family photos we took five months after my little guy was born, I struggled with what to wear. I still wasn’t fully confident in my postpartum body, and the pressure of picking timeless, flattering clothing that would be hanging on my walls for years to come felt overwhelming for this new mama.
I asked Bailey for a few tips for picking clothing for photos this fall—I hope this helps every mama feel beautiful and confident in the photos you invest in!
What’s your #1 tip for moms choosing family outfits for photos?
I encourage moms to use their outfit as the starting point for deciding what the rest of the family wears! I love when a mom comes to a session feeling relaxed and comfortable in what she’s wearing because that confidence shows through during our time together. There might be something she has hanging in her closet that makes her feel great, or something that she’s had her eye on to purchase, and it’s easy to grab that and then build the other family members’ outfits around that one piece.
I know that as a mom, I have also purchased clothing specifically for my kiddos to wear in photos. This can be a great starting place as well! In general, I think it makes sense to start small around something you already know you want to include and then move forward from there.
What tends to be the most flattering on mamas?
This varies per person, obviously, but in general I love a good flowy dress and lighter, less clingy fabrics. I think it matters less about the garment and more about the way it hangs or moves.
Are matchy-matchy colors for the full family a good idea?
They’re not necessarily a bad idea, but I think that throwing in some patterns or color gradients is great!
Is it worth getting a blowout or my makeup professionally done?
Again, I think this is about confidence! If it makes you feel like a supermodel who is ready to crush her family photos, then I’m all for it.
Any tips for those of us who aren’t super confident in our body types?
Trust your photographer! We spend time practicing posing prompts and work hard to produce quality work that our clients love. We want you to like the way you look in the photos, too! I split time during my sessions between posed photos and more natural captures of families interacting together.
I often find that moms are more drawn to the more candid captures because they look so happy just loving on their kiddos and partner, and that emotion can drown out any insecurities they may have come into the session with.
What about dress lengths? What comes across as too short in photos?
Because I love photos that hold emotion, I often encourage moms to play with their kids like they would at home- spinning them around, squatting next to them, etc., so a very short dress can make those movements difficult to maneuver. A good rule of thumb is: can you comfortably play with your kids in that dress? If not, it might be beneficial to pick something a little more versatile for your session.
Any tips for feeling comfortable in front of the camera?
Relax, relax, relax! Your photographer doesn’t expect your children to behave like saints and we expect that there might be some cooperation struggles along the way. So many moms spend time apologizing during their session for things not going perfectly and I’m like “GIRL, I GET IT.”
I just want everyone to relax and have a good time.
Sleeveless options: yay or nay?
Again, whatever you’re most comfortable in—You can always layer, too- pair a sleeveless top or dress with a cardigan or denim jacket in case you want to shake things up partway through!
How much does the shoot location impact the style of the clothes we should wear?
Generally, outdoor locations are pretty versatile. I think more than location, you should think about what you want the final product of your photos to look like.
What’s the vibe that you get when you imagine them? Casual or cozy in-home photos? Or something that you want to get a little dressed up for once a year? Once you have the mood you’re going for, you can decide what to wear.
What about for the mama who’s worried about looking too extra-any advice?
I think usually, people want their family photos to reflect both the best and most authentic version of them and their family. There’s nothing wrong with being a little (or a lot) more glammed up than you might be in your everyday life as long as you feel comfortable in that.
Should I have an idea of what I want to get out of the photoshoot?
Before you book your photographer, you should have an idea of what their final product looks like! If it matches up with the photos you’ve seen and love on Pinterest or your friend’s Instagram, then it’s probably a safe bet that he or she is a good fit for your family. Each photographer has a unique style and you’ll be happier booking with someone whose style you like versus hiring a photographer and then expecting them to make your ideas happen.
Thank you, Bailey!
We hope this was helpful advice for you as you begin shopping for outfits for your photos this season. Bailey is currently booking sessions in October and November and has several mini sessions open on October 24 and November 8. Mention East Valley Moms Blog for $20 off any session with her!
This blog post is a sponsored post written by East Valley Moms Blog contributors on behalf of Bailey Wilson Photography. All opinions are 100% ours. Thank you for allowing us to partner with brands we believe in to continue to bring you free content!