How To Style Family Pictures

Here it is, my loves! The long-awaited family picture post. I think I started bating with the idea a little early and then BAM before I realized it, we are more than half way thru October and it's officially time to start getting serious about the family photo situation.Before we get started with outfits, let's just get this out of the way: If you have small kids, don't ever ever EVER schedule anything more than a 45 minute photo shoot. If your kids are like mine, they can smell our fear when we head into family pics and they aint scared. All you need to focus on is getting one picture to frame for Grandma and put on a dang Christmas card. Bring bribery. Bring candy. Bring stuffed animals, grandparents, law enforcement. Whatever it takes, just come prepared. Don't think that because this is special to you, that it will be anything but a candy eating obstacle to your kids (and maybe your husband). Lower those expectations down to a zero, momma.Ok rant over and on we go!Let's talk about styling! I went back and forth on how to do this post because I just really, really wanted it to be helpful for y'all. I decided to give y'all some guidelines to help you get started and hopefully that'll help you to do YOU and not just exactly what someone else is doing.

Pick a Feel, not a Color Scheme:

I think this is one of the first ways that people get tripped up in their pictures. Picking certain colors can end up making your pics feel static and boring. Instead of focusing on color, think about the vibe that you're wanting to accomplish. Laid back in a field? Bohemian at golden hour? Fancy in a metro area? Get inspiration from what you want to feel when you look at these pictures. For our family this year, I am going for cozy family fun. I want our outfits to have a bit of whimsy to them and I want the textures I choose to feel comfy and soft. Choosing a vibe will help you so much in picking out the clothes because you can look at something and know if it gives you that "feel" or not.

Start with one outfit you love:

This might sound selfish but I pretty much always pick my outfit first and then build everyone else around what I'm wearing. It just helps you to have a starting point. If it's a little harder for you to shop for your kiddos, then start there. But always try to make sure that everyone is comfortable in what they're wearing because that will for sure translate in the pictures.There have been years that I've found inspiration pieces instead of entire outfits, but it has still helped me to focus my attention and build around what I love. Last year it was this precious sparkly headband that Rowen had. I used that as a jumping off point and started building everything around that.

Don't Match, Coordinate:

Maybe some of you have fallen victim to the khaki pants, white polo shirt family picture epidemic. But those days are over. Now it's all about allowing each person to express who they are in their pics. A few years ago for family pictures, Reese was begging to wear her hot pink rain boots. She wore them almost non-stop that entire year and even tho they didn't match what any of us were wearing, I went for it. Can I just tell you that those are some of my favorite pictures of all time? They were just so HER. I love it.Its pleasing to the eye to see coordinating colors, but try leaning more toward some solids, some pattern, some differing textures, etc. If one person is in plaid, just let that be just for them. It's tempting to just match Reese and Rowe perfectly but I'd so much rather find complementing outfits so they can each do their own thing.

Play with Textures:

I love adding a little sparkle in jewelry, some faux fur in a vest, a little tweed in Matt's jacket, and maybe even some plaid since this is Christmas we are talking about! Adding layers and textures will help you with the coordinating goal even more because it broadens areas in which you can pick up on different colors. Texture adds depth and interest and can really help accomplish that feel we were talking about earlier!

Lay It All Out There:

Once you start pulling outfits together, lay them out on your bed and see how you like the way everything is being pulled together. If you see that things need to be tweaked, this is the time to do it... not when everyone is dressed and walking out the door for pictures. Talk about stress level ten!Now here are some of my FAVORITE places to find affordable outfits for my whole family:Old Navy/GAPJ Crew Factory StoreJanie & Jack (for the kiddos)LOFT (for momma)H&MI'll leave you with a few photos of our past family pics!