I’ve been utilizing Pinterest for years to gather ideas for photography sessions. It’s a great way to refine ideas & collaborate with my subjects. You get a good idea of the kind of vibe clients are looking for.
For example I have a client coming up soon for an adult cake smash! I've had a great time collecting ideas for poses and props! And now I can send this board to the client and get her input on what if any of these ideas work for her.
Its also a great way to get hyped for a session and come up with ideas of your own.
Take this photo from the A family photo session as a concrete example.
Having a board to share with the main client was a great way to see what she was thinking outfits wise. This helped me decide where to hold the photoshoot.
I was able to come up with a rustic setting that played well with their color pallet. it was a good way to get communication going and see what everyone was thinking.
1. Most importantly you want these photos to reflect who you are as a family.
Your photos should be a reflection of your family’s personality and where you are in your life at this moment. Outfits are a good way to show your family’s personality.
Ashley Lastovica who blogs at Fancy Ashley writes in an article on Huff Post about why she picked those adorable rain boots.
2. Try to keep Stacy London’s maxim in mind: “It doesn’t have to MATCH, it just has to GO.”
Your families outfits need not be identical (in fact most people avoid it) they only need to complement each other. Pinterest is a good starting point for finding outfit color schemes.
3. Aim for a timeless look.
These are photos that are going to be hanging on your family’s walls for years. To that end aim for outfits that don’t include big logos and characters as they can be very distracting for the viewer. In that same vein avoid holiday themed outfits—you don’t want your pictures to feel out of place on your walls once the holiday is over.
4. Think about the background.
While you don’t need to wear neon you don’t want to blend into the background. Now is the time to stand out with your family. For example a good color palette if you are being photographed in a field of sunflowers would use blue and avoid yellow. Amy Allender has a photo session which is a great example of this tip.
5. Textures and Patterns and Monotones! Oh My!
Avoid tiny strips and tiny checked patterns they don’t read well in photos. Also consider avoiding shirts that are all black or all white. All black shirts tend to lose any details they might have while all white tends to wash people out.
Use accessories such as scarves and necklaces to add texture. Textures add depth to your photos.
6. Comfortable people make for excellent photos. Part 1.
Keep the weather in mind when picking outfits for family photos.
Especially with little ones it can be hard to get high quality shots when they are distracted by being too hot or too cold.
Check out this session by Natalia Drause Photography
7. Comfortable people make for excellent photos. Part two.
Something else to keep in mind is to avoid itchy or tight clothes they can be distracting and make it hard for people to relax and poise. This is one of the reasons I personally prefer to go ‘closet shopping’ when I’m getting my photos taken. I know what pieces of clothing fit well and are comfortable without having to visit a ton of stores.
8. Have your kids help pick out their outfits.
While they might need some guidelines to follow having your kids help pick their outfits is a great way to get them excited about the photo session. Be sure to try on all parts of the outfit to ensure that all parts fit and aren’t itchy or otherwise objectionable. As I said before comfortable people take fantastic photos.
Joy Chu writes about including her kids in the process on her blog.
9. Look at the big picture.
Once you have all the outfits picked out place them on the bed and check to see if they all work well together. A coherent look is your goal so now is a good time to see what works and what doesn’t.
10. Ready Set Go!
Once your outfits are chosen note which pieces (if any) will need dry cleaning and arrange to do that a few days early so they will be ready before the photoshoot. Otherwise you should be ready to go with a big part of your family photoshoot all ready to go.
Jessica is ready to preserve your family at every stage of their life.