Thursday, October 4, 2012

Family Portrait: Choosing a "Look"

I spent hours and hours last week trying to pick out clothes for a family photo. For our anniversary, my husband purchased a session with a portrait photographer so we could finally get a nice family photo. It was definitely something I always wanted to do.

The photographer forwarded instructions on how to dress: Don't match. Coordinate, but don't wear the same things. She sent a link to a Pinterest board of ideas.

And off I went, shopping, to find something for each family member. It cost a small fortune. I was shopping on a deadline -- our photo session was scheduled for Sunday -- and I was also shopping unlike I normally shop. Shopping for me is a sport: One that involves sales, clearance racks, coupons and mark-downs. I have to be frugal, as you know!

But not this time. This time I was driven by having to find outfits for five family members of different genders and ages that somehow would not look like we fell off the turnip truck. And I had little time to do it. I have a new appreciation for photo stylists after this whole experience.

I started at the Gap, for Big Girl. Now, I do not normally shop there because it's beyond my regular budget, I was looking for something that did not contain graphics, words, cartoon characters. She got a new pair of jeans and a plain pink top. I always like Big Girl in pink, especially in pictures. And I thought she would be the most difficult subject, which is why she became my immediate focus.

After Gap, I headed into Gymboree, where I fell in love with a red-checked button-down shirt for Buddy Twin. With that, and a new pair of jeans with red cuffs, and I was set. It seemed to go with Big Girl's pink focus. And I just know this shirt will be worn long after this picture: It's perfect for Christmas, for Valentine's Day. And it's just downright adorable. I think I'm saving it forever.

Since denim was going to link us in the picture, I had my heart set on Bunny Twin wearing a new denim dress we already owned. I picked up a pair of leggings in Gymboree to match Buddy Twin's shirt, and some cute little hairbows for her pigtails.

Three down!

Now me. I figured I would wear a new black cardigan sweater and jeans; I just needed something to go under the sweater. Dress Barn had a decent red, black and rouge-ish fancy tank that worked, and bridged the red/pink of the kids. And I can wear it at the holidays too.

My husband was last, but I figured he could wear something he already had. But the day before our picture, I realized he had no decent pants! A trip to Marshall's at 8 p.m. solved that problem, when I got extremely lucky and found two pairs in his size and headed to the register. ($19.99 each, a good price for pants he will wear to work until they wear out! I love Marshall's.) He already had a cranberry plaid shirt that would go with either pair, and he matched our "red/pink/denim" theme.

Done! (An extra expense, indeed, but done.)

Except for one problem: Our photo session got rained out.

We'll try again this weekend. And at least our clothes are already picked out, right?

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