What to wear?
Timeless classic images that last for generations
My aim when it comes to clothing is to have it NOT distract from your faces and expressions! I want the focus to be solely on those dimples in your baby's cheeks, your son's freckles, your daughter's beautiful brown eyes. When you are wearing simple and timeless clothing, the attention isn't drawn to your clothing... but to those amazing features, I just mentioned. This is a great thing! When you wear busy patterns, it competes for that attention and your eyes are naturally drawn there.
What you wear for your portrait session has an essential role in the overall feeling of your portraits.
Neutral and soft colors like white, ivory, beige, gray, light pink, and light blue are always a win. They are flattering for all skin tones and match all interiors (great if you want frames for your wall).
Here is a selection of outfit ideas that photograph beautifully and create a timeless feel.
The "Squint" Test
When in doubt about a pattern, do a "squint test" - just look at it, squint your eyes, and if the clothing item looks like a solid color or close to it, it's good to go! If it still looks pretty busy and patterns can be easily distinguished, it's better to go with something more delicate.
While adorable in person, these kinds of patterns don't photograph well with my style of photography. The areas of high contrast (aka: light and dark colors close together) attract the eye and compete for attention...taking the focus from faces. This is one of those seemingly little choices that actually make a big impact!
Light and delicate patterns are softer and easier on the eyes (and the overall color palette). If you squint at these you won't see too much that sticks out. Once again, this clothing doesn't attract the eye, leaving it free to focus on the most important things - the faces you love!
I recommend that you start by selecting a base of 2-3 colors and carry those through the outfits so that everything "goes" together but doesn't match. Keep in mind that the colors you choose for each family member do not have to match, but they should look nice together. Mix neutrals with some accent colors. Neutral colors create a soft and elegant style and will give your images a timeless feel.
WHITE VS. CREAM
First off, this is just a suggestion and not the end of the world, but...clothing that is cream or ivory, photographs white. Clothing that is "WHITE-white," photographs blue(ish)! Cream clothes are softer on skin tones and luckily easier than ever to find (this hasn't always been the case!). So if you can, go with cream over bright white pretty please.
*The exception to this is if you are using a lot of gray in your clothing! Grays and whites go better than grays and cream! Think cool tones vs. warm tones.
Anything neutral, light and/or NOT distracting works! In the summer, I love kiddos in bare feet if the terrain allows. As for babies who can't walk - if it's warm enough, let's see those cute toes! If it's cold out, neutral boots are adorable, or just about anything as long as it's not a distracting color. If mom is wearing a maxi dress, often times we won't be able to see those shoes so no pressure there. When all is said and done, I just want to make sure the shoes don't attract too much visual attention, we want that going to your faces!
I'm not big on tons of elaborate props (I like to keep the focus on your beautiful expressions!), but I'm ALL for a meaningful prop or two in a select handful of images; especially florals! If you bring flowers I will get a big smile on my face that might be hard to erase.
HAIR AND MAKEUP
While it isn't 100% necessary, feel free to go all out! Professionally done hair & makeup stand up to the "test of time" nicely, and if there is humidity or wind, it is a great decision.
With the settings I use to shoot, pretty please go with a shade darker when it comes to your blush and lipstick than you usually do (these things will photograph lighter than they look in person). Not heavy! Just a *tad* darker. Feel free to put a little bit of blush on your kiddos as well if you think they need it!
When ladies wear dresses, it really helps create that timeless look. I highly recommend maxi's for moms! The floor length flatters, and when a little breeze flutters by it helps create motion in the photo. (psst...wearing dresses is NOT an absolute must, but it really does help create the aesthetic you often see in my work!). If it's cold outside, I recommend bundling up and layering. Don't worry about wearing a dress if it's too cold! Clothing colors matter more than clothing styles at the end of the day.
For little girls, you can go very simple! Just a solid-colored, plain dress can be perfect. You can also add texture with sweaters, boots, bows, etc.
for the fellas
Do you want to know the best news ever? When it comes to dressing the guys, I say go with SIMPLE! Khaki or tan pants, a light-colored button-up shirt, and tan shoes are perfect. You can definitely dress up or down, but the colors are key. Please stay away from a light shirt with dark bottoms (just trust me on this! Light bottoms are KEY). Also feel free to jazz up this look with vests, ties, a blazer, suspenders, etc. as long as they are all light in color. This is a HUGE part of my work aesthetic, and luckily it's easy peasy to find light, simple clothing for the fellas.
A few of my Favorite shops!
My Favorite Shops for the Girls
- embracing the mood and emotions
Dreamy, soft and romantic
Creative, organic portraits with a creative flair
If there is any season that directly reflects my aesthetic, it's spring! The blooms? Sublime. Those soft greens? Heavenly. There are pros and cons to every season however, and I will say the weather in spring can be a bit temperamental. Luckily we have built-in back up days!
Pets are welcome to be involved in your session! Please let me know ahead of time so we can ensure a pet-friendly location.
I recommend planning for your furry friend(s) to be at the beginning of your session - I won’t use them in every single photo (unless that is what you prefer!) so it is also really helpful to have a friend available to help "behind the scenes."
If you do bring your fur babies, I recommend letting them get plenty of exercise before the session and bringing their favorite treats and toys!
WHAT HAPPENS AFTER OUR SESSION?
We hug and say our goodbyes. On my end, I will come home, and then start downloading your photos. From there I need 2 weeks to properly go through the images, weed out multiples and blinks, and then edit them in my unique style. Two weeks after the date of your session I will send you an email with a link to your gallery. From there you will be able to view your photo proofs and make selections for your order!
And remember, I'm here to assist you in every step along the way.
Some parting words...
.... At the end of the day, my greatest wish is that you, your children, and grandchildren ADORE these photos forever. After all, your family is what life is ALL about, and one of my greatest joys is that I get to be a small, behind-the-scenes part of preserving your legacy.
I know that this guide is extensive! Hopefully, it covers any questions you had in preparing for your session. However if there is something I missed or you need a recommendation, feel free to
text or email me at:
0419 442 683