WHAT TO WEAR
Coordinating an entire family wardrobe for portraits is a lot of work! For me personally it’s exciting and so rewarding watching it all come together. I can also see how it can also turn into a stressful process as well. I am here to help! I always suggest starting with what you have in your closet and building out from there.
Being comfortable and staying true to your personal style is important, experimenting with a new dramatic look can be so much fun as well and become a whole other experience. I love when Mama’s step in front of my camera feeling fabulous and ready to capture some beautiful moments.
Here are some helpful key elements to take into consideration in making your photo session all it can be!
Earth tones and muted neutral colors are sure to create a timeless look.
Tones of Brown, Cream, Green and Grey are great starters.
For family portraits choose about 2-3 neutral colors and add a warm statement color for visual interest like Mustard, Rust, Blush or Wine based on the season or your taste.
For Example: Mom has a long neutral flowy floral dress and pulls about 2-3 neutral earth tones from it for the rest of the family. Coordinating different shades of the same color can also look really great.
Cool tones like blue should be very limited as it competes with golden hour and fights against my warm editing style.
The portrait location also plays a major role in coordinating a cohesive look, taking tones from the surrounding environment works wonderfully. Most of my sessions take place in desert scenery so neutrals and a pop of rust during golden hour photographs beautifully and compliments my editing style.
Take into account the colors used in your home. Your printed & framed images will take your decor to another level!
PRINTS & PATTERNS
Incorporating one subtle pattern is perfect without overdoing it. I don’t have rules but patterns such as checkers or horizontal stripes are advised against as they create an odd very unwanted moire effect.
Multiple of the same pattern like stripes or plaid is too busy, in that which we are trying to avoid. If you would like to incorporate more than one pattern make sure one print is much larger and more simple so that they are not competing.
Layering creates wonderful visual interest as well as material that easily moves in the wind!
Natural fabrics that drape give a fun sense of motion, which just makes lifestyle images really shine. This is why I always suggest long maxi dresses for women and older girls. Flowing dresses simply photograph better than pants do! Another bonus to wearing a maxi dress or skirt is that you may not feel like you have to focus on posing so much since your legs would be covered. If you don’t usually wear dresses or long skirts you could use this as a fun opportunity to dress up.
Flowy dresses especially ones that drape over the shoulders are that touch of ethereal, boho magic that really can bring an image to life.
If jeans and a nice top are more your thing definitely go for that!
Examples of textures to mix together:
Accessories can really transform an average outfit by incorporating items such as chunky knitted sweaters, denim, scarves, hair bows, suspenders, boots and stylish hats to polish a look.
Boots in tones of brown always work! It’s hard to hide dirt on black shoes and white soles can stick out like a sore thumb. To maintain a polished look I suggest to avoid athletic shoes, flip flops, dirty shoes, shoes with graphics, logos and brightly colored shoes.
Photographing sweet baby feet adds a special touch to these moments so we may remove socks and shoes if that is okay with you!
Things to avoid
Now that we’ve covered what works it’s equally important to discuss what may not work for the photographs I am looking forward to creating with you!
- Bright white - this tends to lose detail and create big bright spots in the images, the eyes naturally will go to the lightest part of an image, layering with white is great! White tends to pick up unwanted colors from the surroundings giving it an unnatural, undesirable tint.
- Neon & extremely vibrant colors- it’s very difficult to edit and might not have the effect you are hoping for
- Metallics - Too much reflecting
- Red - With my warm editing style it tends to appear more orange
- Sequins - Used sparingly it can look pretty!
- Too much blue - Shooting at golden hour can be tricky with cool colors. Just one pair of blue jeans works great.
- Clothing that is too tight as the focus will be on adjusting clothing rather than your family/session.
Please pay extra attention in clothing fit if modesty is an issue.
- All black outfits - Creates very dark spots in the photo, hard to see body outlines and in camera it will look like floating heads.
- Matching outfits - It’s cute, but generally not something that works well on camera
- Baseball caps - they can cast a lot of shadow on the face and not to mention clash with any boho
- Shorts on adults - Shorts on boys work!
- Too many busy patterns - checkers, stripes, plaid, words are very distracting
- Crazy sock colors or prints. Keep them plain, matching and neutral in case they accidentally make an appearance
- Chipped nail polish, animal hair
- Apple watches, keys and other devices in pockets, for these types of mishaps can also be costly to outsource
- Hair ties on the wrist
- Dresses on babies are not preferred for lifestyle posing , neutral bloomers can help avoid accidental diaper shots. Little rompers or bell bottoms are preferred for little ones.
- Getting a haircut, trying new makeup or getting a tan the day or week of the session is hardly a good idea.
Most importantly I highly suggest to forego all logos, characters or word screen prints as they are distracting, date your photos and do not help with creating a look of “togetherness”.
Our goal is to keep the attention on your lovely faces!
STILL STUMPED ON WHAT TO WEAR?
I know a long list of do’s and don’ts can be daunting, these are just tips that have come from my own experience. Please reach out if you need any assistance in styling your wardrobe. I am here to help create the best possible images for you and your family!
Here are a few extra tips to make sure your picture day goes smoothly!
- Prepare to use up the whole session appointment, although we may get all the shots we need earlier
- Arrive 10-15 minutes early to your session location
- Be sure everyone has eaten before you arrive, and think about scheduling naps while coordinating a time for your photoshoot.
- Change diapers, use restroom & change clothing before session start time (not every location has a restroom)
- Bring Water!
- Plan to leave any extra accessories in your vehicle or in a bag you can toss on the ground
- Remove sunglasses early to avoid red-nose indentations. Also remove phones & keys from pockets
- Bring some non-messy snacks for little ones who may need some bribing
- No need to focus on always looking at the camera and try not to worry about how the kids may be behaving
- Be in the moment and have a blast!