Thursday, September 30, 2010

What to Wear, What to Wear?

That is the question.  Once you book a shoot and decide on a location, what in the world should you wear?  I know, the matchy-matchy-white-button-down-khaki-pant look is still very popular, but let’s face it, very few people look good in white unless you’re a bride.  And it’s not very exciting.  So here are some tips on how to inject a little color and zing into your family portrait wardrobe selection.

First question, formal or casual?
How dressy do you want to be?  Fancy dresses,  jeans and t-shirts, or somewhere in between?  It’s best that whichever way you go, everyone in the portrait is at the same level.  (Unless you’re going for a specific look, of course.)

Next, what’s your color palette?
You can start by choosing a favorite outfit for your little one and build around that.  Or maybe Mom has a beautiful argyle sweater she wants to wear.  Start with one outfit and go from there.   Don’t forget about accessories and shoes as great ways to add a pop of color and interest.  You can bring a hat and have a fun prop and a new look right there at your fingertips…well, on your head, that is.

A few tips:
  • Little girls in dresses are precious.  Little girls in dresses also tend to flash the camera. Be sure to remember bloomers or a diaper cover if your little princess will be wearing a dress.
  • Comfort is as important as Look when it comes to kids.  Don’t put them in something that will cause you stress if they sit in the grass or get a little dirty.  Or at least bring another outfit that they can romp around in.
  • Ladies, if you are wearing anything strappy or low-cut, be conscious of bra straps.  Double stick tape works wonders.
  • Wrinkly fabrics look even more wrinkly on camera.  Fabrics with a sheen can look a little weird.  Natural cottons seem to work pretty well.  
  • On men, a good fitting shirt and nice posture is a fantastic combination.  try not to wear a too-baggy shirt or one that pulls at the buttons at all. 

I did a layout of a family wardrobe selection below as an example.  (Click on it to see larger image)  Boy, did I have fun styling my imaginary family of four.  I felt like Rachel Zoe without all the drama.  I’m going to do these slides periodically and tag them all “what to wear” so you can find them in my blog when you need inspiration.  Incidentally, all of these items (except the converse sneakers) I found on

 Style Notes:
  • I based my color palette on Mom’s argyle sweater.  Navy, Pink, Blue, Coral, and Gray.  Mom is wearing gray casual pants, chambray ballet flats and shiny silver hoop earrings.
  • I picked up the blue in Dad’s shirt and paired it with nice dark wash straight-leg jeans.  I finished his look with dark gray slip-on sneakers.
  • Big Sis has a cute polka-dot sweater matching the coral/pink tones in Mom’s sweater.  She’s wearing a pleated jeans skirt with gray leggings underneath and gray converse sneakers.
  • Little Sis is wearing a casual pink dress with navy leggings and navy converse.
  • The brighter colors on the children will draw more attention to the girls, but the family will look great together in their family portraits.  

Stay tuned for my next blog:  "What to Bring," or "Cool Stuff to include in your Photo Shoot."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Margaret and Family

When my friend Jessica asked me to do a photo shoot with her family featuring her grandmother, I was thrilled (#1) because they are a beautiful, fun family and (#2) because I've heard Jessica talk for years about her grandmother Margaret and how much her family adores her.   So we met on Saturday evening just as the rain stopped and the skies cleared.

They picked a great color palette of purple, gray, dark blue and fuchsia.  It's especially hard to coordinate when you've got 4 different households coming together so they get extra props for wardrobe planning!  Here's a sneak peek of our day.  Click on the image for a closer look:

See what I mean - great colors!

Linda and Rick.


 Mother and Daughters.

Jessica and Steve.  
(I love shoe pictures. Go figure)

 Josalyn and Patrick.

 Candid Margaret.

 Pretty Sisters.


 Mother and Daughter.

Thanks to Margaret, Linda, Rick, Jessica, Steve, Josalyn and Patrick for a fun shoot despite the humidity and wet grass.  I'll get your proofs up soon!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Holly and Rachel's Movie Debut

Here's the video of Holly and Rachel's photo shoot for Daddy Trevor who has 3 more months in Iraq before his homecoming.

I love this.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

OpLove: Holly and Rachel

As I mentioned in my previous post,  we endured a hot day at the park to take these OpLove photos as a surprise for Daddy Trevor, an Air Force pilot who will be coming home at the end of November.  Rachel was on a mission to explore every inch of Independence Park, and I think she nearly succeeded!

Holly wanted some photos of Rachel from behind so her Daddy could see how long her hair has gotten.  Well that certainly wasn't a problem.  In fact, most of my pictures looked like this:

But we managed to slow her down for a few close ups too.

This could be my favorite. 

It's a bird, it's a plane!

Halfway through the shoot we went past the waterfall and boy was it calling Rachel's name.  She got a little wet.  Well, soaked actually.  Mommy hadn't planned on that but I think Rachel was quite refreshed.

Next on the agenda...swings!  Notice the wet hair.  :-)

Taking a popcorn break.

The idea was that Rachel would help hold the sign but she preferred to supervise from afar with her kettle corn.

Close up of Holly and her pretty green eyes.

Daddy took Rachel to Build-a-Bear before he was deployed and they made this Tiger for her.  When you squeeze him, there's a recording of Daddy's voice.  She loves her Tiger!  (and her popcorn.)

 Thank you Holly and Rachel for this fun-filled afternoon.  I'll finish processing your photos as soon as I can and get your albums put together.  What a wonderful surprise this will be for Trevor.  Your family is making a such a sacrifice for our country and I am honored to be able to show my support in this way.