As a photographer, I really enjoy the styling aspect of photography. The clothes your wear in your pictures can help set the mood and style of your pictures, just as much as the background; so what you wear is important. I’ve put together a few thoughts for those of you who get a little stressed-out in getting ready for family pictures. I am more than happy to help you put together outfits and ideas for photo shoots, as well as help determine the look you are wanting for your pictures. And remember, rules can always be broken! I’m more than happy to work with anything you may have your heart set on! Please bring a few changes of clothes and together we can determine what will look best in your pictures. In a one-hour photo session, we will have time for one clothing change (optional).
One thing I strive for is to make you look your best in your pictures – or even better! With a combination of the right lighting, angles, and clothing (as well as a little photo editing touch-ups on my part), we can make you look absolutely stunning, slim, and beautiful! When considering what to wear, I recommend choosing a color that brings out your eyes and/or hair color and that you look and feel great in. Some ideas I love are summer dresses, dark jeans, ruffle-tops, and great heels. Fun accessories, if done right, can really make an outfit…whether it’s a belt around your waist, a pair of great boots over skinny jeans, or a beautiful statement necklace or cocktail ring with a simple shirt. Please try to stay away from anything too baggy or patterns that are too busy. And feel free to reflect your personal sense of style.
Men tend to photograph best in a simple shirt in a great color (think shades of blue, grey, green, neutrals, brown, etc.) or a nice muted plaid/pattern. Dark jeans tend to look best in photographs, and shorts are okay too. When in doubt, flip though a J. Crew catalog to get some ideas. Some suggestions are: a casual button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled up, a causal spot coat with jeans, or sweater. Men photograph well in shirts with collars, but feel free to be creative, and don‘t overdo the polo.
Kids tend to cooperate best if they are well-rested and well fed. Things to have on hand during the shoot are: bottled water or something to drink, a few changes of clothes, and/or any props you may want to include in the pictures. If you’re dressing siblings, many kids’ stores offer collections of clothing that already look great together (think Janie and Jack, Gap Kids, etc.).
I love little boys when dressed like “little men.” Think layers (ideas are a button-down shirt and with cargo shorts, a button-up shirt with a t-shirt underneath, a fun little tie, etc. I prefer button-down shirts over polos. If you need some more ideas, I would suggest flipping through a Crewcuts catalog.
As for girls, I love dresses, skirts cardigans, cute shoes or boots, skirts, hats, a small barrette or bow paired with a simple top/dress, or even a nice long necklace is adorable. Most little girls love to play dress-up, and playing along during pictures can be a great idea too!
I frequently get asked how much “matching” to do for family pictures. The “everyone wear white and khaki or denim” days are over, and photos look more styled with a little more variety in the family. Everyone should not wear the same thing, but choose coordinating outfits. I encourage moms to decide what they feel looks fabulous on them, and then dress the rest of the family accordingly. 🙂 A combination of neutrals looks great (think browns paired with creams, navys paired with grays, etc.) with a mix of solids and simple prints, with pops of brighter color here and there, but make sure the whole family coordinates. I would recommend choosing two neutral or muted colors for everyone to wear, and then a pop of one brighter color in accessories (a cardigan on one person, a hair-bow on another, you get the idea).
Things to have on hand when doing newborn pictures are: soft blankets, knit hats, diaper covers, and a few cute outfits (nothing too busy). We prefer to shoot sleeping newborns, if possible (although most newborns don‘t have much of a schedule yet)! Having a small bottle of breast milk/formula as well as a pacifier ready can also be helpful. To make the most of your time with the photographer, please have baby well-fed, preferably sleeping, and wrapped in a blanket (just diaper) at the beginning of the shoot.
Like I mentioned, rules can always be broken! I love trying new things, so feel free to be expressive! These are just some guidelines for those that want a few suggestions.