Styling Your Session

Your wardrobe for the session is the absolute most important part. Clothing will absolutely make or break a photoshoot, so I've created this guide to help you pick the best outfit for you. Also, I have dresses suitable for moms on hand that suit my photography style, so worst case scenario, if you can't find anything that you love, I likely have something! ;-) Check out the image below and imagine if they were wearing something more casual- it wouldn't have even close to the same impact, would it?

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The "No-no's"

There are a few things I want you to steer absolutely clear of. These include:

  • T shirts with Logos on them. 
  • Pure white: It has it's time and place, but generally off-white or cream coloured clothing works better.
  • large, bold geometric patterns.
  • Old, dirty, or ugly sneakers. Shoes MATTER!
  • Hot Pink or other very bright colors. They never, ever work in a photoshoot, and create a color cast against your skin.
  • Camo. Seriously. It's a no. No matter what. ;-)
  • Plaid. ONE person is allowed to wear plaid. Don't put children and husbands both in plaid. Pick one or the other!
  • Stay away from complete matching. I don't want your whole family to show up in jeans and a t-shirt. 
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Dressing the Girls:

Ideally, I want all my girls in beautiful, flow-y maxi dresses that pack a huge "punch" and make the people viewing the photos say WOW! However, I also know that many of my clients don't like dresses or feel comfortable in them. For those of you who don't want to wear a dress, keep in mind a few simple rules:

  • Dressing in layers is ideal. This way we can add a layer/take off a layer and get a few different looks to your photos.
  • SOLID colours work best, or tiny patterns (pin stripes, tiny polka dots, etc) And I encourage everyone to look for earthy, muted tones that work well in the season your photoshoot is! Navy Blue for a summer beach session, Mustard/Rust/Red colors in the fall, Calm pinks/mint green/blues for spring. If we're shooting in the winter, keeping warm takes priority over style, but generally a nice pop of bright color works well against the white snow.
  • For women, off-the-shoulder shirts, rompers, dresses, etc.. work very well. Showing your shoulders helps add character to your photos. Shoulders play a huge part in conveying emotion. (When you feel sad, they slump. When you're proud, they straighten up) This isn't a requirement, but it definitely adds to the overall effect of the images. 
  • Aim for an interesting neckline. Off the shoulder, strapless, V-Neck, etc. This just adds a little extra to the photograph and again, is not a requirement.
  • Textures photograph beautifully! I love seeing knit sweaters, cover-ups, chambray shirts... anything with texture to it will make your photos pop!
  • Movement also creates a textured look in your photos- so choosing a dress or outfit that will ripple a bit in the wind also helps your image pack extra punch! This is another good reason to leave your hair down and loosely styled! Moving hair photographs beautifully. 
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Dressing The Boys

Dressing the boys is so much less complicated. (Lucky them!) Dark wash jeans are perfect and something most men have. I do like to see coloured jeans as well- but keep the colors muted like with the girls in the family. If you want a little more styled look, a nice tailored suit with a vest is ahhh-mazing for photos! (Let's be real though- How many men do you know who dress like that? Doctors, lawyers and businessmen and that's about it. lol If your guy says no, then don't stress!)  Some other things that work well for men are:

  • Layers work well for men too! A button up with a nice sweater overtop, or a solid color shirt with a dress shirt over it. 
  • Colored jeans- Jean material often come in muted, earthy tones.
  • Again, NO t-shirts with logo!
  • Aim for solid color, textured material. A knit sweater, chambray button-up shirt, 
  • Long Sleeves in the spring or fall that we can roll up to give a little more visual interest to the photos. 
  • Warn them that hats and sunglasses aren't allowed lol. They may want to avoid wearing a hat after showering that day to avoid "hat hair" in their photos.

A Quick Note About Socks: 

Try to avoid bright white cotton socks! Men are the biggest offenders for this- but trust me when I say nothing sticks out worse than ugly white socks when you've styled a session flawlessly, but I ask your family to sit down and it reveals Dad's socks! lol. So- Invest in a cheap pair of "dressy" socks, (Again, a CALM color!) or have everyone wear some type of sandal without socks.