FAMILY session + STYLE GUIDE

Family Photography Style Guide

PREP FOR MOM

As a mama myself who has had her fair share of photo sessions, I get how stressful this can be.  Here is some prep work that will really help make for a stress free and love filled session <3

  1. Talk to your children about me as if I am a friend!  When you are at home, refer to me by first name (i.e. "We are going to see Emily this week for something really fun!")  This will create a sense of knowing me prior to our session, and will allow them to get comfortable with me much easier.
  2. Talk about our session as an adventure or something to look forward to!  No need to threaten them with "best behavior"; I don't want this to be tedious for anyone.  My photography is moment based, so there is a sense of calm that we are looking to achieve.
  3. Bribery is 100% ok with me!  For both kiddies and dada ;)  If ice cream after our session is the way to their heart, then ice cream it up mama!  If alone time with dad is needed as a bride, give grandma a call for a little babysitting afterwards!
  4. I want you to know that you do not even have to look at me during our session.  I am there for you entirely throughout the session.  This is about love and connection, not looking at the camera and smiling "cheese".  And just know, that if your kid has a total meltdown during out session- that too is okay!  You are safe with me, and I promise we'll get through it with some amazing images.

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STYLING

What you wear is key to a successful session! 

Clothing compliments who you are as a family, speaks to the environment in which the session is taking place, and coordinates with the home where final images will be displayed.  Your style should be as unique as your family, so I've put together some clothing advice for a creative and comfortable session.

I also understand that styling can be overwhelming, but I am here to help all the way.   Send me pictures of what you're thinking, get me involved!  There is nothing you can't ask.  Let's get some Pinterest boards together and start the inspiration flowing...

 

pinterst Style inspo Board:

https://www.pinterest.com/emmyshepherdphoto/style-inspiration/

pinterest Family inspo board:

https://www.pinterest.com/emmyshepherdphoto/family-posing-inspiration/


10 Styling quick Tips

  1. If you are not comfortable in what you are wearing, it will show in your images.  You must feel good in what you're wearing so your mind is free to love on your babies during our session - #1 Rule!
  2. Try to stick with earthy tones and rich colors.  This not only compliments the earthy location of our session, sticking with this guideline will allow you to get creative with patterns while still remaining cohesive in style.  Stay away from bright/ neon/ florescent colors.
  3. To get your kids excited about your session, get them involved in picking out their clothes.  Let the child choose a special accessory or if they have something dear to them such as a comfort object, allow them to bring it along.  It also helps tell the story of your family.
  4. Layer, Layer, Layer!  Layers add dimension and depth. In the summer?  Layer with a cute belt or pendant necklace.  Fall or winter?  Cardigans, belts, scarves, hats, blazers etc.
  5. Remember your shoes will also be photographed.  Consider them as part of the style and fit along with the rest of your vision.
  6. Colors & Patterns: Mix and Match earth toned colors and floral patterns to create dimension and interest
  7. Accessories: Flower crowns (for both mom and little girls), Hats, Necklaces, and Jewelry all work great as natural props.
  8. Flow: The style of clothing you choose are another layer to all the elements in a dreamy session.
  9. Drama: Sweeping dresses and clothing with movement can play up the mood.
  10. Dress for the weather, and be flexible.  Dress appropriately for the weather the day of your session, even if it doesn't go with your original plan.  Children cold/ hot during their sessions are typically fussy and not able to relax, and it will reflect in the final images.

 

for the whole family

  • Choose a palette of 3-4 colors and mix it up, including both pants and dresses.  You want a cohesive feel but without being overly 'matchy-matchy'.
  • To get the flow going with a family wardrobe, mama start with you outfit and build from there!
  • Arrange your outfits ahead of time on a big bed, including accessories.  This will give you a full view of the look.  Feel free to share these looks with me for help!

 

Family Maternity Elopement Engagement photographer Maryland DC Virginia
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Babies & kids

The most important part of pulling together your child's wardrobe is allowing their personality to shine through in what they're wearing.  

