How to Dress Kids for a Summer Photo Shoot: 3 Steps - MakeSureHow
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Include a few iconic props that capture your child's personality.

Even if your mother didn't dress you in lederhosen for your 2-year-old portrait, a professional photograph of yourself as a young child can leave you wondering, "What was my mother thinking when she dressed me in that?" Once upon a time, long, long ago, a kid's photo shoot was a choreographed event in black and white, where the photographer spent half an hour getting his subjects to hold still and look content -- never mind the obvious apparel fails. Thankfully, digital cameras let photographers take hundreds of pictures per photo shoot, without ever requiring your child to sit still. This means that a photographer can truly capture your little one's in-the-moment smile and laughter -- and who wants to screw that up with a horrendous wardrobe choice?


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    Dress your little one in casual clothing, or at least in something that's comfortable and allows full range of motion. Photographing kids in the summer lets the photographer can capture your kids genuinely playing, and they can't run and play if they're wearing a layered taffeta dress or a three-piece suit. A simple, cotton sleeveless jumper, for example, lets your little one be comfortable and natural in her movements. It also keeps the focus on her sweet face, without the distraction of frilly layers and tons of ribbons.
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    Alternate the clothing style and color, by child. Your kids don't need to look like the cast from the Sound of Music, but pay attention to how the colors and patterns work with each other. For example, dress your preschool-aged daughter in a sleeveless, lavender gingham A-line dress, your 3-year-old son in a light green polo shirt and khaki shorts, and your 18-month-old daughter in a lavender short-sleeved baby dress.
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    Go minimalist. There's something innocent and timeless about children dressed in white clothing. A simple cotton dress with tank straps for your girls and a white T-shirt for your son is striking in black and white photographs. You can also choose clothing in pale versions of blue, green or yellow to give your kids a slightly more vibrant minimalist look.


  • Skip the frilly bows and flowery hair accessories, but do keep your child's hair off her face with a simple barrette or a secure headband. Since your children will be playing outside during the photo shoot, go with a hairstyle that's secure enough to stay in place as they move.Minimize layers. A light sweater is fine if the weather is cool, but chunky knits or overflowing sweatshirts can distract from their movement and features.


  • Avoid dressing your kids in dark clothing. Dark clothing, especially on young children, add an overall severity to the photograph that can weigh down the picture.Skip super trendy outfits. Donning the latest fashions, in clothing or hair, will make the pictures seem dated in a few years, and you want to capture your little ones as timeless.

Things You'll Need

  • Coordinated print outfits
  • White clothing

Article Info

Categories: Education and Communications

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