~What to Wear to your SessionNot that you weren’t anxious enough about this, but your clothing choices will greatly effect your satisfaction with your portraits. Here are some tips and examples of good clothing choices for each type of session. Of course there’s not just one way to do it, there are so many styles to choose from. Simplicity is not my gift, but I’ll try not to overwhelm or confuse the life out of you. Overall, remember that “variety is the spice of life.” I’m not out to turn you into Stepford people. What’s important is that we achieve something that fits your personality and makes you happy!Some general rules; Simple is best. Avoid unsubtle stripes, plaids, logos, lettering, etc. on your clothing. This is especially true with larger groups. When you choose your groups clothing, you don’t have to all wear denim shirts or look like fellow Target associates. Not that it’s not okay to all wear the same color shirt, but there are other options. For instance, you could use a monochromatic color scheme and all wear different shades of blue. Or you could choose a scheme of colors that complement each other. For example, I love fall colors so for my family I chose orange, brown, and olive green. Having most of the family wear jeans or khaki’s ties things together nicely as well. You’ll notice in the picture below I added a couple patterns in the girl’s skirts. This can add a little interest without being too much. Try not to make one person’s outfit stand out too much above the others or they will become the focus. Also, fabrics with texture, such as knit and crochet, photograph well. If it’s cold outside, don’t be afraid to add hats, scarves and sweaters. If you’re overwhelmed, try starting with one piece of clothing, something that inspires your color scheme or that fits the hardest person to shop for and build around it. It may also help to look through the galleries for ideas. There are several great places to shop here, but if you’re having a hard time finding what you want, don’t forget online shopping as an option. My personal favorite for unique, hand made items; etsy.com.
This session is focused on the new baby, but also your relationship with them, so mom and dad and any siblings will want to be prepared. Choose simple clothing and remove watches and other big jewelry (keep rings on). I prefer for these images to have a natural, emotional feel. Parents might want to have black shirts on hand in case we want to do the black on black portraits. In these you are more of a prop. The focus is on the baby but the hands add and emotional element. I like to do naked newborn shots to show how tiny and new and innocent your baby is at this time. You may want to gather some favorite blankets and hats to mix things up a bit. Again, texture is great for these accents. If you don’t want naked shots, plain onesies are nice. You may also want to prepare a favorite outfit. Often times grandma wants to see a dressed baby.
Sessions with one or two children don’t necessarily follow the same rules. Dressing them simply is still a great idea as it allows the focus to be on the child, it’s classic and timeless. You can even go a step further and choose vintage clothing such as pillow case dresses, pantaloons, undershirts or no shirts, slips, etc. (LOVE it - check e-bay, etsy and online boutiques). A pair of bloomers on a rolly polly 6 month old really shows off the chubbiness. But there are other options as well. Some people prefer a little modern attitude. A rock T shirt, floral patterned dress, funky hat or scarf, fashion boots, striped tights, tutus, all of these things can make for a really fun, magazine-style session. And of course your kid may dress like a super hero every day. What kind of a parent would you be if you didn’t capture that (at the end of the session, of course)! You could even bring a favorite toy, providing it will photograph well. The nice thing about a session with one child is that you can bring a few outfits and try some different things. Hopefully this will give you some ideas about how to make your child’s session stand out and show off who they are!
The rules don’t necessarily apply to you either (of course!). There are no limits on number of outfits, but there’s only so much time before we run out of light. I find that too many outfit changes makes it more of a wardrobe documentation than a session that focuses on you. Bring as much as you like and we’ll see what we have time for. You may want to include some fashionable items that include logos or patterns as well as some simple, classic stuff. Bring a plain, preferable darker top as one of your options. A long sleeved shirt and jeans is a nice option. If you have a formal dress or suit, bring it! It’s fun to juxtapose that with an informal or grungy location and barefeet. Or maybe you’re the type that wants to run through the meadow in your gown. That’s fine too. As mentioned above, jackets, scarves, hats, etc. make fun accents. Ladies, heels look great in pictures with a pair of jeans. Guys, maybe bring a collared shirt along, possibly a tie if you like. For senior portraits, the key is finding something spunky or unique to say about yourself. And if you have interests such as music, sports, reading or whatever you like to do, bring along some props. We’ll try to find a way NOT to make them look cheesey.
As mentioned before, you can choose a monochromatic or coordinating color scheme. Try to match each other in style, meaning you are both dressed casually or both dressed more formally (many people like to do both). Be prepared, I may have you rolling around on the ground or who knows what. Jeans are great, and I love a flattering dress or skirt . As with the seniors, we want to give your pictures some distinction, and make them as unique as your relationship. Scarves, umbrellas, a car, a picnic, anything that will add some interest would be great to bring along. More elaborate settings should be discussed beforehand so I can prepare.
For maternity portraits, I suggest the following; bra or sports bra, tank tops, fitted maternity shirt or dress, favorite cute maternity shirt. Sometimes I will do a fabric wrap as well. We can do some that show off that belly and some that are less intimate. I generally don’t get too personal, I want you to be comfortable. For these sessions you may also consider having some with your significant other, perhaps doing something you love to do together as well as posed.