Family Style Guide
Have Fun with These Ideas
Planning outfits your family session is part of the fun and adventure. All the details come together to create lasting treasures. So how do you choose clothing that compliments your personality and looks good on camera? We've seen a lot through the years and are happy to guide you through decisions.
We do not limit your number of outfits. However, our time together is valuable, so spending time changing fifteen times means less time creating portraits. Most clients choose 2-3 outfits. Often, one outfit is more formal and one outfit is more casual.
We rarely are near a changing room because we're wandering. Choosing layers will let you change looks anywhere. This can be done with tank tops under t-shirts, or a skirt over leggings. With layers, you can have different looks without searching for a restroom.
Yes to accessories, and yes to your style (whatever that may be), and yes to being comfortable. Express yourself.
Be true to who you are as a family.
Potential Challenges with Family Outfits
While I support all family visions for your outfits, these pointers will save you from surprises when you see images. Because sometimes the colors and patterns that we love in real life don't look the same on camera.
- Please do not buy matchy-matchy outfits. Modern portraiture chooses a similar color scheme with individual style and pops of color. Examples of this are blue/green base colors with a colorful scarf, or grey tones with a green vest, or earth tones with a mustard cardigan.
- Avoid super-bright colors for shirts, especially fluorescent greens, pinks, and oranges that can reflect light onto skin.
- Identical patterns and colors can blend into one shape on camera. If your outfits are all white or black or matching stripes, edges blur when you stand near one another. It's easy to mix up looks by varying shades (lighter and darker grey) or mixing up colors (such as two plaid shirts with different colors).
- Please do not wear trendy graphic t-shirts, big logos, or words. The challenge with images and words on clothes is that it's rare to see the entire shirt, so a word only shows a few letters, or a character's hand which can become awkward. Once I say this, however, if you child has a beloved unicorn or robot (or robot-unicorn?) shirt, let's document it.
Can we dress up?
Of course! We love creating sessions that are uniquely you. We can even add after-effects that bring your story to life. Lightsaber? Magic Wand? Firebending Avatar? We enjoy challenges that inspire us alongside you. Let's create magic. We can make creative images the highlight of your session, or simply create an image or two for fun.
Can we do hair and makeup?
You can definitely schedule hair and makeup before your session. Make sure that you communicate with your specialists so that you have a style that reflects you. We are happy to refer a few names of hair and makeup artists that can help you look your best. You do not need any fancy hair and/or makeup, of course. You're beautiful just the way you are :)
What if an outfit gets messed up?
What if your child wants to splash in puddles or roll in the grass? That's totally fine with me. We take a few official portraits at the beginning of the session, then most of the session is spent playing. Children grow out of messy phases quickly, so it's wonderful to remember those wilder days.
Can we bring props or toys?
Yes, props and toys are welcome! We love showcasing what matters to you. Whether it's a guitar, a basketball, a car, or any other treasure, bring it along so we can incorporate it into an image or two. If you have a special idea for a session featuring an idea like riding bikes or building an igloo, let's work together to bring your ideas to life.
Comfortable Kids are Happy Kids. Adults are too.
We love sparkly dresses and bowties, however, my kids were highly sensitive to scratchy fabrics and seams. That, and the formal-wear is usually a holiday event. The images of my kids that really tug at my heart are the clothes that I saw them wearing in everyday life. Their favorite shirt and red boots. I love the clothes that we live in day after day. So if you want a fancy outfit, consider bringing another outfit that your child can wear when they're "over" the fanciness. Of course, if they love wearing the sparkles and bowties that's fun too :)
Remember the shoes
We do walk around on grass which may be wet or muddy. If you want fancy shoes in your photos, we recommend slides or slip ons to get from spot to spot. Then you can change into your fancy shoes for the photograph. Of course, we believe in comfy everything, so if sneakers are your style, feel free to wear them which whatever you like. Shoes can be an expression of your personality too. Wear your favorite kicks, or cowboy boots, or flip flops. All styles are welcome here :)
Families are many beloved faces and many unique personalities. I don't believe in perfect family photos, in the sense that everyone is tidy, posed by height, and wearing coordinated outfits. Instead, families tend to pick a theme such as blues or neutrals. Then choose what's comfortable and shows your style. Use layers to bring pops of color. Micromanaging everyone's outfit can be exhausting. Let family be family. Of course, if everyone enjoys planning, that's amazing too because that inspires all of you. Have fun, lower stress, and enjoy the time together.
Most of my personal family photos are at gatherings, where the outfit is never discussed ahead of time. These make for fascinating history as years go by. Sometimes less is more ❤️
The Adventure Begins
We often wander and explore. You will not want to carry four bags overflowing with twelve outfits. And we may find ourselves away from an easy place to change. I recommend layers, such as a tank top, so you can change efficiently. Having one or two bags to carry your options and accessories will let us discover more places to capture you beautifully.
I am happy to answer any questions!