The question on everyones lips - what should we wear?
The most important thing I want you to remember when preparing for your session, is that I want you guys to look like YOU. If you aren’t a floral dress wearing mum, then wear shorts and a t-shirt, if your daughter hates her hair out, let it be in a pony tail, if hubby reeeeeeally loves his flamingo boardies, then that is okay. Own who you are and your photos will be that much more special because people won’t feel uncomfortable, and when you walk past your pictures in the hallway, you’ll remember this time of your life for exactly how it was.
BUT, with that in mind, I also know that sometimes you might just need a few ideas and there are also a few things that don’t photograph well, so if you feel like you want/need a little help then keep on reading…
First things first- MUM
You’re probably the one who thought it was a good idea to get photos, so I truly want you to love them. If that means going out and buying a new dress, then go for it! If you have a favourite pair of jeans that make you feel fabulous, then grab those and let’s start planning everyone else around what makes you look and feel your best.
Patterns, textures and logos
If one or two people in your family are wearing something patterned this can look great. A floral dress or a subtle patterned shirt can work well, but keep the patterns subtle. Big spots or stripes can be very distracting, as can any big logos, words or characters. If you’re wanting to keep things simple and most of the family are wearing plain clothes, then I’d suggest keeping it interesting with some textures- linen, denim or knits all look great.
Should we all wear jeans and white shirts?
NO. We’ve all moved on from the 90’s and we don’t want to be SO matching it looks like you’re wearing a uniform. I recommend a mix of colours that all compliment each other. So if you have chosen your outfit and it has rust, sky blue and cream, then a rust skirt and denim shorts on the kids would tie in really nicely with that. Having a few feature colours mixed in with some plainer/neutral stuff works well.
Keep in mind your location, the weather and our activities
If we are at the beach, we will likely go in the water. You’re welcome to bring swimmers and make an arvo of it, but if you just splash around at the edge, then shorts and no shoes are best. If we are riding horses, wear pants. If we’re going for a hike, wear comfy shoes. If it might be cold or windy, pack jumpers for the kids. If everyone is cold or uncomfortable it’s harder to get photos you will love.
What are you going to do with your photos?
If they are just for sharing online, or going in an album, then wear what you like, but if you have plans to have a giant print in your babies room, or by your front entry, then it’s a good idea to choose clothing that will work well with the colour scheme of the room. If you have a beachy/neutral living area then letting your daughter wear a fluro pink dress might not look so great when it’s printed HUGE!
A few things I LOVE in photos
For mums and kids with long hair, even if it’s a bit windy, we can get some really beautiful photos with hair blowing in the breeze. Keep a hair tie in your pocket, not on your wrist.
If you have a little dress loving girl (or boy!) then we can have a lot of fun twirling in the pretty sunset or in their bedroom or back garden.
If your kid has a favourite toy or blanky (even the dirty stinky kind that has been dragged everywhere) more than welcome to include it!
Kids and their pets are such a special relationship to photograph. Welcome to bring your dog, just let me know so we have a dog friendly location. Or any weird and wonderful pets are welcome to join in at home!
A few things to avoid
CLEAVAGE & BRA STRAPS
My sessions can be pretty action packed, I encourage you to play with your kids and I photograph from all angles both outdoors and at home. The less you are worried about the girls popping out, or fixing your straps, the better.
You might feel better with a tan, but more often than not it looks orange in pictures. If there are blotchy parts around your hands/feet/armpits it can be very obvious with my super sharp lenses, and if your whole family is a lovely shade of pale they will do a great job of making you look super unnatural.
Welcome to bring them for a few shots if you like, but generally they just put your face in a big shadow, which is their job, but not ideal for portraits.
Once we start our session, I just want you to enjoy being with your family, let me worry about the time! I know you might feel a bit naked without your watch, or your kid might not be accurately recording their steps for the day, but my photos often incorporate your hand or arms, especially if you have a baby or little one wanting to be held, and a big shiny watch can be very distracting.
GIRLS UNDIES OR NAPPIES
If you have a toddler or little girl who loves dresses but also loves rolling around with her legs in the air, perhaps consider a cute nappy cover or less obvious undies. Often if they are sitting on your lap or hip, getting tickled or rolling down the sand dunes they aren’t thinking (nor should they!) about seeing up their dress, and whilst I’ve really seen it all, you may not love those for nannas wall as a Christmas gift.
If our session is outdoors and you’ve just got keys and phones, welcome to chuck them in my camera bag. If your kids are likely to meltdown without a snack supply, water bottle and a towel then I suggest bringing them in a nice bag you are happy to have in photos. I usually go on a little walking adventure around a location, and opportunities for fun and natural photos pop up along the way, if you have a woollies green bag over your shoulder it might mean we have to stop and offload before taking the next shots.
RESTING BITCH FACE
I wish I was joking, but my style of photography is often quite documentary. I don’t expect you to smile at me the whole time (actually please don’t), but just be wary that even if I’m not telling you a photo is happening, you’re probably in it. If you’re giving your husband a filthy look, or you’re angry at your kid for ‘being a kid’ then you might be the reason you don’t like those pictures, coz your cute kid is having a blast!
Colour is great, but I tend to recommend avoiding anything too bright, our eyes are naturally drawn to anything bright in a photo, and we are trying to focus more on capturing your faces than your clothes. With colours I’d recommend more muted tones like olive greens, rust, mustard, dusty pinks, navy, browns etc, so the brightness of the colour doesn’t distract and overwhelm the photo. Neutrals are great but I’d go more for creams, greys or browns rather than a black or white as these can be very bright or very dark in some lighting. I usually try to include at least one warm colour (rust, burgundy, mustard, brown etc) in your group, especially if we are in a predominantly green environment like a park or garden, or at the beach as there is often lots of blue with the water and sky.
Of course I am ALWAYS here to help!
(Maybe not if you leave it till the hour before your session… but if you need a hand in the weeks/days beforehand, please let me know!)
Once you’ve put together a few outfits, I suggest you lay them all out on the bed and shoot me a phone pic. If there is something that looks like a total disaster, I can let you know or make suggestions if there is a shirt or shorts that could be easily swapped to tie it all together nicely.
Again, if you’re reading this going WHOA too many rules, this is just a guide for those who feel they need some pointers! Please remember, looking like YOU is truly the most important thing here, and if you are a fluro pattern hat loving family, then please don’t let me stop you!