As a photographer, I have taken notes through the years on what colors and styles photograph well. My goal in this style guide is to make things a bit easier for you as you narrow down your options. However, please know this is merely a guide, not a prerequisite for beautiful images. The session will be beautiful, not because you choose the perfect outfit, but because it reflects you and your family! I hope you find this helpful!
COLORS & TEXTURES
Soft earth tones are very beautiful on camera. Sage greens, blush, blues, tans, heather grays, whites and creams photograph well. When considering patterns, I suggest incorporating soft florals, plaids, and ginghams and to avoiding patterns that are busy or distracting such as large stripes. Incorporate texture through fabrics, sleeve styles, ruffles, and layers. When coordinating families, don’t be afraid to put one person in your family in something bold (ex: mustard, rust, or bright pink). However, I do suggest that you avoid putting too many family members in bold patterns and colors.
HAIR , MAKEUP & ACCESSORIES
If you are doing your own hair and makeup, don’t forget to do a bit more than you would on your average day. Add volume to your hair by curling it or teasing it. Wear a little extra mascara, blush, and lipstick... this will photograph beautifully!
Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can really help bring some extra dimension to your images, and be a nice tie-in when you’re coordinating with a group. Big statement earrings bring a lot of pop to the photos, while the smaller, delicate ones are not as noticeable on camera. Hats, earrings, fun shoes and other accessories always bring in some fun visual interest.
C O R D I N A T I N G V S. M A T C H I N G
As you’re coordinating your outfit with your family, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palette and wardrobe pieces coordinate, but don’t actually “match.” In fact, I recommend that you avoid thinking about “matching,” and instead think about what compliments together. This will create more visual interest, and allow each personality to shine through. The goal for coordinating a family is to visually break up the colors and shades so that you’re not all wearing the same color on top and bottom. If you have multiple children, don’t feel like you need to put them all in the same type of outfit. For example, one of your daughters could wear a dress and ponytail, while the other wears a skirt and hair bow. One of your sons could wear a vest, while the other one wears a jacket. Mixing up the wardrobe pieces will bring personality and interest to the photos.
LITTLES & NEWBORNS
When shopping for littles I recommend: Zara Kids, H&M Kids, Janie & Jack, Gap Kids and your local boutiques.
For newborn sessions, I recommend a few neutral and simple swaddles and wraps. Swaddles will keep the image simple, clean, and beautiful and allow for the main focus of the images to be the baby's features. However, if you do choose to pick out an outfit or two, I recommend that they fit your little one tightly so that the clothes aren't too loose or baggy in the images. If you have any baskets, blankets, or bows feel free to pull them out before the session and I will use them for styling. I will bring swaddles, bows and bonnets as well.
When styling family members for newborn sessions, I suggest simple, neutral and soft patterned outfits.
If you are a mom planning for your family session, I suggest choosing your outfit first, and then build the rest of the family’s outfits based around you.
Dresses and skirts are very flattering on camera. Long, full-length, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. If you decide to wear pants, I recommend avoiding shorts and leggings and considering pants with a pop of color or unique texture. If you choose to wear jeans, I would recommend pairing them with a top that has texture and movement. Consider softer fabrics that allow for beautiful movement in the images. When considering the length of your dresses or skirts, it’s also a good idea to factor in whether or not there will be little ones in your photos. If you have smaller children, I’ll likely have you sitting or crouching on the ground to interact up-close with them. If you have little ones in your photos, a floor-length dress or skirt, or perhaps a cute midi-skirt, will make moving around with your kids much easier,
When choosing shoes, consider wearing heels. This is very flattering on camera. However, if you do wear heels, I recommend bringing an extra comfy pair to walk to and from the location.
Long, fitted dress pants or colored pants and closed-toed shoes work best on camera for guys. Stay away from graphics, logos, and bold stripes and patterns. I suggest considering khakis or colored dress pants over jeans. Layers on guys look great on camera. Adding another layer will bring extra dimension and visual interest to your photos. Blazers, vests and coats can up the level of any look.