I often get asked, "What should we wear?"
Step 1: Try to incorporate texture in at least one outfit. Texture includes lace (see photo above), crochet material, a chunky sweater, tulle material, a furry vest, sequins, etc. Choose one! I highly recommend cream/white lace because it tends to be the easiest to find and most popular, and looks great on girls at any age.
Step 2: To coordinate colors in your outfits, use this little trick... Choose 3 neutral colors (one of them being cream or white) and ONLY wear shades of those 3 neutral colors. I consider neutral colors to be: white, cream, gray, brown/ tan, black, and blue. So choose 3 or even 4! Easy! Want to add a pop of color? Do step 1 and step 2, then have only *one person* wearing a bit of color. No more than 1 person or it will be too much.
Tip: Stay away from huge logos or words on your shirt, which are very distracting. Don't wear a t-shirt with a huge "Abercrombie" written across the front of it.
Tip: Men and boys should dress in layers! Yes! Plus it's a good way to incorporate more shades of your 3 neutral colors so all of your outfits will coordinate together.
Tip: Stick with mostly solid colors and only have 1 person maximum (if any) wearing a patterned shirt (stripes, flowers, or a checkered shirt). Too many patterns in too many outfits look "busy" and confusing all together and distract from your faces. Simple rule: If one of you wears a patterned shirt, NOBODY else in the family should wear a patterned shirt!
Tip: Don't have everyone matchy-matchy! If everyone is wearing khaki pants and white shirts, you might be in a time warp to photography of the '90s. Use Step 2 above to help you and choose a different outfit for every person! It's not as difficult as you might think. Start with the children first, then find something with lace for Mommy, then do Dad's outfit last. If Mommy is wearing khaki pants, Dad should not be wearing khaki pants, etc.
Tip: Men should wear a long-sleeve button-down shirt with a collar (and can roll up the sleeves in warm weather), tucked out for a more casual look (see photo above) or tucked in with a belt. Men should NOT wear just a t-shirt, which makes guys look frumpy and shows every little pudge. Instead of a t-shirt, men need a thicker shirt with a fold-over collar, like a polo shirt. Or better yet, dress in layers.
Tip: Men, your socks will show at some point! Wear your best dress socks and your nicest shoes.
Tip: Wear jewelry! Ladies, get that engagement ring cleaned!
Tip: I tend to do some "details" shots, so I might get a close-up of your hands. Make sure those fingernails are clean! Ladies, you might consider having your nails painted.
Tip: If you have more than 3 people in your family, have someone wear stripes!
Tip: Ladies, leave the super high heels at home. We will be doing some walking at the park for a few shots, so you will want something comfortable. If it has recently rained, high heels will just sink into the soft dirt and it will be difficult to walk.
Tip: No neon colors. Ever. Please, no! Neon colors tend to reflect the neon color onto your faces with the lenses I use, especially orange.
Tip: If you have a toddler boy, neutral colored suspenders are always cute. I have some in navy blue, so just ask!
Tip: No more than 2 people in a family session should wear jeans (if any at all), and no more than 1 person in a couple session! In an engagement session or maternity session, try to avoid jeans altogether. But if you absolutely must wear jeans, make sure it is a very dark shade of blue jean.
Tip: So you want to add a pop of bright color? Follow my rule for Step 2 above and add 1 "pop" color to someone's outfit. Only have one person wearing the little pop of color or it will be too much!
Tip: When in doubt of what to wear, choose shades of cream, gray, and brown. That means your outfit colors can be: cream, white, light gray, dark gray, gray, light brown, dark brown, khaki, tan, brown. Easy!
Remember, these are only suggestions! Honestly, wear whatever you want! If you like my style, you might want to consider my tips above, since I have spent a lot of time studying outfit choices for photography. A lot of clients text me their outfits and ask for advice. No problem at all! I love to help!
"What should we bring?"
Keep it simple. But I highly recommend bringing a lovely bouquet of flowers wrapped in a brown paper bag (see photo above) to add a lovely pop of color for engaged couples, maternity sessions, and family sessions. For family sessions, bring a favorite family book that you love or a cream/white quilt to sit on or if you have a big letter of your last name. For sessions involving a toddler, feel free to bring a favorite noisy toy or your mom/sister to help me get some smiles! For maternity sessions, bring baby booties and a sonogram photo of the baby. For all session types, have some mosquito repellent handy at the park, just in case. And bring cold water for your family to drink.
Houston Fine Art Film Photographer AWalker Photography