If you ever had a photoshoot done, you know this dilemma! What should I wear? And the more participants in the family shoot, the more difficult the planning gets.

Those of you that love a family shoot like me, know the amount of planning that goes into that 1or 2 hours of actual shooting. It is make-up and flowers and clothing and location and weather and whatever else!

Clothing and colour coordination are major elements that contribute to your photoshoot’s success and your photos being extraordinary or just ok.

Here are some pointers as to where to start your thought process and planning:

1. First of all, know your location.

The location where your photoshoot will take place, will determine in a major way what you will wear. Will it be outside, or in studio? Is it a colourful setting or more neutral?

The colour in your photo could be supplied from either the surroundings or props (flowers or any other props) or from your clothing and it is very important to make sure that these 3 elements do not clash. For example, when shooting between colourful flowers, it is better to keep clothing items neutral, so that they compliment each other. The same applies when shooting in a more neutral coloured setting, like an open field. Then you can add a splash of colour with clothing or a hand-held bouquet. The aim of the photograph is to accentuate the people and for that you need contrast and not too many colours that distract the eye. Of course there will always be an exception to the rule.

Also, to create a harmonious picture, try to mimic the colours of your surroundings.

For example, when you are shooting on the beach, neutrals and pastels always work well.

And while we are talking flowers, remember fresh real flowers always looks better than the fake alternative!

2. Avoid busy patterns and stripes

Fine stripes, checks and more than one busy pattern disturb the eye and should be avoided. Also avoid big pictures or logo’s on shirts or other clothing.

3. Decide on a theme

Decide what feel/atmosphere you want to create or what message you want to convey? Is it more playful (colourful) or classy (darker colours) or peaceful (neutrals, greens, blues, pastels)?

4. Add texture and layers!

Texture makes pictures interesting and invites you to look and look some more! Long gone are the days of doing a family shoot with everyone wearing white t-shirts!! Dress everyone differently, in different – but complimenting – colour and texture clothing.

5. Build your colour picture

Choose 1 eye-catching garment (like a floral dress for mom) and build around that. Choose a colour shirt for dad and brother that picks up some of the colours in the dress. This will pull everything together nicely.

Hope this will help a bit in planning your next photoshoot of awesome family memories!