WHAT TO WEAR
Remember... the studio wardrobe is ALWAYS available to you. I can either style the WHOLE session... or provide some unique pieces to vamp-up what you've already selected. This is a collaboration, email me if you would like to incorporate studio items into your wardrobe selections!
I typically can contribute unique children's clothing, accessories, hats, headbands, bows and shoes. I also have an extensive mother's wardrobe, but these items air on the side of "fancy" ... one the top, lacy, boho - dresses.
I am ALL about going all out for family photos and dressing up in items you may not normally wear. and I LOVE styling moms. But totally get it if you prefer to wear something more "you" .... or something that fits your family's vibe more.
Again - we can work on this together! In the past, most moms are happiest in a dress / outfit from home that they have had time to try on and make sure they LOVE prior to photos.
One of the most daunting tasks after finding a photographer to capture your family, is DRESSING your family. Don't fear! I am here to help. My best advice is, Don't Overthink It! ""OOKKKAYYY -- easier said than done... I realize that :P"" Here are some tips to help you get started!
When choosing outfits for a group of people, (your family) it is best to look for items that coordinate. Avoid dressing anyone in "identical" items.
We want every member of your family to have their own personality and time to shine!
My favorite way to START designing a session wardrobe, is to start with a "statement piece" -- something you ABSOLUTELY love and want to base your session off of.
This is usually something with some pattern, and is worn by mom or a daughter. The pattern doesnt have to be wild or crazy, think like dainty flowers, texture of some kind .... really it can be anything!
Then - design everyone else based off of that one piece choosing solid colored or textured items in the palette of the patten on the statement piece.
Mixing patterns is great too, so long as they are subtle. I LOVE stripes and florals. Again - keeping in mind the overall color scheme.
COLOR Is good, but don't go crazy. Monochromaitc, or staying within the same color family always makes for cohesive and timeless photos.
See the examples below :D
LAYERS + TEXTURE
Layers and Texture are a MUST!
While that may sound HARD.... I promise its not :P
Texture is what can really add some depth and interest to your photos. Think about fabrics like lace, linen, tulle, chiffon.
This is important for dads! Avoid a "plain white T" and go for something with some buttons. A henley shirt, waffle knit, or even something with a very slight pattern. Believe it or not, Walmart usually has a nice selection of textured mens shirts in a variety of colors!
Layering is always as easy without things becoming bulky, but if you are able to find shawls, vests (NOT PUFFER VESTS), cute coats, hats or knit items.... these are always fun to throw on for some photos. We don't have to use everything the whole time. I typically have a few things with me too we can use to jazz things up!
Some of my FAVORITE places to shop for items with interest are ZARA, H+M, Walmart ((YEP! You heard that right... their kids clothes especially are adorbs)
If you prefer I style the kids ocmpletely - I would love that! Just shoot me an email.
While looking cute and picture perfect is important... it is equally if not more important to be comfortable!
My session are alllllll about movement. Fun. laughter. Games and exploration.
There are naturally items that are NOT ideal for adventurous sessions.
Avoid clothes you KNOW your kid will hate. This will start the session off on a bad note, and set the tone. If your kids needs to be in something simple / plain -- so be it! Remember, we are capturing your family as-is in this "season" of your life.
Bulky clothes like puffer vests, big jackets, large scarves tend to block kids faces.
Things like high-heels (for kids and mom:P) can cause issues with some of the more active prompts.
Girls wearing dresses should always have shorts or a diaper cover on!
Denim skirts or dresses are super hard for sitting poses.
It is tempting to buy things that are slightly big so kids can grow into them... but for photos, snug and well-fitting makes for clean and polished looking kiddos!
This is where we can get creative and fun!
Because my sessions are interactive, and more of an ADVENTURE... it is helpful to include some things that we can work with to get kids moving!
I usually will bring some hats, bonnets, blankets, shawls, headbands, bows, flowers, baskets, and small toys to incorporate and keep kids entrained and moving.
You are always welcome to bring things from home to customize your session .
Things to consider bringing:
Guitar if someone in the family plays
A special blanket or quilt
A favorite book or stuffed animal
Flowers from your own garden
Heirloom toys - things that are timeless like wooden cars or trains.
Bonnets or hats that match your styling
Family dog :P
Avoid anything that is large and hard to carry around.
Bring Hats / Layers / Flannels for little ones who might get cold! Warm babies are happy babies!
Consider mixing textures and patterns. KNITS photograph SO well, as well as soft subtle stripes.
Mix and Match "kinds" of outfits. Short and shirts, overalls, jumpers, dresses. Even boys can have fun outfits. :D
Monochromatic color schemes photograph well! Sticking to a color family or scheme will create timelessness and cohesion.
