Spring is the perfect season for updating your family photos. But, does deciding what to wear for your NJ spring photo session feel like a daunting task? Don’t worry. I’m here to help.
Choosing the right clothing will give your family portraits a timeless feel that you’ll be thankful for in the future. Start by selecting a color scheme and then add complimentary hues to create a natural look. For smaller or medium-sized families, choose 2-3 main colors and then add softer tones to accent and complete your look. Be sure to choose colors that will complement the environment. For example, if cherry blossoms are in bloom at the location of your session, consider starting with a base of neutrals and adding accents in varying shades of pink. You want to avoid dressing in colors that would clash or compete with the location.
Springtime is a great season to pair pale pastels like pink, lilac or yellow with neutrals like cream, ivory and tan. The combination of neutrals with a splash color really photograph well. These colors are also classic and timeless and will ensure that your photos don’t look dated 10 years from now.
Wearing neutrals also helps keep your outfits and background from competing with each other. And these colors keep your portraits from being too busy.
Maxi and midi length dresses photograph beautifully on most women and allow for freedom to move around, sit on the ground and interact with your kids. Styles that have a fitted waist, but flow out below the waist are most flattering and also look fantastic flowing in spring breezes.
When selecting a dress, look for fabrics that flow and resist wrinkles (e.g. chiffon, rayon, silk, or polyester). Avoid linen, spandex or stiff cottons. Try to incorporate a variety of textures like chunky knits, crochet, chambray, lace, and ruffles. These textures add beautiful depth and interest to photographs.
Here are a couple examples of neutral palettes.
Not a fan of pastels? No problem. You can easily add in some pops of color. The key is moderation. Mix muted or deeper toned colors with mostly neutrals to avoid overdoing bright colors. And be sure to steer clear of excessively bright colors like red and bright blue. Those colors will not look good in an outdoor NJ spring photo session at a location with lots of greenery and blossoms. To get all the details on which colors to avoid, check out my recent blog post on What Not to Wear for Family Photos.
Mixing solids with patterns creates depth and visual interest. For smaller families of three, having one person wear a pattern and everyone else in solids creates a cohesive look without being too uniform. For larger families, such as a family of four or five, balance two patterns with solids. Be sure to pick patterns that are medium in size rather than too small or too big and overly busy.
If you’ve lived in New Jersey long, you know that spring temperatures can be cold and hard to predict. There’s nothing worse than planning to put your daughter in a pretty sundress, and waking up to a 40-degree day. A well-coordinated cardigan, or even a denim jacket will help keep you and your kids warm. I always recommend dressing in extra layers, especially during the spring season. Comfort is key. And if your kids are cold, don’t expect them to be happy or smile during your session.
Layering is also a great way to tie together all the colors you’ve chosen. Adding texture and layers to your family’s outfits, no matter what season, looks great. It helps add visual interest, movement and dimension to your photos.
The right shoes really do make a difference. Have you ever planned the perfect outfit for your child, only to discover after you dressed her that you forgot about shoes? Trust me. You don’t want a dirty or bright colored pair of sneakers to be a glaring focal point in your family portraits. Your shoes should compliment your outfit. Sandals and flats look great with spring dresses. Save suede and leather boots for fall and winter. And most important, make sure everyone’s shoes fit comfortably. Moms, keep in mind my sessions involve a lot of movement, as well as a bit of walking to locations. So if you plan on wearing heels, I recommend you wear something else to start.
Leaving long hair down looks more carefree and informal. It also allow me to capture more movement in your images, which will give your photos a more emotive feel. That said, if you’re worried about wispy hair flying in your child’s face on a windy day, I recommend bringing along a small hair clip or headband to keep hair out of her eyes.
Above all else, choose clothing that you and your kids feel comfortable, confident and happy in for your photo session. It will show in your photos! Clothing should also allow you to move around freely and play with your kids without worrying about a dress hiking up to high or straps falling out of place.
Lastly, be true to your style. You want what you wear to reflect who you are rather than someone else’s Pinterest vision for the perfect family photo. As your photographer, I want to help honor your style in a way that will translate to beautiful photos.
Need some outfit inspiration? Head on over to my Pinterest Board for color combos and outfit ideas.
There are so many places to shop. Here are a just a few recommendations. If you are in a hurry, check my recommendations on Amazon. I share additional suggestions in my Wardrobe Inspire Guide, which you can get when you join my mailing list here.
Baby and Toddler
If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy reading What to Wear for Summer Family Photos. Have you booked your NJ spring photo session with me yet? If not, what are you waiting for!? Get in touch today!
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Winner of the Westfield Area Most Loved Family Photographer award by Hulafrog two years in a row, Debbie Camba Photography is a New Jersey Family Photographer based in Scotch Plains. She specializes in capturing candid and meaningful moments that reflect the love and wonder of childhood and family life.
In 2022, Debbie was awarded a Master Photographer Certification by the National Association of Professional Child Photographers (NAPCP) for demonstrating excellence in the craft of child and family photography.
She photographs outdoors and in homes throughout Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Westfield, Mountainside, Cranford, Summit, Madison and the surrounding area, including Basking Ridge and Bernardsville, as well as Morris County and Middlesex County. She is available in other locations upon request.