We were never the family that got photos taken every year. When Emmy was in my belly, I had a friend growing her business and portfolio and she took maternity shots and newborn photos, for us, but prior to that, I was under the impression that they were just too costly. Finally for our 10th anniversary, I decided to invest in family photos and hired Eddie of Jalapeno Photography to shoot for us. I was blown away with the results and how her photos captured moments, emotions, and personalities. That session opened my eyes, and now I am a firm believer in family photos. I want my family to have them to remember, and for my own kids to be able to share with their kids and grandkids. If you have yet to, do yourself and your family a favor and schedule a session. Now we’ve done three with Eddie and are about to have our fourth this coming weekend. I’ve been planning our outfits over the last week or so; it’s one of those things that comes easily for me, but I know it’s not for everyone else. So today I am going to show you how to choose family photo outfits, and also going to share my favorite Minted holiday cards to go along with each photo. And to help you get your holiday cards taken care of, Minted has offered to give 3 of my readers $100 credits to their online store You can find details at the bottom of this post.
Before I delve into the outfits, I wanted to tell you about the best feature that Minted has. First of all, they offer a huge variety of holiday cards, but their Find It Fast feature allows you to upload your photo and see how it would look in hundreds of designs. I absolutely LOVE this feature as I was getting overwhelmed by the vast selection of gorgeous cards. We don’t yet have our photos, but once we do, I will be using Find It Fast to choose my design.
Another thing I want to mention, and this is SOOOO important before taking photos, is to be choosy with your photographer. Don’t hire someone because they fit your budget. (Of course, don’t hire someone way out of your budget either, but a lot of photographers offer mini sessions around the holiday time which are more affordable). Look at portfolios and websites, and see if their look and style jives with your family’s personality and your vision for your photos. I knew when I saw Eddie’s work that she was the photographer for us. Over the last few years she has become a very close friend of mine, so now it’s so easy for us to be comfortable and completely silly with her as well. See my profile photo to the left? That was taken while she was singing “Let it Go” to me in Spanish and I was cracking up! She gets my silly humor.
So now let’s get to what I really want to talk about today… choosing your outfits! I am very frugal so I work with what we have to create a palette, and then build off of that. Here’s my 3 step process:
1. Start with a neutral base of denim and gray, throw in brown or black. Because I always use denim, I include navy blue in my neutrals.
2. Choose a color to catch the eye. For me, the color each year is decided upon after I look in everyone’s closet and see where I can find a theme. In the past we’ve done red, mustard yellow, and this year we’re doing plum.
3. Accessorize! Use what you have where you can, but accessories are typically inexpensive to purchase, rather than having to buy all new outfits from the get-go. That is unnecessary spending!
I’ve created a few mood boards to show you how this method works to create a cohesive look. You can see that those base colors are in each one, and in some, I repeated items of clothing, because that’s what we do when we work with what we have. It’s like moving furniture you own to a new room for a new look.
Let’s start with this year’s plan as it’s on my mind and I am really excited about it- it’s a little more unique for us.
kids blazer/ gray leopard kids infinity scarf / girls newsboy cap / girls heart leggings / kids uggs / gray sweater / purple gingham shirt / jeans / mens shoes / brown hat / dress (a total steal!) / boots / boys aviator hat / boys henley / boys puffer vest / boys jeans / boys topsiders
This year, as I was working on Emmy’s room, I came across her plum velvet blazer from Gap kids that I had found at a thrift shop. She loves that blazer and wears it often. I knew that Chris had a purple gingham shirt that he’d bought last year for his work Christmas party that would complement it nicely. So from there, my pop of color was created. From there, I started adding in everything else, using what we had. Unfortunately, I was the one who didn’t own anything that fit this look, but I found this stunning dress on sale for less than $35! It features bunnies, squirrels, and owls in gray as well as a large floral motif in the right colors. I also wanted to get a hat for Sawyer and envisioned a gray pom pom hat, but as we were searching he was very passionate about the aviator style, and we found this classic hat at Amazon for $15. I didn’t have plans to get Emmy a hat, but found an adorable newsboy style girls hat on clearance at my local Target.
Our overall look is vintage romantic and I can’t wait to see how it translates in our photos! Of course, I gave myself a second outfit option and am going to bring both with me. I used all the same items, but changed my outfit a bit (using items I already own) to create a new look still fitting the style I am going for.
kids blazer/ gray leopard kids infinity scarf / girls newsboy cap / girls heart leggings / kids uggs / gray sweater / purple gingham shirt / jeans / mens shoes /boys aviator hat / boys henley / boys puffer vest / boys jeans / boys topsiders/ brown hat / gray infinity scarf / sweater/ skirt / boots /
I would love to hear which one you like better! I know which one I think I prefer, and which one Chris prefers… I would love to hear what you all think!
This year I will be ordering cards (total fail last year when I didn’t get it together!) and I found a few that really complement our look.
Of course, romantic isn’t usually my look, but something just has me feeling it this year. In the past we’ve done a couple other color palettes, following the same method as above. A couple of years ago, I chose mustard yellow as our color because I had a top that was mustard, Emmy had a dress featuring an accent, and Chris had a shirt that worked. The only thing I purchased was a yellow tee for Sawyer to pop out under his shirt.
I’ve put together a mood board for you if you’d like to recreate this look for your family.
This Cheers foil card from Minted is the perfect complement for this look. (Sorry it’s a little pixelated; I had to take a screen shot to save it to share with you. The actual cards are NOT pixelated!)
I have one more for you today, and this is a look we created with the first photos we did with Eddie three years ago; it’s a classic Americana in red, white and denim. You might recognize that gray sweater on Chris from the moodbaord for this year’s photos…. like I said we reinvent! And my top in this shoot was thrifted (but H&M has a really cute similar one!)
I’ve created another moodboard for you to recreate this look, and as an American, this is one of my absolute favorite styles. It’s classic, and you can add your own twist to it, and the red really catches the eye.
toadstool clip / girls white boho top / girls jeggings / girls red cowboy boots (not in my photo, but Emmy has some this year that she wears non stop and they would have been great!) / red long sleeve tee / gray sweater / jeans /new balance gray classics / boys red hoodie / boys chambray shirt / boys jeans / boys adidas sneakers / plaid tunic / james jeans / boots
To complement this style, I chose a classic look with a text to fill in the white space (which many photographers will create for you if your photos are intended for cards). Minted allows for you to move the text to the area of the photo you need it to be, so I simply dragged it over to the top left. This particular design is the Elegant Christmas. (Again, pardon the pixelation from my screen shot; your cards will NOT look like this and will be crisp and clear!)
So now what do you think? Are you ready to go book your session and choose your outfits and your cards? Trust me on this one, you won’t regret it. These moments pass too quickly, but the memories last a life time when you capture them in photos. I personally keep one of my Christmas cards from each year so that I can look back on them. Minted has so many special and beautiful cards printed on thick quality paper so that you can enjoy them for the rest of your life and then some! I’m looking forward to our shoot this weekend and can’t wait to share them with you.
Now, before I go for the day, Minted has offered to give away THREE $100 credits to their shop to help you get your holiday greeting cards taken care of! Just follow the instructions in the widget below. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
PS- If you aren’t ready to order your cards, Minted offers the option of buying now and personalizing later! If you’re super organized with your cards, but not so much with your photos, this is a great option!
PPS- This post uses affiliate links for your convenience. Thank you so much for your support of my blog! Because of you, I am able to keep bringing you new ideas!
PPPS- And a huge thank you to Minted for providing me with credit for my holiday cards this year. I was not otherwise compensated and all ideas and thoughts presented are my own.