What to Wear & HOW TO PREP

I love when my clients arrive refreshed, excited, and comfortable with how they look and feel. It truly reflects in the portraits! Though my motto is to "dress as yourself on a really good day," sometimes a few examples and tips/tricks help while you're getting ready. If you're looking for some outfit inspiration, here is my Pinterest board of classic, timeless, beautiful AND comfortable photos (click here!). You'll see some of my own client photos as well as some amazing work by peers I greatly respect. 

Look below for more tips:

THE NIGHT BEFORE YOUR SHOOT...

Sleep early. Eat well. Drink more water than you would on a normal day. Moisturize. Make sure your outfits are good to go and ironed/steamed. Pack your snack/drinks/bribes bag. :)

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CHOOSING YOUR WARDROBE: COORDINATION IN STYLE OR COLOR PALETTE BEATS MATCHING OUTFITS

Though it may be tempting to get all the kids wearing the same plaid pattern or same exact shirts, personalities really shine through with unique outfits that compliment each other in style or color. Dress to impress! For example, 1) pastels of different hues can look wonderful together, or 2) if you're going for an all-white tops photo, make sure there are different styles like a button down shirt, a tank top, and a dress for different family members.

Accessorize, but accessorize lightly. Pops of color through accessories like a necklace or belt can really make a lovely statement. 

GENERAL STYLE & MOOD

I aim to give you portraits that you'd be proud to display on your wall for generations to come. To enhance the timeless look, I advise to choose wardrobes that are free of logos or crazy patterns, and instead go for textured fabric or soft colors. Ladies, dresses are beautiful! Movement from a dress or skirt make for fun photos. Men, fitted clothing is a must! Pants that are just the right size on the waist and length are the most handsome, and a well-fitted shirt is very masculine whether it's a button down or collared shirt. Kids can dress similar to mom & dad, but just make sure they are comfortable enough to still run and play. 

The mood during my photo shoots is light and fun. Don't be afraid to get SILLY! I aim to capture the love you have for those around you, so you'll be doing a lot of laughing, hugging, and even a little dancing or jumping! We're going for authentic, not posed-perfect.

SHOES: HEELS OR NO HEELS?

Unless you're actively seeking an athletic look, I recommend bringing the footwear that will compliment your classic outfits. Heels tend to elongate women's legs in a really flattering way, and men can bring dressier shoes free of logos. Kids do well with boots, simple flats, or dress shoes that are comfortable enough to jump around in. :)

p.s. If your shoes will be hard to walk around in beyond our photoshoot, make sure your 2nd pair of comfy shoes are close by in your backpack!

DETAILS COUNT. WEAR THE NICE WATCH AND SPECIAL EARRINGS!

The little things bring out your personality and style. Wear the dress with a little lace. Wear the shirt with a bit of texture. Put on your favorite classy watch and the beautiful ring that is a huge part of your life. A fresh shave and a recent haircut do wonders for your confidence. I love including these details in your portraits.

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MAKE-UP & HAIR

As I mentioned earlier, photos should look like you on a really great day. With that said, most women (and some men!) feel wonderful and beautiful with a little cosmetic preparation. To give your skin the most even tone, drink lots of water and get rest the night before the shoot, then apply your favorite moisturizer and foundation with powder. Bring powder and tissue to the photo shoot in case there's any chance of perspiration. I usually have Q-tips and tissue, but you may prefer to use your own. 

I encourage enhancing your natural features with a bit of eyeliner and mascara for the ladies, and something easy to do is making sure your skin is well moisturized (especially elbows and knees). 

Don't be afraid to schedule a blowout for yourself... it's not necessary, but can give you that extra confidence boost, not to mention you can be sure your hair looks amazing! I will let you know if I see something out of place. If you don't want to go all out with a blowout, some simple at-home styling can go a long way, such as a light curl with a touch of hair spray.

PREPARING THE CHILDREN

Kids are great because they show the most authentic expressions at any given time. This means that if they're happy, well-fed and well-rested, photos will be a breeze. We know this doesn't always happen in real life, so here's how we can give ourselves the best chances for a good time: 

1) Bring a backpack with their favorite snacks (even ones that are for "special" occasions) and water. A little break for a sip can make a world of difference.
2) It's OK if they're being silly or aren't always looking at the camera. I quite prefer families interacting with each other as opposed to looking at the camera the whole time, so don't stress! Of course when it's time to get everyone looking at the camera, leave that to the photographer... I'll do something silly to get their attention. :) 
3) If the kids feel stuffy in their clothes, bring their super comfy shoes that they'll know they can change into as SOON as the shoot is done. And I'll get it done as fast as possible based on their mood.
4) Bribes are OK, no matter what anyone tells you. 

If you have a baby younger than 6 months (or even a year old), just make sure they're warm, clean and freshly fed. We can't control emotions in young infants, and that's OK. All we need is for them to be held lovingly by their mom or dad. Though we always aim for smiles and giggles, even grumpy faces can make for amazing portraits and these varied emotions can make for a really memorable day through photos. 

NEED MORE VISUAL INSPIRATION?

Check out my Pinterest board of classic, timeless, beautiful AND comfortable photos (click here!) -- I'll keep updating this over time.