Woohoo! We are SO excited to meet your sweet family and capture you all together. We recognize that getting everyone dressed, fed, and focused can be quite the task! This post is to help in those preparations to ensure you feel confident and will LOVE the photos you’re investing in.
1. How do you want to use these images afterwards?
We are firm believers that photographs are not meant to live on a hard drive. They deserve a second life on the walls of your home and to be shared as gifts with loved ones. When you are choosing colors and styles, consider what is going to make the most sense with your intended use or what will be timeless.
For example, if your session is in the fall you should avoid anything that is too season specific – like dressing an infant in a pumpkin outfit. While it would be absolutely adorable, its more likely that the photo will feel outdated in your home once Christmas and spring roll around. Instead, choose colors that complement your features and the season in a broader sense.
2. Do the outfits match or coordinate?
The goal for coordinating a family is to visually break up the colors and shades so that you are not wearing the same color on top and on bottom. The more we can mix that up, the better it will look on camera. It creates more visual interest in addition to letting each personality shine through. So instead of trying to “match” with one another, aim to coordinate and complement your attire around a central color palette.
An easy way to do that is to choose 2-3 main colors then plan each outfit with a dominant color and an accent color. When you are planning each family member’s outfit, try to have each person wearing a different dominant color and then tie in the various accent colors.
Ps. Keep patterns to a minimum across family members and use accessories (bows, jewelry, shoes, etc.) to pull the looks together.
3. Are the colors too bright?
The camera loves neutral colors! Ultra-bright shades have a negative effect and risk casting unflattering colors onto your skin. Seek lighter or muted tones whenever possible. If you want to play into the colors of other seasons we recommend pastels for spring and warm, deeper tones in fall (eg. mustard yellow, burnt orange, wine red, or olive green paired with shades of tan and light browns). Shades of blue and white are timeless classics and fit into any Minnesota season.
4. Do you feel confident?
Confidence is the BEST accessory! When you’re feeling comfortable, you’ll be able to relax and let the love you feel for your family shine through.
Fashion Tips for Women
- Dresses and skirts tend to look most stunning on camera because they really flatter the female body and bring extra movement to the photos. If you have smaller children, choose a longer skirt to make moving around kids much easier and so that it will be more flattering if we have you sit or crouch on the ground to interact with them up-close.
- Three-quarter length sleeves create an awesome slimming effect on all arms, so be on the lookout for an option with a longer length sleeve whether it is a flirty top or dress. You could also bring a cute jacket, blazer or cardigan along, too. Skinny straps or strapless dresses have the opposite effect on arms on camera, so we recommend avoiding those whenever possible if your goal is a set of slimmer-looking arms.
- Heels elongate women’s legs, making them look fabulous. Closed-toes heels in particular look great on camera because they carry out the line of your leg all the way down to your toe. If your toes are showing in a peep-toe heel or sandal, you might want to schedule a mani-pedi before your session.
Fashion Tips for Men
- Choose a solid color shade for your shirt when possible, small patterns often don’t photograph well on camera and distract the eye.
- Opt for a long sleeve shirt, even in the warmer months. A long sleeve adds a romantic, formal flair to each image for a polished and dapper look. Short sleeves can on the other hand give a more casual and playful tone to your pictures.
- Layered looks: Next time you walk by a store like J. Crew, you’ll notice the male mannequins and models are always wearing several layers at once. Adding another layer will bring extra dimension and visual interest to your photos. Whether it’s a blazer, vest, sweater, or coat it can up-level of any look.
- Pants: Long pants and closed-toed shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine looks for men. They draw attention away from his legs and feet and place it where you want it: on the face you fell in love with. So, for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts and sandals at home.
- Shoes: Brown leather dress shoes compliment almost every look, whether he’s wearing a full suit or a button up and slacks.
- Accessories: Ties, bow ties, pocket squares, colored socks, belts, tie clips, suspenders, vests and watches are sharp compliments to any suit.
Get More Inspiration
We searched Pinterest for great examples of neutral outfits and how families coordinated them together really well!