I am so excited for your portrait session! Whether I’m capturing your sweet family, or celebrating a special moment in your life, I’m so honored to help you create memories you’ll cherish for a lifetime. I’ve created this guide to help you get the most out of your photos. By the time you’ve read through this page, my hope is that you will have all your questions answered and feel more than ready and prepared for your session. Your only job is to be yourself, laugh a lot, and let me create photos you’ll love forever. I'll take care of the rest. I can’t wait to get you in front of my camera!
Style Tips for Her
DRESS IT UP
Have you thought about rocking a romantic gown, tulle skirt or flower crown but just never had an occasion for it? This is your chance to do it up! Remember: There is no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your portrait session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun! If you don’t want to add a new permanent piece to your collection, check out Rent the Runway for an affordable way to feel like a million bucks. If you love having a great excuse to bring a new permanent piece (or two!) into your closet, check local boutiques or Lulu's for amazing dresses! You would also be surprised at some of the great pieces I've seen from Amazon!
SAY YES TO THE DRESS
Dresses and skirts look most stunning because they really flatter every female body, especially on camera — which is probably why the red carpet is always full of so many dresses and not very many pantsuits! Long, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. When considering the length of your dresses or skirts, it’s also a good idea to factor in whether or not there will be little ones in your photos. If you have smaller children, I will likely have you sitting or crouching on the ground to interact up-close with them. A long dress or skirt, or perhaps a cute midi-skirt, will make moving around with your kids much easier, and look perfect on camera, too. If you’re an expecting mother, I always recommend dresses that hug the bump. These dresses create the best silhouettes to flatter your figure. And again, you would be surprised at some of the great, inexpensive pieces I've seen from Amazon!
FLATTERING YOUR FEATURES
In my experience, every woman, regardless of her shape, has an area of her body that she’s self-conscious about, so recognizing what area that is in advance is key. Choosing flattering silhouettes and colors that complement your natural features is the best way to ensure you’ll love the way you look in your photos. A-line or Fit and Flare dresses really accentuate the waist. 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. You could also bring a cute jacket, blazer, or cardigan along, too. Thin straps or strapless dresses have the opposite effect on arms on camera, so I 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. These little tricks make all the difference!
MAKE A STATEMENT
Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can really help bring some extra dimension to your images, and be a nice tie-in when you’re coordinating with a group. Big statement necklaces bring a lot of pop to the photos, while the smaller, delicate ones are not as noticeable on camera. Belts, bracelets, and earrings bring great visual interest, so choose one or two that don’t compete for attention. Fresh florals in a crown can be a really romantic touch for you or your girls as well.
GO PRO: HAIR AND MAKE-UP
Professional hair and makeup are on the top of most clients’ checklists because it looks amazing on camera and removes the stress of getting ready on your own. This is the time to treat yourself! Whether it’s lash extensions or a hair blowout, professional hair and makeup will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera, and it always photographs like a dream. If you’re working with a makeup artist, have her apply your makeup in natural light, if possible, so that it looks fresh and not too heavy. Plus, that’s the type of light I’ll be shooting in, so it’ll give you the best expectation of how it will translate on camera. Let me know if you need a recommendation for a hair and makeup artist
Style Tips for Him
WHAT LOOKS BEST
Long, fitted pants and closed-toed shoes are the best looks for men. They draw attention away from his legs and feet and place it where you want it: on his handsome face. So, for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts, sandals and any pants that are loose or baggy. I also recommend staying away from graphics and logos.
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. Layers on men look great on camera, so even when it’s hot outside, trust me when I say that it’s worth an hour or two of discomfort for photos that will last you both a lifetime. Adding another layer will bring an extra dimension and visual interest to your photos. Plus, it can allow you to interact with something during pictures -- holding the lapels of your husband's blazer while pulling him in for a kiss.
ITS ALL IN THE DETAILS
Ties, bowties, pocket squares, colored socks, belts, tie clips, suspenders, vests, and watches are sharp compliments to any outfit for men and boys alike. These special touches are like icing on the cake of your beautifully planned portrait session.
Prepping the Family
COORDINATING THE CREW
When planning what your family will wear, think coordination, not matching. Sure, the whole white shirt and jeans can still be pulled off, but it is boring and dated. Show off each personality by allowing each person to dress in coordinating colors using the color suggestion below.
HOW TO MIX COLORS
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. The more you can mix that up, the better. I encourage you to think about planning each outfit with “dominant colors” and “accent colors” in mind. Dominant color is the color that you see the most in an outfit, while an accent has a smaller piece of visual real estate. When you’re planning each family member’s outfit, if you can aim for each person to have a different dominant color, and then tie in and vary the accent colors, it’s going to look great all together. For example, if you’re wearing a blush dress, soft blue earrings and nude heels (blush being your dominant color), then he could wear a navy coat with a white button-down and gray pants, and maybe even a blush pocket square (making navy his dominant color). Your daughter could wear a soft blue top with a white tulle skirt (making a soft blue her dominant color) while your son wears light beige pants with navy suspenders and a white button down (making white his dominant color). Now each person has their own dominant color while still incorporating a few touches of the others that will pull all the looks together. This will break up the color visually and highlight each personality.
MIXING UP THE PIECES
If you have multiple children, don’t feel like you need to put them all in the same type of outfit. For example, one of your daughters could wear a dress and flats, while the other wears a skirt and boots. One of your sons could wear a bowtie, while the other one wears suspenders. Mixing up the wardrobe pieces will bring great visual interest to the photos.
PREPPING THE LITTLE ONES
Before your session, pack a bag with snacks that won't stain, water and any small objects that might help us get their attention when it’s time for them to look at the camera. A lot of families discuss and pick something fun in advance as a treat after the session if they’re good listeners, like ice cream, for example. It also helps if they’re bellies are full and they’ve has some good rest beforehand. Once you prepare them physically and mentally, then feel free to give them (and you!) grace! They’re little, and I know that some days don’t always go as planned. I’ve seen it all and will make sure to get you great photos, regardless of their moods. My goal is to make this as fun and stress-free as it possibly can be for you and your family!
I Know I Just Gave You a Lot to Think About...
I created this guide to help make your portrait session experience something you’ll look back fondly on for years and years to come. At the end of the day, though, the location you choose and the outfits you select won’t matter nearly as much as the memories you make together. Your pictures are the most important thing to me, and I want your session to be a time for you to just be yourselves and enjoy it. Have fun together. Laugh a lot. And I’ll take care of the rest! If you have any questions, feel free to contact me. Can't wait to see your smiling faces!