Step One: Get Dad on board
He is of course your right hand man! Sit down and discuss with him what sort of ideas and styles you might like. Being a typical male, he may not be too excited about this to start with! Encourage him – let him know that this is going to be a super fun experience and get him on the logistics side.
Step Two: Research
Before you start talking to the kids you need to have a game plan. Have 2 very strong outfit ideas that you can build around. This may mean (the fun part) spending some time on fashion blogs, photography websites or our personal favourite, Pinterest. Curate a collection of images that clearly represent what you are wanting to achieve (we call these reference shots). Don’t worry about poses, backgrounds or anything else just yet.
Step Three: The flatlay test
Start this step a few days before your photo shoot. Set aside half an hour to lay out you and your partners outfits on the bed and stand back and have a look. Ensure that you include shoes and accessories and that everything looks coordinated – whether that be in the same colour tones, monochrome or style (aka cocktail, smart casual, etc). Once you and your partner have your outfits defined, you’re halfway there!
Step Four: Get the kids involved
It doesn’t matter whether you have one child or nine! Gather everyone around the bed and run them through your reference shots and flatlays. Then ask each child to get out three separate outfits from their wardrobe – 1 that matches each of the 2 looks + a bonus favourite outfit. Don’t forget to tell them the golden rule: no logos or obvious brand names!
Step Five: Put it all together
Every child at this point should have 3 complete outfits selected. If not, go and help them find that skirt they are thinking of (its probably in the wash), or grab their top that they haven’t seen since Susie’s party (still in their backpack). Flatlay the outfits into groups that will go together – ‘1’, ‘2’ and ‘Bonus’.
At this point you may notice that Timmy’s striped polo stands out like a sore thumb! If so, now is the time to suggest something more suitable. DO cover the basics and DONT worry about the shades of blue not being identical. Make sure the clothing is clean and still fits them properly!
Step Six: Accessorise
Once you’re happy with each outfit you can then ask them to take out jewellery that complements each look. Make sure they have the right items that go with their clothing. If there’s a pair of pants that needs a belt, grab two just in case. Make sure you have stockings if needed.
Step Seven: The essentials
Make sure that everybody has clean socks plus the right underwear. Ensure that everyone washes their hair the day before the shoot and that the girls don’t have chipped nail polish. We also suggest packing extra hair ties, tissues, baby wipes, bobby pins, water and small snacks.
You’re all set! Pack your bags and don’t forget to bring your original reference shots to the photo shoot so you can show your photographer what you have in mind!