It’s that time of year again, I have scheduled 30 Fall Family sessions and the most important questions I get is “What should I wear to my family photography session?” or “How should I style my family so we all coordinate together?”
I totally understand the dilemma, how many times have you gone for the white tops, khaki or jean bottoms or matching Christmas sweaters! I get it, I have rocked these options too! But I want you to think beyond your Christmas card. How can we make this session pictures last through out the year? Well, let’s get down to business and start planning!
1. Coordinate, Don’t Copy! – Identical matching styles will not always compliment everyone’s style and skin tones, so my advice to you is coordinate your colors instead! One way to keep everyone unified is through choosing a color palate. (insert Pinterest link here!) Check out my Pinterest Board for inspiration! Here are some gorgeous color combinations I love!
- Blue-Red- Khaki-Pinks
2. Turn Up the Texture- Add interest, personality and lift to your photos with a little texture! Maybe it’s your fuzzy sweater, a tweedy scarf or a fur or puffy vest, varying textures adds dimension and visual interest!
- Use texture in ways that fit your personality– that tulle skirt you or your daughter love, those gleaming metallic shoes, or a denim jacket paired with a lace top or dress will add an a pop and fun look to your images.
- Mix up those patterns to create texture- the best way to do this is to contrast pattern size ( small pattern with an oversized one) while keeping the colors similar. If you choose to work with a stripe or a plaid, it’s most effective when used in small doses. Avoid both wavy designs and tiny prints.Add texture through color- Pile on the rich jewel tones for a glamorous look, working the colors in small ways into the whole family’s look. Or use varying shades of a particular hue to create a soft but interesting color palette.3.Put Your Best Foot(wear) Forward- Nothing can ruin a great shot like a beat up pair of shoes! Bring your best shoes or even feel free to go barefoot (especially for those beach sessions in Florida!
- Keep footwear age-appropriate: For children simple loafers, ballet flats, mary janes and clean converse.
- Statement shoes: Every woman know that shoes complete an outfit, and this the time to pick a really fabulous, wildly impractical pair that will elevate the whole look!
- Heels help: Hells are always a flattering pick for women by enhancing posture, creating a longer line, and generally making a more flattering silhouette than a flat shoe! Note: Heels are definitely more a “city or rural” look. If you have a park session schedule, I would not recommend heels 😉
4. Flatter Your Figure- If you are going to immortalize an outfit, you might as well make it one the makes you look your best! Once you have chosen an outfit you love, I want you to sit, stand and one in front of a mirror and make sure you are comfortable in all these positions. Moms- see my blog post “Tips for Flattering a Woman’s Shape” for more help in choosing the right outfit!
5. Aim for Classic, but Current- There are always trends in fashion and sometimes we are tempted to rock out in our newest trendy find, but going classic is always a win! Classic shapes like sheaths, straight-leg pants, and button up fronts shirts are always in style. Keep in mind that classic doesn’t have to be dreary. You can always take some of those classic pieces in your wardrobe and style them with current accessories too! Details such as pops of color and texture are all ways to make this style your own, yet stay classic and timeless.
6. Avoid Makeup Mistakes- You want to go a little bolder for your session! Don’t be afraid of color. Focus on defining your eyes, cheeks and lips as these are the features that tend to fade in your photograph if they are not accented. And while your colors should be bolder, they should still be you. If you go for a more natural look, use natural make up tones to high light your features. Even a clear lip gloss can brighten your lips! Berries, reds, corals, plums and pinks are your best picks for lips and cheeks. If you like a little pop on your eyes go for deep jewel tones. Smokey eyes can be a fun look but often times do not photograph well, they can cause your eyes to appear sunken. You may want to save that look for the night out on the town! Use powder to eliminate that shine and I always recommend using chapstick on your lips a few days before your session to ensure your lips are nice and moist ( this is a good tips for the kids and dad too!)
7. Grooming the Guys- Sometimes it’s hard for your man to change up his style and that can make him a little uncomfortable on the day of your session. It’s important he feels like himself no matter what he’s wearing. With that being said, the details matter for dad too! Make sure his shirt and pants are clean and well-pressed , watch out for those dingy whites! Shine those shoes, socks should match the pants and not the shoes. If he is game, add interest with details like a cool knit cap, great watch or a scarf as long as he likes the style and feels comfortable in it.
8. Accessorize Artfully- Be selective in your accessories! A lot of us love to pile on the bangles and rings, but each family member choosing a couple statement pieces will compliment your picture best! A statement accessory is called that for a reason. One is best and two is pushing it. The eye needs the statement piece to add interest, but it also needs a place to rest. If the accessories are sentimental or meaningful it’s even better.
- Limit the accessories on children. If your daughter is wearing an oversized bow, allow that to be her statement piece and go small on the rest of her complimenting accessories.
- Earrings- A favorite way to add to an outfit is earrings, please make sure they are visible with your chosen hairstyle. Keep in mind there are a lot of hugs and cuddles in our session. Dangling oversized earrings tend to get caught on family members in these type of sessions.
9. Think of a Theme- This is style of photography is not for everyone,but some of my clients love style their session with a theme in mind. (Themed sessions are only for full sessions) Choosing a theme can stem from planning the location to your families interest and most importantly the style of your clothing to pull it all together!
- Some fun theme ideas I love are:
- Snow themed- You will have to be up for last minute but plan for the snow! Layers clothing, POPS of color, shades of white with fur or nature accents
- Fall: Tweeds, corduroys and leather
- Vintage: Soft, dusty colors of mauve, gray and blue
- English Country: vintage bikes, flowers, brick, cobble stone
- Color Pop- Bright Mural walls with fun bold and funky outfits
- Black Tie: Dress to the nines with a downtown back drop!
- Classic Studio: Formal wear , all white back drops with a vintage couch
10. Keep your Hair Natural- The ideal way for you to wear your hair is the best version of your natural, everyday look.
- Moms- You can always treat yourself or your daughter to a professional blowout on the day of the pictures for a polished look, but let your hairdresser know you are going for your normal every day style.
- Kiddos- Pick a simple flattering style that will last throughout the shoot without requiring to much fuss. If your daughter’s hair typically falls in her face, consider a headband or clip to keep those whispies out of her eyes. For our younger gentlemen, fresh hair cuts always look nice, but try not to have a hair cut the same day.
- Treat hair accessories as you do any other accessory and keep balance in mind.
I hope I have the honor and opportunity to capture your family this Fall or Winter! Don’t forget to sign up for your Fall & Winter Inspiration Guide below! And..when you sign up for my news letter you will be in the GGP loop for when I open up dates for the Spring!