Tips with my personal Experience!
I've been photographing families for over 10 years and have seen almost every mixture of styling and wardrobe choices. Over those years, I've come up with some tips! Trust me! These are very helpful and what I use for my own sessions with my family!
1) Mom! You pick YOUR outfit FIRST!
Moms, we usually put ourselves last, don't we? But...if mama isn't happy with the way she looks and feels in her clothes, she won't like the photos, and overall, you won't want to display them.
Mom - you go first. YOU pick the dress or outfit first. Then, layer the family around you.
Clearly, I grabbed my hubby's shirt first, then my kids and then for me, I just threw on a black tee and my old maternity jeans that fit me horribly. Why did I do that to myself? I'm so glad I have those photos to document the time, but I certainly do not have any of the photos displayed, cause I can't stand the way I looked.
This year, I picked a much different outfit. I wanted something flowy, something that went with my house colors (I do a lot of coral and turquoise and gray) and although I'm at my heaviest weight in years (booo), I layered with a little camisole to help break up and not look so wide.
2) Rock your "normal" hair....
Ladies. We know our hair's normal tendency, wether that is to be curly or straight. Problems arise when we try to force it to do something different, while outside in the potential Texas heat and humidity. I would encourage you to think about how your hair would look best IF it is a humid day, and maybe make that decision the day of your shoot.
This is what happens when I tried to make my very straight hair curly, on a humid day.
Left - first shot of the session - Right - End of the session. Stringy mess! Much to the dismay of many of my clients, I can NOT add curl to your hair or straighten your hair in photoshop.
Now, if you are having a studio session, you can do either!
3) Don't Overdo or Underdo your make up!
The trend may be to do lots of bronzer and nude liptstick, but I encourage you to NOT do this.
In fact, I had several clients last year who went and had their make up professionally done at a local place known for this, and they did not like their photos at all - simply because they did not look like themselves at all. They were super bronzed and super highlighted and while they were trendy, they did not feel confident or beautiful.
The general rule is to do a lipstick that is a bit darker than your natural lip color. Gloss makes your lips fuller appearing. DO NOT FORGET THE LIPSTICK, though.
BRONZER for Contouring
I'm sure I'll get shot for this, but I use my bronzer as a contouring to make a definite line on my jaw and along my forehead.
Why? A line on my jaw helps me "easy to appear" double chin (thanks genetics) to have more definition instead of being one big neck.
And don't forget the blush!!!
4) PATTERNS OR NO PATTERNS?
I get asked this question a lot and I think that one look through pintrest would say that patterns - heavy floral or designs - is iffy/ risky.
I have personally liked the photos of my family better when we were mostly in solids/stripes, vs florals and designs.
Point and case:
I loved this dress and it caught my eye as soon as I saw it on a boutique. But....it was just too much and I struggled to find good things for my kids to wear to coordinate, and well, it just kinda ended up flat, in my opinion.
5) ARE YOU GOING TO DISPLAY THESE PHOTOS?
It may be silly, but if you plan to hang these photos in your home, think of your decor.
For example, one year, I picked these outfits for my family.
Now, don't get me wrong. I love this photo!!! Look at my little guy smiling!
BUT - I do not own ANY decor in blue or orange. ANY.
Does it clash? Not really, but it doesn't coordinate either.
For me, I don't care that much and still proudly framed these photos in my home. But, for you, you may want to think about where and how you will want to display them, and pick colors accordingly.
7) THE SCIENCE OF STYLING
I hope I have not overwhelmed you! By all means, the goal was to HELP you pick out your outfits - not stress you out. Pick something that you feel amazing in, and rock it!!! Want some feedback? Shoot me an email and I can help you!
Can't wait for your session!