Sewing & Styling Tips for a Family Photo Session

Blogger: Deanna Mackin


Sewing and styling for professional family photographs can seem like a huge undertaking, but the planning and preparation is easier than you think! Creating handmade, one-of-a-kind pieces can make capturing family memories even more special. Keep reading as we break down the process and give inspiration for your next family photoshoot.


Choose the season: The season in which the photos will be taken will dictate nearly every aspect of the family photo outfits from sewing patterns to colors, fabric types and fabric designs. Book the photography session well in advance to offer plenty of time to sew before the big day arrives.


Select the location and theme: The location will set the tone for the photos. The theme of the photos will allow you to create an overall “vibe.” Whether its rustic, classic, holiday, urban downtown, lifestyle, studio, beach, or vintage, Little Lizard King's wide range of pattern styles can be customized for each unique vision. Start with inspiration from the location and use the theme to plan the sewing patterns and final looks.


Choose a color palette: Although there are traditional color schemes for each season, there is even more variety when you think outside the box. Pinterest is a great resource for inspiration. Try to select a color palette that speaks to you with colors you enjoy wearing and sewing! Start a mood board, create collages or play with the LLK mockups to visualize how the outfits will look together. Remember the location when choosing a color palette to ensure that the outfits stand out without clashing or blending in with the background.


Mix and match fabrics: Solid fabrics and subtle prints are always a great timeless choice for family photos, but don’t be afraid to add a bold print into the mix. One thing to keep in mind is to select prints that don’t complete with each other. In these photos, one outfit has a large floral that is visible from far away. The other dress has a much smaller print that provides detail up close but reads more like a solid overall. The goal when styling multiple people is to aim for coordination rather than matching. Print on demand fabric shops like Carriage House Printery offer the ability to mix and match designs from a fabric collection or designer that can be printed on a variety of different fabric bases. This makes it easy to coordinate multiple outfits no matter which sewing patterns are chosen.


The type and texture of fabric can also play into outfit planning for family photos. Fabrics like gauze, swiss dot, slub, rib, waffle, sweater knits and linen or faux linen look can provide nice visual texture. Flowy fabric bases like rayon challis, chiffon, voile, and viscose offer movement that photographs with ease.


Decide on sewing patterns: Whether you’re sewing formal wear or casual wear- LLK and Styla make it easy to dress the whole family! They offer a wide range of styles that can be mixed and matched according to the theme of the photos. When styling multiple family members, consider clothing lengths and add variety by mixing some shorter skirts and dresses with maxi or hi-low lengths. This will add visual interest in the finished pictures.


Many Little Lizard King patterns offer multiple variations like sleeve and skirt lengths and dress/romper options. This is a great place to start when sewing for siblings. Using the same pattern as a base but choosing unique details for each outfit can help create a cohesive set of final looks.


Don't forget the accessories! Whether it's a bow, bonnet, or pair of suspenders- the pattern library offers a variety of accessories that can put the finishing touch on any look. Consider cardigans, vests, and other layering piece patterns to make any outfit appropriate for all seasons.


Below are just a few fan favorite patterns to consider for different photography styling themes.


Beach: Edessa, Cannes, Amsterdam, Sorrento, Malibu, Augusta, Isla, Delray

Formal: Meredith, Sofia, Aarhus, Montrose, Misthaven, Lienz, Venice

Relaxed: Byron Bay, Aberdeen, Laramie, Brunswick, Indy, Glastonbury, Aspen

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