This guide will help walk you through the steps you need to prepare your family for your photography session with me.
I'll go over everything from wardrobe to how to get the kids (and dad) ready. I'm so excited to work with you and your family.
If you have any questions along the way, please just let me know. I love to help!
Imagery By Marianne is a full service studio so I am happy to assist you in selecting clothing options for the whole family. I can even go one step father and shop for you!
The key to timeless photos is to stick to classic looks and colors that will not go out of style.
My favorite color combinations for the beach are soft neutrals with pinks and blues.
Gone are the days of wearing the same color top and bottom. Isn't it funny how dated those images look now?
The hardest question everyone asks themselves after booking a photo session is:
"What will we wear?", I'm here to help!
When you start styling your session, I suggest starting with Mom and then working out from there.
Whether you want to purchase all new clothes, or you want to use that dress you love, it's a great place to start. You don't have to start with mom's outfit though. Just pick one item first. Then you can pull your colors and textures and build up from that starter piece. Another good starting point is to think of the colors in your home (these images will be on your walls after all) or maybe your favorite color, then go from there.
Style Tips & Clothing Guide
Now the fun begins! It’s time to choose clothing for every member of your family. Well-coordinated clothing can take an image from good to fantastic, so it’s important that you dedicate some time to choosing outfits you’ll love seeing on your family time and time again. I know how daunting this task may seem, but this guide will help facilitate the process and help you make picture-perfect styling choices.
Keep in mind, you are always welcome to contact me if you need styling suggestions! I’m more than happy to help!
Coordinate, don’t match!
You want your outfits to feel cohesive without having everyone matching exactly. An easy way to begin is to choose 2 colors and use shades/tones within those colors. A third color can be introduced if you feel you don’t have enough variety, but try to limit this color to small accents/accessories, if possible.
I find that it’s easiest to begin with the most challenging person to dress. Once you find an outfit that you love for that person, it’ll be easier to find coordinating pieces for the rest of the family.
Avoid Crazy Patterns
In general, you’ll want to wear solid colors. Distracting patterns draw our attention away from what really matters — Your faces and connection with one another. If subtle patterns are used, it’s best to have only one family member in a pattern, usually the smallest person.
Add Layers and Accessories
Once you have your base, you can add layers and accessories for added interest to the overall picture. Things to consider: cardigans, sweaters, bracelets, necklaces, earrings, headbands, hair clips, hats, scarves, etc.
If your child has a favorite toy or object that’s important to him/her, bring it along. We can incorporate it into a few images and use it to capture his/her attention.
Things to Remember
- Be sure to iron or press your outfits before the session
-Remember that socks may show, depending on the pose. Be sure to have coordinating socks, as well!
-Your shoes will also be in the images. We discourage sneakers and flip flops.
-Wear temperature appropriate clothing that’s comfortable. Also, make sure it fits property!
This is especially important for children. We want them to be happy and comfortable throughout the session.
This is how we’ll get those genuine smiles and expressions.
-Have clean, trimmed nails. This includes children! Manicures and pedicures are optional, but always nice!
Comfort: you want everyone to be comfy at your session. We'll be moving around on our adventure, so make sure you put yourself and the kids in something that moves with you and isn't itchy or too tight. You'll be hearing about it all session, trust me.
Accessorize it: hats, scarves, jewelry, blankets, headbands, suspenders, etc. All these things are a great way to add another layer of your style into your session.
patterns: I love fun patterns, but my favorite is florals! Mixing patterns is a great way to add interest to your photos.
Textures & layers: Layers add texture and textures add interest. Denim, chunky knits, lace, cords, etc. I
love the way a chunky cardigan looks. Or a denim shirt tied at the waist. These are all great ways to incorporate your style.
Color: make sure the colors you choose compliment each other. Colors that will stand out best are muted, earthy tones.
Some examples are: mustard yellow, mauve pink, browns or khaki, dark blue, hunter green, dark reds/oranges
MAKE IT YOUR OWN: this session is about you! And it's so important to make sure that your family's personality shines through in every aspect.
Things to Avoid
-Thin stripes - Thin, tight stripes can cause something called Moire, a wavy distorted effect in the fabric.
-Crazy Patterns - Huge florals, bold plaid, thick tripes, etc., are all examples of patterns you’ll want to avoid, as they’re very distracting.
We want the focus to remain on your beautiful family, not one person’s clothing.
-Getting a tan/sunburn right before your session.
-Big, distracting accessories like big bows on little girls or chunky, statement necklaces. Less is more when it comes to accessories!
logos: shirts that have logos on them can distract from your beautiful faces. Just say no.
neon colors: just say no to hot pink and lime green
matchy-matchy: matching outfits are super cute, I know, but they can also seem very redundant and dare I say boring.
Having different colors, patterns, textures, etc is super important to create interest and diversity in your family's images.
You’re going to see these things in your portraits forever, so be sure you love what you’re wearing.
Lay it All Out
You’re nearly done! Once you’ve chosen your outfits it can be helpful to lay out
all the pieces together to ensure that the outfits coordinate nicely. Feel free to send me a snapshot if you need some assistance with anything at all. If you like what you see, you’re all done!
My Favorite places to shop:
Macy's, Old Navy, TJ Maxx, Target
Old Navy & Amazon both sell matching patterns for families!
Consider booking your session in advance, if possible, as the calendar often fills quickly.
Family sessions are typically available 4 days per week: Mon-Thurs between 6-9am & 6-8pm.
On location sessions are typically best an hour before sunrise or sunset.
Approximately 1 week after your session, we will meet at my studio or via Zoom for your product ordering appointment where we will review your images, select your favorites and design stunning wall displays and/or tabletop art to preserve your images.
All products are ordered at the ordering appointment so all decision makers should be present.
A digital file is included with each product/print that you purchase. You may use that file to make reproductions up to 8x10 inches.