How to Style Fall Family Photos in 24 Hours or Less

It’s that time of year when your social media feeds start filling with families in pumpkin patches, wearing plaid. And you (and I) panic because we haven’t booked the photographer for our own fall family photos or maybe we DID but we totally forgot and the shoot is tomorrow. This was me last weekend. I panic booked a session - and that session was less than 24 hours away. Why would I do that to myself?! Surprisingly, it actually went COMPLETELY smoothly. Here are the EXACT 4 things I did to make a last minute photo shoot with a toddler and a breastfed infant go off without a hitch:

  1. Pick one family member and shop their closet! This is the outfit to which you will anchor the rest of the family’s outfits. I usually say to choose mama’s outfit first because we’re typically the most challenging. But, this time, I chose Nina because she has the least options in fall color palettes and most of her clothes have a print, which means it would be harder to plan her outfit around our outfits if I chose mine or someone else’s first. For her, I chose a navy blue dress with an earth-tone floral print. I paired it back to cream knit tights and her soft gold Freshly Picked mocs. Sticking with neutrals meant I would easily be able to coordinate everyone else with her. Since I didn’t choose my outfit first in this instance, I definitely chose my outfit next. If any other women or girls are included in your shoot, style their looks next as well! Dads, boys, or other men involved will probably be pretty simple and they should always be styled last in my opinion.
  2. With less than 24 hours to work with, you may not have time to shop - so get creative! Accessories can add to your chosen color palette if you’re having a hard time finding the perfect articles of clothings. Pull out some basics that pair well with your chosen anchor outfit (in this case, Nina’s outfit) and accessorize to make all the looks feel more cohesive or work together. Shoes, jackets, bows, bow ties, a blanket, etc. can all help tie your color palette together! Plus, don’t forget about toys or other props - all of these things can help pull the look of the shoot together.
  3. Don’t over-complicate it! If this came up last minute, you planned it impromptu like I just did, or you just procrastinated (I do this too sometimes!), then keep it simple! After picking out Nina’s outfit, I knew I needed mine to be easy. I narrowed it down to JUST outfits that are easy to nurse in since we’ll be out and about during this shoot. Then narrowed that down even further to complimentary colors to her dress. I didn’t even LOOK at anything else in my closet. This keeps you focused and efficient. I chose the Ailana J. Josephina Tank, an olive green satin skirt to bring out the print in Nina’s dress, a chunky sweater, and block-heel booties.
  4. Relax and have fun! I feel like we get SO stressed before stuff like this (at least, I know I do!). All the planning, the coordinating, getting everyone out the door on time. Inevitably, something unexpected happens. Etc, etc, etc. But guess what? You’re just taking some pics. It’s supposed to be fun! The more relaxed and chill you are, the better your photos will turn out. If you’re stressed and tense, your photos will look as such and all the actual stress you went through  beforehand to plan the shoot would be wasted!

Are you taking fall family photos soon?! Make sure you bookmark this!

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