Combinations of textures/ on everyone will create beautiful and interesting photos!
Great example texture and SUBTLE patterns even on dad's shirt!
* CONSIDER THE WEATHER - plan for cold with layers / hats / mittens / etc. if your session is later in the fall.
* Dress for YOU -- no one is "Pinterest Perfect"
* LOVE your outfit. Happy mom .... happy pics
* Try to feature your kids personalities through their outfits! Don't force kids to wear something they normally wouldn't.
*BRING SHOES APPROPRIATE FOR YOUR SESSION LOCATION -- water locations require shoes that can get wet or possibly ruined.
* Email me for help if needed! :D
* NO NEON, PLAID, CHARACTERS or SAYINGS
* DON"T wear dry fit, silky athletic style materials - AVOID PURE BLACK, BRIGHT RED, and STARK WHITE.
* Navy blue tends to photograph dark / grey and sometimes black. So keep that in mind!
* Don't wear restrictive clothing, or skirts for girls that will make it impossible to sit or do fun activities.
* Don't bring or eat colorful snacks / candy before your session that can stain hands, mouths, or clothing.
* Remove any temporary tattoos, marker or other marks on skin that you don't want in your photos.
WHAT TO BRING!
While most of "what to bring" is covered in the above section -- there are a few more VERY important things to remember!
BRUSH / HAIRSPRAY
MOST IMPORTANTLY -- BRING HAPPY / FED / CLEAN / WELL RESTED KIDS!
The worst thing you can plan is to "grab dinner AFTER photos" ..... dont, I REPEAT, do not do this. Feed your kids before photos!!!! Or have them snack the whole way there! :P Hungry kids are NOT happy kids. If they have to eat in the car, plan to change them into their photo outfits when you arrive! There will be time.
While posed photos are important, my sessions are about FAR more than that. Love, Laughter, Connection, Exploration, Curiosity, Adventure. These are the things I want to capture for your family. We will start with the "portraits" and then spend the rest of our session having FUN. Do NOT worry if your kid is being silly, wild, getting dirty, or running. Let your kids BE KIDS! Every moment, good, bad, chaotic ... its alllllllll a moment in time I will do my best to freeze.
If there is an approach that you think will work better for your child - please let me know! Some kids get overwhelmed and do not like loud crazy noises and run-around activities, it is SUPER helpful to have a heads up on that kind of stuff.
One, Two and Three years olds are difficult to photograph! Just remain calm, and go with it. I will help "guide" (or manipulate :P ) kids into getting them to do what we would like them to do.
All of my prompts, games, and activities are specifically designed to get families into positions that allow for safe play, interaction, and connection. If something seems weird, uncomfortable or awkward, feel free to let me know! I have quite a few tricks up my sleeve and we can move onto something else.
We will be hot and sweaty - but movement, laughter and play make for better photos. :)
While we will snap some "posed" images for Grandma and the Christmas card, the majority of my sessions are about capturing the essence of your family during this exact season of life. The things that make them laugh. The snuggles that make them feel safe and loved. Your family as you are.
What fun is a photo session in nature without some adventure and exploration! Once the posey posey photos are out of the way, we will go on an adventure together and let the kiddos be kiddos! (of course with prompts and guidance by me to get the best angles) Parents should plan to participate as well. We are making memories here, folks. Your kids will LOVE spending an evening playing and dancing in the sunset with you.
WHAT TO EXPECT
Do not have your kids "practice smiling" all day, or make it seem like pictures are going to be a chore that will "just take a little while" .... instead, tell your kids you are going on an ADVENTURE! You will have a silly lady with you who may try to make them smile. Tell them you are spending the night as a family, playing and doing fun things. We are going for TRUE, authentic happiness and interaction.
Its SUPER important to remember to stay calm, (tell Dad too!) and do not get frustrated with your child/children.
I will prompt them to do silly things or play games in order to get real smiles and emotion!
If they get too silly, I have techniques to reign them back in. We will move quickly to work within their attention span.
Plan to play, have fun, laugh and create memories with your family on the evening of your session! We will do a combination of posed portraits, as well as "lifestyle" candid shots! (Those are always my favorite.)
For small children, bring a stroller, non-candy colorless snacks, and a cup of water! Posing for pictures can be hard work. :)
Bug spray is also a great idea during spring, summer and fall! I will have some, but if you prefer a certain kind,
make sure and pack it!
Try to be ON TIME! or early. Stressed out parents means on-edge kids! This is supposed to be FUN! If you are running a little late, do not STRESS! Just let me know and maintain a positive attitude!!! Im serious!!! It can make or break your session. :)
If you are early, please leave kiddos in the car to preserve their energy! The locations will be new and exciting and we want to make sure I am there to capture that!