Oh… what to wear. That is always the question, isn’t it? And when you are getting ready for a photo session it seems as though this question gets a little harder to answer. These photos will be around for a while, and you don’t want it to be an ‘oh no, why in the world did I wear that’ situation. Have no fear, we are here with inspiration and a few guidelines for you all.
1. You don’t have to be identical. Matter of fact, PLEASE DON’T BE IDENTICAL. There is nothing more generic looking (in our humble opinions) than to have everyone wearing exactly the same outfits. You clothing should be a reflection of your personality. If you have a daughter is a little hippie, while Dad is mostly preppy, and Mom is a Martha Stewart clone…that’s great! Every family member is different and we in no way want to stifle anyones individuality. We are trying to capture the real you, differences and all.
Forcing a family member to fit a mold usually causes some drama and major frowning come photo time. So if little sister wants to wear her bell bottoms, and Dad insists on wearing that worn out polo he wears for everything we think they should. The key to an awesome session is to remember this above all…you all should coordinate…NOT MATCHY MATCH.
Here is an example of what NOT to do:
We sort of feel sorry for the family above that we found on Google images, obviously they did not have such a handy dandy blog-guide to read. To finish this point, while the family should not be cookie cutter in terms of their ‘look’, they should have something that ties them all together. For example: if Dad’s polo is mint green, sisters dress is purple, and Mom is set on a mustard yellow cardigan, perhaps Mom can also incorporate a paisley scarf that includes all these colors. And viola, everyone coordinates, and it’s all smiles.
2. The Comfort Factor. This is a biggie. We all know we have that ‘Wow factor’ dress that we spent a little too much money on, or the outfit that has been sitting in the closet for the day when we lose that extra 5 lbs. Well, we hate to break it to you but your photo session is not the perfect time to make it work.
If it is too tight, a louder pattern than your norm, not really ‘your color’, if you tug at it constantly because it’s a little to short…please please take our advice and do not wear it. Your mood always translates in your photos, and if you have ever worn anything uncomfortable for too long…you know what kind of mood it puts you in.
Our solution? Pull out your old favorite that fits you like a glove and makes you feel like a million bucks every time you put it on. That’s what you want to feel like, and that’s the you we want to capture. Jazz the old favorite frock up with some new accessories, a pretty scarf, jacket, or a new pair of shoes.
3. Accessorize. Texture, ruffles, scarves, lace, jackets, hats, headbands, fun jewelry, shoes…bring it. We have learned through the years that layers and textures can take a regular photo and turn it into pure fantasticness. Plus, accessories can quickly change a look without having to totally change clothes. Start with your basics and add on interesting layers, bring different jackets and scarves to switch up the looks in between scenes. Easy peasy, right?
4. Colors and Patterns. Our general rule of thumb is to only have one family member in a pattern. And that pattern should tie everyone else together. Too many patters, even if they coordinate…become distracting. Jewel tones photograph beautifully, deep purple, crimson, mustard yellow, emerald green, all are great choices. Build those colors around basic grays, whites,browns, blacks. Denim is always great too.
5. Hair and makeup. Makeup always photographs weaker than it is applied. We don’t want you to ‘Tammy Faye Baker’ it up or anything (for those of you too young to remember her, take a gander on Google)… we do think that a little more than usual is better. Think the difference between work makeup and going out for a special occasion makeup. You hair should also be styled as if you are heading out on the town, and as with clothing, texture in hair photographs better than stick straight hair. But if your hair is straight, and that’s how you wear it…don’t try anything too crazy the day of, just maybe add a little more volume than normal.
6. Don’t overload the little ones. We have discovered that the number one reason for a child to throw a tantrum during a session is when they are forced to change clothes 5 times. In general, we recommend limiting it to 2 outfits per session for kids. Also, we have found that if kids are told to smile and look at the camera by their parents…it’s the LAST thing they want to do. Not that we want to instruct anyone on how to parent or anything, but it seems the more natural everyone acts the better the session goes. And believe us, we will go to great lengths and do lots of silly things to make your child smile and look at the camera.
7. Relax. This may be difficult since it’s not everyday that you have cameras in your face snapping away, but try to relax. The morning of your session, blast some fun music with the family (maybe some Black Eyed Peas?)…maybe even let loose and have a little dance party…that’s what we do! Be silly and practice your ‘model faces’ with your kids in the mirror. Warm them up a little…and try not to put too much pressure on yourselves. We want this to be fun for you all!
8. Get Inspired. There are so many great sites you can peruse for inspiration. Pinterest.com is one of our obsessions as of late. That site is amazing for all things, not just photography. Or flip through your favorite magazines. But just in case you don’t have time for that… we have posted a few fall outfit inspirations below. :)
We can’t wait for your session! IT’S GONNA BE A BLAST!