Styling your session
It's about setting the tone...
Wardrobe is one of the most important steps in creating the tones for your session. Colours and styles of clothing can have a dramatic influence on the overall look, feel and vibe of a session and the final results produced. Over the years I have worked with a range of colours ways, textures and patterns and have created this style guide to help you when choosing outfits to ensure you are receiving the warm, moody and bright final product you have booked me for, whilst helping you stay true to your style.
My first piece of advice is to ensure you give yourself enough time to arrange outfits for all members and plan ahead. It is not everyday that you have a photo shoot so you want to look your best, be confident, comfortable & timeless. By planning ahead you can think about what you truly want from the session and this can alleviate a lot of stress. A photo session is a great excuse as any to get dressed up and have fun.
Don’t Match - Coordinate. This means that not everyone has to wear the exact same thing (yes, I am referring to the white tops and
blue jeans). Instead compliment outfits by choosing colours that work well together. When multiple members of the family wear the same colours it can make it look like you have blended into one another instead of being able to see individual people.
Avoid Navy & Blue: Yes, navy is an absolutely gorgeous colour, however I do suggest that you avoid tones of blue, especially navy for your photos. The majority of blue tones are "cool" and when you are having a sun soaked session, accompanied by a warmer editing style, cooler shades, especially blue, will make skin tones look grey and flat and really create an overall clash within the image.
Be colour specific: Over time I have found the most flattering colours are those natural and earthy tones. I am referring to mustards, rusts, burnt oranges, olives, khakis, browns, burgundy, creams, and golds. I suggest avoiding cooler tones such as navy and purple and all neon and bright colours as they are prone to throwing off colourcast which will impact skin tone. Pastel muted tones will create a lighter airy aesthetic whereas darker moody deeper tones will give you that rich impact & pop.
Avoid logos and larger branding: These images are about you and larger, loud logos and branding labels or harsh patterns will compete for attention and distract from the interaction and beautiful connection of your family in the images.
Watches: Now this is a personal preference, but I would suggest that prior to your session, that you remove watches, especially smart watches. I find that during sessions when capturing the detailed shots, that watches can often create some distraction and become a focal point, so instead of focusing on a new engagement ring, or connection between hands, or a parent holding their newborn, that a watch face can compete for attention.
Where to start?
I always suggest dressing mum first. Let’s be honest, we are often the most insecure and we are most likely also the ones organizing the session and everyone's outfit, so ensure you are happy with your own outfit first. I ALWAYS recommend wearing midi or maxi dresses and skirts as they are super flattering for all body types and are a great way to add the magic of movement to your images. Don't feel comfortable in dresses? Why not try a cute jumpsuit, overalls or even flare jeans?
When dressing a family, I suggest sticking with one bolder pattern only and then choosing complimentary colours to tie everyone together. Texture is also a huge favourite as it adds dimension and interest to the images, with knits, lace details, belts and hats. And for males? Keep it simple, light chinos with a shirt or top is fine. If they want to wear a hat, jacket and layer up with accessories, that is fun too.
Accessories and Layering is a fun way of personalizing your outfits to showcase personality and adds visual interest to the images. If you walk through the shops you'll notice most mannequins are styled with more than one layer as it is more appealing to the eye. So if you are up for it, and it's cold, a chunky knit and beanie make it feel cosy and warm; suspenders on kids always add to the cuteness factor, or alternatively be daring and add a hat & belt and bring out that boho hipster vibe.
Warm & Earthy Tones
Vibrance and Depth
Warm and earthy tones are a great way to get playful and pack a punch of colour into your images to create an eye catching work of art. With bold, deep colours, it is important to not go over the top and have too many pieces competing. Subtlety is key. To avoid too many block colours I suggest breaking up the bold with a pattern or texture. Complimentary colours and tones are key for bringing it all together. And don't be afraid to get creative - a band top tied at the waste, maxi skirt, boots and wide brim hat is just one example of how to bring some personality into your session.
Neutral tones are great for those wanting a more subtle and natural finished product and help to provide a light and airy vibe. Texture and detail are especially important if choosing a neutral colour palate for your session to ensure there is interest and dimension to the images. A tie waist, frilled detail, lace or linen texture are all little features to attract your eye. Simplicity is key, there is no need to go overboard with too much detail, but by focusing on one piece, it really helps to grab and hold attention.
helping to make it easier
Over the years and through trial and error, I have learnt which colours complement my style of photography and which tones and textures are enhanced in the editing process to help add the final dimension to your finished image. As a result, to help make the styling process easier for all clients, I have collected an assortment of women's and children's clothing that all of my clients are welcome to use complimentary, for their sessions to help reduce stress around dressing your family.
Please feel free to browse the below galleries to see what items I have to offer.