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Styling a wardrobe to allow for movement!

Session Planning & Prep

Wardrobe Planning

One of the most common questions I get asked during the planning stages with my clients is "What should we wear?" Advice on what to wear on your photo shoot has changed over the years and what a bright and airy photographer would recommend for wardrobe is totally different from what I recommend. I am going to explain a few helpful tips to help you plan those picture perfect outfits that work the best for my editing and shooting style!

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Step 01

Color Scheme

I know this can be the hardest part and there are a few things to consider: the season your session is in, the location, and also my editing style! There are certain colors that look better with my editing style (earth tones, warm tones, jewel tones, COLOR) and some that I suggest to stay away from (pastels, cool tones & blues+whites).

Step 02

Start with Mom

Start with mom's outfit! In most cases, mom's outfit is the one that ties everyone together. Once you select this outfit, build off of that with coordinating pieces for everyone else. Have you had a chance to check out my client closet yet? You can find it here, saved in my highlight reels!

Additional Wardrobe Tips:

* All tips are helpful for all types of sessions including family, maternity, and couples.

1. Coordinate, don't match. The days of everyone matching are over. You want to complement each other’s outfits by choosing colors that work well together. I find that if everyone is wearing the same color, people will all tend to blend in together and there won’t be too much pop and life to the images. 

2. Limit patterns but embrace texture! When picking patterns, choose smaller ones that won’t pull attention away from the main subjects, and limit patterns to 1-2 people.  Busy plaids can be distracting, but vertical stripes can look great. When thinking about texture, choose a few different fabrics that will give photos some visual interest such as lace, corduroy, denim, swiss dot, and knits.

3. Be comfortable, but don't dress like it's any other day. Family photos are an investment and probably something you only do once a year. For mom, consider maxi dresses or maxi skirts. This helps me create movement in your images. Mini dresses and jeans can limit my posing options.

4. Stay away from solid whites. I know a go to option can be a solid white button up for men. Instead, choose a cream or oatmeal color. This helps slightly warm up the overall tone of the images instead of the cool tones that white can cause. This is VERY important with my editing style. Bright white will either look blown out or have a weird hue of blue or orange. Honestly, this might be my most important styling tip. Avoid bright white!

5. Don't forgot about shoes! Avoid any sneakers or shoes with bright colors. Casual brown or neutral colored shoes work for every color scheme. 

6. Dress appropriately for the weather. This is a big one in the fall. October can still be pretty warm and I know if you are booking in the fall, you are probably wanting fall vibes all around. If you have a September - October session booked and are planning for sweaters and long sleeves, I also suggest having a back up option incase the session falls on a 90 degree fall day. Trust me here. I am guilty of dressing my family up in very fall attire on a very hot October day. 

7. Professional hair and make up can go a long way. Need make up artist suggests? Let me know!

8. Take advantage of my client closet! Don't see exactly what you are envisioning? Check out Baltic Born and Joyfolie for dresses & Old Navy for the guys and little boys. Some other favorites are Target, Carter's Little Planet brand, and H&M. 

9. Are you a member of my VIP group on Facebook? I post styling tips here every Monday. Join the group here and search #stylingtips to see all past posts! 

LAST BUT NOT LEAST! Let ME style your family! I have been doing this for YEARS so trust me! I'll put together pieces from my client closet or find options for everyone (within your budget) so you don't have to worry about figuring this part out! 

Styling Examples

Tips for a Successful Session

1. I will prompt and guide you, but you know your kids best! The best way to capture candid moments is for you to interact with your kids like you naturally would, but stay close together. This can mean tickling your little guy, or seeing how he can pile up and hug on Mommy. It can also mean allowing your little guy to play with leaves and talk about the color or shape! Or maybe your little girl just wants to he held. I’m there to document that for you!

2. Follow your child's lead. When we let the child lead the way, they will naturally be motivated to interact and play, and this helps to bring out natural expressions from the child as well. If we try something and your child doesn't want to do it, that's okay! We will try something else. 

3. Bring a mess free treat! Sometimes we have to break this out at the end just to allow the kids a second to relax while I can capture photos of mom and dad together. Sometimes we have to offer it a little sooner. 

4. Keep any favorite toys or lovies at home or in the car. Sometimes kids end up refusing to put these down and you can end up with a pink pony in half of your family photos like I did.

5. For young babies under the age of one, feel free to bring along a toy for me to use to try to get their attention. 

6. If you are wearing a heal or wedge shoe, bring along another pair of shoes to use to walk in between locations. 

7. If you feel like your kids are misbehaving at any time, I promise you they are just fine. There isn't anything I can't handle. I know it can feel overwhelming, but try to refrain from treats or trying to discipline your kids into cooperating. I'll handle them and you just focus on playing with them! If they want to run around and be goofy, we will roll with that and play parachute with a blanket, ring-a-round the rosie, and other games I have up my sleeve. 

8. Sessions will always take place during golden hour, about an hour before sunset. This can be late in the summer months, so if your kid is a napper,  try to make sure they get a good nap in that day! 

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