How to dress your lil Valentine

Did you get your Christmas card out last year?

We didn’t.

As a photographer, it seems that by the time I am done shooting and editing everyone else’s Christmas card photo- Christmas has already come and gone. So, we have started a tradition in our family of sending out Valentine cards instead. Phew! What a way to take the pressure off during those holiday seasons! And I actually really look forward to it!

How to dress your lil Valentine

 Now the question I always get asked is, “What should we wear?”

So,  let me tell you what works for me.

How to dress your lil Valentine

First and foremost choose a color scheme!  This can be the hardest thing to narrow down, and I recommend starting out by looking to see what you already have in your closet.

Still need help?

One website I love is  for finding color schemes and inspiration for upcoming year. {Go here to find a 2012 color trend and my inspiration for this look}  It is important to have colors that are complimenting and blend well together. Avoid wearing too much white- that can be difficult to photograph and often gets blown out.

How to dress your lil Valentine

Next,  spread out your options on the ground so you can stand back and see how they look together. Snap a shot if you have to and see how it photographs.

Solids tend to photograph the best {less distracting} but I recommend throwing in some pattern or texture here and there {not overboard} to make it interesting. Also, avoid any logo shirts- {who wants a big “GAP” logo across the front to distract from the person’s face?}

How to dress your lil Valentine How to dress your lil Valentine

If possible avoid matching completely. {i.e. all white shirts with the same shade of denim pants- no bueno}  The goal is to create a variety and a photo where your eyes naturally  go across the page with a nice flow.

How to dress your lil Valentine  How to dress your lil Valentine

 Have more than one outfit choice in mind. You may find that you like one better than the other. Here, I decided to add a sweater to the yellow plaid shirt- just in case the plaid ended up being distracting. I never know until I see the photo. And do you want to know something cool? Part of the collar  detaches so it creates a whole new look!! I heart you Zara kids.

How to dress your lil Valentine

How to dress your lil Valentine

Now, I have to confess that my Mister Valentine is the final piece to this puzzle. Although he is not in the photo, his outfit would pull a lot more grey and beige (neutral colors) with a speck of a bright complimentary color to offset the yellow. So, I would do a tan sports coat or jacket,  grey jeans, and bright bow tie (perhaps in the bright red family?)

How to dress your lil Valentine

Do you want to know the best part…I didn’t pay full price on a single one of these items. It’s true.

My outfit:

Blue Blouse: Target 75% off Clearance rack

Lace Skirt: Zara (Clearance rack)

Shoes: Steve Madden from Ross

Yellow Sweater: Zara (on Sale)

Grey tights: Free from online order my husband made read this post

Earings: Thrift Store- they were $1

Belt: Grandma’s closet

Bracelet: Banana Republic Outlet (on clearance because missing a jewel)

Little Man’s Outfit:

Plaid Shirt: Zara Kids- (clearance rack)

Shoes: Gap Outlet (additional 40% off of that)

Blue Sweater: Zara Kids Sale (50% off)

Grey jeans: Gap Outlet (clearance rack)

Polo socks: Tjmaxx

For additional “out takes” and what “not to do” in your family photo session- visit me at:  AND www.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

How to dress your lil Valentine


    1. February 10th, 2012 at 11:25 am
      Missy says:
      Such adorable pictures! I love the idea to lay all the items out on the floor so you can see what it will look like instead of making the kids dress up for nothing and sending a Valentine's Day card instead of Christmas - fun!
      • February 18th, 2012 at 8:10 am
        Cristi Dame says:
        Thanks Missy-It is a fun tradition! I look forward to it!
    2. February 10th, 2012 at 1:17 pm
      jessica says:
      your little boy is so cute. I love the outfits. We always end up matching in our photos and you don't get to see each person's individual style showing through.

      putting out the clothes ahead of time is a good option i also like the candid feel of the shots. good work.

      how do you always find such great deals. I always over pay for everything even when I go to Wal Mart. haha
      • February 18th, 2012 at 8:03 am
        Cristi Dame says:
        I am always keeping my eyes peeled for deals and when I find them I STOCK up in larger sizes since they grow so fast. I also don't mind waiting for items to go on sale because they usually do! So, it is just a matter of waiting and checking back later on the discount rack. Happy Shopping!!
    3. February 10th, 2012 at 9:52 pm
      Kate says:
      LOVE little mans shoes. Thanks for the tips on coordinating. I always struggle with family photo coordination.
      • February 18th, 2012 at 8:04 am
        Cristi Dame says:
        That can be the hardest part for sure!!
    4. February 11th, 2012 at 8:51 pm
      darlene says:
      great post cristi! i had a hard time picking out our engagement outfits so my husband coordinated it all for us! this is a great post on how to coordinate clothes for a group picture.
      • February 18th, 2012 at 8:06 am
        Cristi Dame says:
        I think it is almost harder to have only two people in the photo! So, that is tricky!
      • February 18th, 2012 at 8:08 am
        Cristi Dame says:
        It can be difficult to plan for only two...I think it may be harder than a family photo!
    5. February 13th, 2012 at 6:52 am
      Bridget says:
      Such nice pictures! Having three boys in a row (before my two girls) I've always disliked Valentine shirts for boys, mostly because they are full of terrible sayings that don't represent my boys or my own beliefs. The idea of just picking a nice color scheme makes so much more sense. Thanks!
      • February 18th, 2012 at 8:05 am
        Cristi Dame says:
        Haha- I laughed when reading this! So True!!
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