Trying to decide on your family’s mini session outfits?? You’re in the right place!! Keep reading for some tips on styling your family for mini sessions, and see amazing examples from Elle Bea Photography’s Spring Family Mini Sessions in Chickamauga, Georgia! Even better – get my favorite local shop recommendation, with examples from THIS session!!
Tips on styling for family mini sessions
So you got everybody on board (looking at you, reluctant husbands…) and signed up for a family mini session!! Woo hoo!!! This is going to be awesome, we haven’t had full family pictures in forever, mini sessions are perfect for us, the location is beautiful, I’m SO ready for this (says you!). But wait… what on earth are we going to wear?????
I’m NOT that girl…
Facepalm. Huge sigh. Tear apart the closets. No no – don’t do that! I’ve got you covered!!! And good news, it doesn’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to be a “fashion person” to NAIL your styling on your next family mini session! Just follow these few simple guidelines, and you’ll be well on your way to coordinated family style bliss!
Colors + Prints
- Try to avoid being “matchy-matchy”. Your goal in styling your family for mini sessions, and any set of family photos, is to coordinate, rather than match. Try not to put more than 2 people (at a maximum!) in the same color, or especially in the exact same print – matching printed outfits can blend together and make it hard to see where one person ends and another begins!! Not the goal here.
- Settle on 2-3 colors to wear as a family. Especially for single family photo shoots, 2-3 colors is plenty! Even in a multi-family situation, using varying shades or prints in the same 2-3 color combination will keep your family looking magazine worthy, without blending in to each other!
- Go middle of the road and higher on “formality”. There is a range in all types of fashion and style from very casual to very formal – for any family photos, I recommend staying on the higher end of that range! Unless you are at a themed mini session, at the very least go for “business casual” or “church clothes” type categories (where my Southerner’s at). This means staying away from jeans (although some “fancy jeans” can work with nice styling!), graphic tees (or any tshirts), and open toed shoes for the fellas.
- Take it up a notch! If your family is comfortable doing so (comfortable meaning you’re willing to do it with a smile on!) get a little extra dressed up!!! You’ll see many of the families from these Spring Family Minis in Chickamauga took the opportunity to wear something really nice, and I’m telling you it looks AWESOME on camera!!!
For the ladies
- Play to your strengths. Flatter yourself!! Your photographer should be doing her best to flatter you with posing and cues, but you know you best!! Think about what parts of you you love and feel super confident about, and what parts you maybe don’t feel that way about. We all have them! If you feel like you’re having to adjust clothing, stand a certain way, or hold your breath to “look good” (although I’m certain you look great) – consider a wardrobe adjustment for photos. If you feel uncomfortable, you’ll be able to tell in your pictures! Even if no one else can. And you’ll love your photos that much more if you loved how you felt while taking them!!
- Plus up your makeup routine! Considering professional hair or makeup? Go for it!!! Having photos taken is a great time to treat yourself if you’re able to. If you’re not going the professional route, add a little extra to your normal hair and makeup routine. My best tip for bumping up the wow factor – false lashes! They look awesome on camera, and if done well they’ll make you feel like a superstar too! I recommend sticking closer to the “natural” end of the spectrum on false lashes.
For the fellas
- Play to your strengths. That’s right, you can do this too!! Now men, I understand – sometimes “comfortable” is not how you feel necessarily in your nicer clothes, but make choices that make you feel good about yourself and minimize fidgeting with clothing!
- Avoid small patterns. This is a weird one. Very small patterns (like are sometimes on a button down shirt) can do whacky things in a digital camera. I’m not the person to try to explain this to you technically, I’m just saying it is a thing – and is easily avoided! As a rule of thumb, try to avoid dots or checks smaller than a dime.
And for the littles
- Minimize outfit fussing. Simply put, if you put your child in clothing that they tend to pull at or get frustrated with, or that you feel the need to constantly adjust for them, make a decision on if that outfit is really important to you – or if you could change it up and make it less fussy! If you can minimize making a little guy or girl upset over their clothes, that will be one less thing to potentially get frustrated about! Kids are going to pull at clothes and get hair bows askew – you can’t avoid it ALL, but if you can tamper it down… all the better for everyone!
- Set reasonable expectations. With little kids especially, it’s important to have reasonable expectations and set everyone up for success as much as possible!! If your baby boy hates wearing hats, but it’s important to you to try it – give it a try, but don’t be too pushy and ruin his mood! If your toddler daughter cannot resist the urge to pull her dress up (it’s just a thing, I don’t know why) – first, put some bloomers on her, then decide if it’s more important to you that she wear a dress or that she “remain a lady” for the entire session. I’ve taken some pretty cute pictures outfit mishaps, if you’re ready to roll with it, all will turn out just fine!!
North Georgia styling for family mini session bonus – style local!!!
Huge bonus for my North Georgia peeps – and actually anybody with an internet connection (that would be um, you) – check out my lovely friends at Southern Charm Clothing!!! And listen, “my friends” is something people just say about recommended businesses but I mean it – these people are my actual friends, and they attended this mini session!!
Courtney and Zack at Southern Charm are not only lovely people, they also have incredible taste! And they’ll share it with you, just drop by the (adorable) shop in Ringgold, or check out their online store! I promise you, the above tips can be applied flawlessly and easily with their help. That’s them in the photo above – and ALL of those outfits came from their store!!
Notice, they’ve got your kids covered too! Check out Little Charmers for the littles in your life – and get to styling for your next family session!!
2023 Spring Family Minis – real examples of styling for family mini sessions!
Want to see all of these tips in action?? Well you came to the right place my friend!! I happen to have some incredibly beautiful, impeccably styled clients from Spring Family Mini Sessions in Chickamauga, Georgia. Pay attention, you may just find ALL of these tips in action!! Take a look!
Many, many thanks!!
Our Spring Family Minis were hosted at the Chickamauga Battlefield this year, and I am eternally grateful to live RIGHT on top of such a beautiful (and enormous) location!! We made a slight location switch at the last minute (not TOO last minute) for these minis and I think we ended up in the exact perfect spot!
I’m also grateful to have wonderful local businesses like Southern Charm Clothing right here in town, and to have the support of amazing clients who are fellow small business owners – and awesome friends, on top of all of that!! Courtney and Zack, you guys looked perfect as always – thanks for dressing our locals so well!!
And last but certainly not least, huge shout out and thank you to my assistant for these minis, Jason!! Some little grins are hard to come by – thanks for all you did to sweeten these smiles and family memories!
Ready to put these tips to use?? Practice your styling for mini sessions by joining me this year!!
Ok so now you’re a pro mini session styler – good news! There are more minis to come throughout 2023!! The best way to follow along is by joining the EBP email list! Enter your email in the footer or fill out the contact form to be added to the EBP email tribe! You’ll get mini session announcements and fun photo events first so you’ll always have early access, plus receive a monthly newsletter with more helpful content like this!
Looking to book your own individual family session? Let me know!! I would SO love to see your family soon! Shoot me an email to receive my Family Pricing Guide with info on session types and availability – I can’t wait to document your family’s story! Specific guides on seniors and weddings also available – click to email me or hit the contact page!
Come join me for a 2023 mini session!! Or a full session for the whole family, either way – let’s get to telling your story! It’s going to be beautiful. Join the email list (box in the footer, below!) for the latest and early access to mini sessions! Thank you for reading!!
Thoughts? Ideas? Leave it in the comments!!