I am so excited for your session and want to do everything I can to help your portraits turn out as fabulous as the vision in your mind! This guide was created to help you achieve the look you want in your photos and feel prepared for your session. Then I’ll take care of the rest! Your only job during the session is to be yourself, let your love for your family shine through and relax while I capture the beauty of your family. I can’t wait to get you in front of my camera!
Let's start with a few visual examples of clothing choices that worked really well, keeping in mind that your own family is unique and what works best for one person may not be ideal for another (and that rules were meant to be bent if not broken so it's okay to apply your own perspective to these suggestions).
3 questions for choosing the right clothes (from MyClickMagazine.com)
- IS IT COMFY? Nobody wants to spend an hour or two dressed in something that pinches, chafes, or itches, especially children and dads, who won’t hesitate to make their displeasure known. We recommend each family member wear their photo shoot outfit around the house for at least 10 minutes to try it out if they haven’t worn it before, shoes included!
- DO YOU FEEL BEAUTIFUL? When you feel like you look super, your outfit is flattering, and you are the best version of yourself, you’ll have a natural glow for the camera. If your client thinks she’s found the perfect outfit that looked gorgeous on the rack, but not so much on her own body, it’s ok to ditch it and go with her proven outfits. Guide your clients to aim for styles that fit perfectly and flatter their body type.
- IS IT YOU? Simple but profound. Every person in the family should wear clothing that is an honest reflection of his or her style and stage in life. Ask your client if she’d wear the outfit on any given special occasion. If the answer is “absolutely,” you’re good to go. If she hesitates, it’s a sure sign the outfit isn’t quite right and she may not be happy with the photos. Guide your clients to aim for timeless attire rather than the latest trend.
A few more helpful suggestions (also from MyClickMagazine.com):
1. COORDINATE, DON'T COPY. Identical matching styles are rarely fashionable or flattering, and there’s no reason your mini-me has to wear what you wear. One way to keep the entire family looking unified is through coordinating colors. Pick two to three colors that are flattering for everyone, and work those colors into each outfit in varying degrees. Try one of these gorgeous color combinations: 1. Red-Grey-Silver-Khaki-Denim 2. Blue-White-Khaki-Yellow 3. Brown-Tan-Red-Denim 4. Blue-Purple-Beige-White.
2. AIM FOR CLASSIC BUT CURRENT. Ditch the extremely date-able trends and stick to classic shapes like sheaths, straight leg pants and button-front shirts. Keep in mind that timeless doesn't need to be dreary.
3. ACCESSORIZE ARTFULLY. It’s trendy today to pile on a statement necklace, armfuls of bangles and multiple layered colors, but ten years from now, these details will date your photo. Instead, pick a couple of gorgeous pieces and limit it to that. For everyone in the photo, one or two carefully selected embellishments make a stronger impact than piles of careless ones. A statement accessory is called that for a reason. One is best, and two is pushing it. The eye needs the statement pieces to add interest, but it also needs a place to rest. If the accessories are sentimental or meaningful in some way, even better! Children should look like children. Limit the scaled down versions of adult accessories. If a single, oversized bow suits her style, go for it, but then scale back her other accessories to perhaps an additional sentimental piece. Women can express themselves the most through accessories. A favorite way to add interest is through a gorgeous cuff in a strong color or a gleaming metal. If you prefer earrings, make sure they are visible with your hairstyle yet not too distracting.
AND FINALLY, relax, breathe and remember:
You don't need to be a model; you don't need to wear a size 4; you don't need perfect hair. Your family doesn't need all new clothes; it's okay if the kids get a little dirty during the session. Just put a little bit of thought and care into the prep, and it's going to be great. You'll look amazing, and even if there's a clothing malfunction, the most important and timeless thing I will capture during the session is expressions, not outfits.