Styling tips for Family Sessions

Styling tips for Family Sessions

1) Start with one outfit and add-on/work from there.  I always suggest starting with moms outfit and styling the rest of the family around her choice.

In the image below, it was the dress Cindy is wearing that started the whole theme of their wardrobe.



2) Color Palettes: When choosing colors for your outfits, I recommend selecting softer, lighter tones and more muted shades. By avoiding ultra-bright, bold colors, it will help bring all the attention to your faces and let the eye focus on the way you feel about each other. The camera loves shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like heather gray, creams, leather brown and white. That softer color palette fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments.

3) Try to avoid mixing patterns, such as stripes and plaids. Mixing different patterns can be a tad busy for the eye.

4) Try to avoid clothing that has distractive wording or characters. Avoid large logo’s, emblems and graphics like “GAP” and “Old Navy” because again, these will typically distract attention away from the subject. We want your faces and emotion to show, not promote the clothing company you purchased from!

5) COMPLEMENT & COORDINATE BUT DON’T GET TOO MATCHY! Find a color palette that you love and choose outfits that compliment each other without looking too matchy-matchy. We want everyone to look unique and portray their individual style. Stay away from ‘blue jeans and a white t-shirt’ for everyone or outfits that don’t allow personality.


Have you thought about rocking a romantic gown, tulle skirt, 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! A portrait session is also a great time to bring a new permanent piece (or two!) into your closet!

If you choose to wear jeans or pants I just recommend getting a fit that you really love and feel great in. If you choose to wear something more casual on the bottom, then think about dressing it up on top. A beautiful flowy top or lace accent can make your outfit feel special for this occasion.

Quick Tip: There’s no such thing as too dressed up.

7) Dresses and skirts look most stunning because they really flatter every female body, especially on camera!

Long, full-length, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. Especially in nature, like a field, forest, or in front of a barn. Consider softer fabrics which allow for beautiful movement in the images.

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’ll likely have you sitting or crouching on the ground to interact up-close with them. Cute, shorter cocktail-length dresses photograph beautifully, but if you have little ones in your photos, a floor-length 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, we always recommend floor-length gowns or maxi dresses. These dresses create the best silhouettes to flatter your figure and really highlight your bump.

8) Things to think about:

-Avoid getting a new look or hairstyle a week before your session, give yourself time to absorb it and figure out how to style it. I want you to feel like yourself for your session

-Don’t get a spray tan if you’ve never had one before. Nothing is worse than looking orange or streaky for your session. Sometimes large tanning streaks are something photoshop cannot fix. (Photoshop fees are not something that are included with your session fee. Simple fixes such as editing out a pimple or two are included, but intensive photoshopping is something that would cost you an additional fee to fix.)

-Make sure your nails are not chipped. I photograph the small details of moms with their babies such as you holding onto their little tiny hands in yours.

9) Wear what you feel good in! Moms and dads, this tip is for you specifically. If you aren’t comfortable in what you’ve chosen for pictures, it will show. If you can’t find a dress you feel good in, but you rock a good pair of skinny jeans, do that. If you can barely walk in heels, there’s no harm in doing cute and comfy flat boots or pretty sandals. If you can’t do a heel (like me), a wedge is a great alternative, too.

Be sure to check out my Pinterest board of my top picks and suggestions of what to wear! Don’t hesitate to reach out for suggestions for your session.


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