One of the biggest reasons clients tell me that they are hesitant to book a family photographer is because they are intimidated by the process of finding affordable family outfits – oh, and having them coordinate at that. I totally get it!
Here are some tips and tricks to help make dressing your family for your photo shoot affordable and even, dare I saw … easy?
Tip #1: Dress Mom First
If you booked your session well in advance, then you have plenty of time to find a dress for yourself, ideally on sale. When you know what season you’re planning for, you can browse online and add options to your cart. Oftentimes when you do this, a coupon code will magically appear in your inbox the next day.
Mom, you want to feel super confident in what you are wearing, so give yourself permission to spend the majority of your wardrobe budget on yourself. I was able to score a Baltic Born dress for $58 on sale for my summer photo session last year and still was able to dress the rest of the family for under $100!
Poshmark is also a great place to look!
Tip #2: Coordinate Around Mom
Once you have mom’s outfit chosen, shop for other family members in their closets to help with finding affordable family outfits. Remember, not everything you wear at your session needs to be new! You want to stick with a color palette (avoid matching at all costs!), but you would be surprised that many of the basics are already in your closet. Last year, I didn’t even end up buying anything for my husband because he wore a pair of pants and a button-down that he already owned for work. I loved the high-end look it gave our session AND it was free.
Tip #3: Shop Consignment for Affordable Family Outfits
After you have shopped in your closet to help make your family session more affordable, make a list of what you are still looking for. I swear by Once Upon a Child in Wethersfield, CT (yes, there are closer ones but I am partial to that one). Last summer, I was able to score gorgeous designer dresses for each of my daughters for $7.50 each. Yes, seriously. One of them STILL HAD TAGS ON! If you are committed to keeping your family session wardrobe affordable, I would highly recommend this option. Even better if you wait for one of their frequent sales!
Tip #4: Borrow from a Friend
Once you think about selecting each individual wardrobe piece, it’s easier to see where your gaps are. If you are hoping to complete your outfit with a new scarf, necklace or denim jacket that you’re not sure you’re going to wear again, ask a friend! I wanted to wear a new necklace with a maxi dress to my summer family session this year but didn’t want to spend money on something I knew that I really only wanted for this one shoot. My close friend invited me to dig around in her jewelry drawer and voila, necklace acquired for free! Obviously that won’t work for everything, but if you’re working to not break the bank, this might be a good option to consider.
Tip #5: Plan Around An Event for Affordable Family Outfits
I’ve mentioned this before, but one of my best-dressed clients for my fall foliage mini-sessions this year rented a dress from Rent the Runway and her son and husband dressed in the same clothes they had purchased for a friend’s wedding earlier that month. WINNING! It makes my frugal and environmental heart happy when I hear of clients strategizing their wardrobe.
If the reason you haven’t booked your family photo session this year is because you are intimidated by the costs associated with it, I hope this helps you think through some options. As always, I am happy to talk through options with you – I have even Skyped with clients from their closets before. You have more to work with than you think you do!