One of the most important things that I can do for my clients is to educate and prepare them for their session. That is why each of my clients receive a Portrait Session Information and Style Guide along with numerous resources packed full of great information and outfit inspirations to help them feel more prepared and confident to tackle their session, dress their family without unnecessary stress, and love their images!
I truly believe that what you wear to your session makes all the difference on the final look of your images. I promise, if you take the time to prepare for your session, pay attention to the details, and invest in needed clothing pieces, it will be so worth it in the long run! And when you’re willing to do that, I believe you will love your images that much more and be proud to display them in your home!
Each style of this Spring + Summer Style Guide was created with versatility in mind. That way, no matter what kind of session you are preparing for (family, maternity, engagement, etc.), the ages of your kids, or the ranges of budgets, there is something here for everyone. The goal here is not to have you buy each piece of the style you love the most (though I would be all for that!!), but more so to give you a better idea of how to coordinate your crew and what photographs beautifully!
I’ll share some tips here and there, so don’t skip over those little nuggets of gold as you scroll through the styles! 🙂
– STYLE ONE –
Long, flowy dresses and skirts look most stunning when photographed because they flatter every female body and help to bring natural movement to images bringing a softer and more elegant feel. Consider softer lighter weight fabrics which will allow for beautiful natural movement and will look stunning in your images! So many women are scared of going flowy because they feel like it will make them look frumpy, which is not the case. If that concerns you, find a flowy dress or skirt with a defined waistline. If you’re shooting family photos, I would consider a longer length so that you don’t have to worry about making adjustments to make sure everything is appropriately covered when interacting with your littles. Though I would almost always suggest wearing a dress, Style One shows you how to dress up a pair of jeans with a nice blouse and pair of heels, just in case a dress isn’t your style.
PRO TIP: Pick your (mom) outfit first! It’s easier to plan everyone else’s outfits once you know you have an outfit for yourself that you really love.
– STYLE TWO –
– STYLE THREE –
The goal for coordinating a family is to visually break up the colors and shades so that you’re not all wearing the same color on top and bottom (i.e. straight out of the 90s with white shirts and kaki pants). The more you can mix that up, the better. I encourage you to think about planning EACH outfit with a “dominant” color or shade in mind. If you have a great patterned dress/outfit for you or your daughter, use that pattern and the colors within it to establish your color palette and build your family’s outfits off that. Florals will always be your friend.
– STYLE FOUR –
– STYLE FIVE –
For many, it’s tempting to break out the bright colors in those warmer sunnier months. Though theres nothing wrong with wearing those colors on the daily, I find that avoiding ultra bright and bold colors will help draw the attention back to your faces where it belongs. I always recommend choosing soft, light, and neutral tones. The camera loves light pinks and muted blues with soft neutral colors contrasted by heather grays, leather browns and denim. Those softer color palettes complement natural environments best and look great in every season. Plus, they’ll look good hanging on your wall all year-round!
– STYLE SIX –
– STYLE SEVEN –
When dressing your man, a simple button down, fitted pant and closed toed dress shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine looks for any man and body type. This look draws attention away from his legs or uncovered feet and places it where you want it: on his handsome face. A nicely fitted dress pant, a coordinating colored pant, or a simple pair of dark jeans look best on camera. When choosing a shirt for him, try to find something that compliments your own outfit first since in the majority of your photos you will be next to each other. If you are going to choose a pattern, look for very light and subtle patterns. These can be pleasing to the eye and photograph nicely, whereas some pinstripes or plaids can show up distorted and distracting on camera.
– STYLE EIGHT –
Is anyone else completely obsessed with this skirt and sweater combo for mom!? Because I’m drooling over its beauty. Please, someone buy this entire look and let me photograph your beautiful family!!
– STYLE NINE –
I think I’m just really into the whole flow maxi skirt and sweater look. But can you blame me!?
Details matter!! Ties, bowties, pocket squares, colored socks, belts, tie clips, suspenders, vests and watches are sharp compliments to any outfit for a man. Brown leather dress shoes compliment almost every look, whether he’s wearing a sports coat or a button down and jeans. So many times the feet are forgotten and shoes are the last priority.
– STYLE TEN –
– STYLE ELEVEN –
Remember, details matter!! Here are some tips to keep the distractions are a minimum!
If your man has his shirt tucked in, make sure he’s also wearing a belt that matches his shoes.
Speaking of shoes… Nothing can make or break an outfit like forgetting to coordinate the shoes! This is not the time for flip flops or running shoes, even for the kids. Men should always wear close-toed shoes. Kiddos should have nice shoes too, not their everyday play shoes. Don’t overlook the shoe choices, because they will be hard to overlook in your images! Can you tell I’m passionate about the shoes? 😉
On that same thought, make sure the socks are good too. More than likely you will be sitting at some point in your session, and typically when sitting you’re sitting the socks are seen. Just keep that in mind.
Logos shouldn’t be seen. I understand that some dress shirts tend to have the brand’s small logo on the chest, and that’s fine. But I would try to stay away from anything that has a name brand or larger logo noticeable.
Things like tv shows characters, animals and butterflies, etc. can easily distract and date your images. When choosing your children’s clothing, try to keep them simple.
– STYLE TWELVE –
– STYLE THIRTEEN –
Texture, texture, texture! You’ll notice that so many of this clothing items in each of the styles has a variety of texture. This is a GREAT way to add visual interest to your outfits in a simple way. Instead of finding a simple pink dress, find a pink dress with some ruffles on it. Or add some suspenders to your little mans outfit to add an extra layer of visual interest. The camera loves layers and texture, so keep that in mind if you’re looking at choosing something in a solid color!
– STYLE FOURTEEN –
Still not sure how to tie all of your outfits together? Accessories are a great way to bring a little something extra to your individual outfits while also being a great way to help coordinate everyone together. Instead of going the typical “matchy-matchy” route, give each person their own dominate color and use your accessories (earrings, necklaces, shoes, hats, bowties, ties, etc) to coordinate everyone together in a subtle way!
– STYLE FIFTEEN –
I hope this has been a helpful resource to you as you prepare for your Spring or Summertime session! Feel free to save this webpage to your “favorites” or PIN it to Pinterest for easy access so you can refer back to it whenever needed!