If your daughter has a favorite pair of boots, let her wear them (at least in a few shots!).  If your son prefers running around naked to being fully clothes, we'll let him strip down at the end of the session!  If your child loves to wear hats and sunglasses, bring them!  

Whatever makes your child their own adorable, individual self, let's focus on those things.  Here are some additional tips for styling...

 

  • Timeless always has a place.  The most simple of outfits- that smock dress that's a family heirloom, or a plain white lace dress with a simple bow.  How about a simple yet beautiful diaper cover on a naked baby!  These outfits (or lack thereof) will always stand the test of time and will never go out of style
  • Dress the kids to their unique personality- layers here go a long way!  Hats, glasses, vests, bow ties, cardigans, tights or leggings under a skirt.  I do recommend making the outer layer (blazer, cardi, jacket) fit snugly.  I usually purchase the outer layer one size smaller than normal, as they tend to run on the bigger side.
  • When you are styling boys- look for fun accessories such as suspenders and hats.  Going shirtless for outdoor summer sessions adds to the carefree mood.  Layers also are a fun way to play up textures and personalize a little guys wardrobe.
  • Accessories for girls should be simple.  The only time where you can get away with a larger accessory for the hair is when a child has a lot of hair, or long hair.
  • Remember- non-fussy, casual clothes keep kids comfortable.  Comfort allows for natural expressions of their real personalities.
  • Most likely you will be shopping for clothes just for this session, so make sure to buy clothes that fits the perfectly now, not with room to grow.
Family photographer eastern shore maryland

adults

Choose clothes that flatter your body type and coordinate well with the rest of the group.

  • Men: clean shaven please, unless your beard is part of your spirit, then groom it up!
  • Men: Have hair cut about a week prior to our session.
  • Women: Hair down, with curls if possible, adds beautiful texture and flow to the images.
  • Women: Have a natural makeup look that is slightly heavier than usual.
  • Women: Simple and solid colors with your manicured nails (think OPI Bubble Bath) 

what not to wear

  1. Steer clear of fluorescents! Florescent colors tend to color cast on faces, necks, and hair.  They're harsh and not flattering.  If you like bright colors, I recommend primary colors with an earthy undertone- mustard yellow, brick red, navy blue, for example.
  2. Avoid logos or anything with characters.  Elmo is cute, but not plastered on your wall ;)
  3. Avoid flashy and oversized bows, spider-man sneakers, and anything else that will detract from the family as a whole
  4. Stay away from green clothing.  Given that I primarily shoot outside in earthy areas, Green clothing can be too much.  Green as an accent color is completely fine, but you want to stand out of the background, not blend in with it
  5. Avoid loud patterns, wrinkled clothes, and big white leather sneakers.
  6. For dada's and boys- in the summer months steer clear of socks!  They don't photograph well, so I recommend sock-less for the session.  For my son, I would bring an extra pair on the side!
  7. Generally, sleeveless shirts and shorts on adults tend not to flatter, but layers of clothing is fabulous!  Mama can be an exception here in the hot summer months with flowy sleeveless dresses.
  8. Avoid dressy clothes- this really isn't that type of shoot.  Casual and comfortable is what you are looking for!  If you are looking to break away and have a more formal attire, let's talk more about it so I can understand your vision!

favorite shops

 

  • Chasing Unicorns
  • - This is easy, breezy, comfy & boho-chick, but pricey! $$$-$$$$ 
  • Anthropology.com - Unique clothing that will last forever.  Truly a favorite! $$$$
  • Zara.com - This site is an easy one to get lost in!  So many adorable pieces, shoes, accessories, etc. for men, women, and children. $$-$$$$
  • Francescas.com - I love love love this store!  Everything feels like a unique piece, affordable, and photographs perfectly! $$-$$$
  • AE.com - American Eagle has stood the test of time, and for good reason!  Great jeans, relaxed style, layers & layers, and affordable clothes that are easily worn again and again!  This was a recent find for me again, they've upped their game! $$- $$$
  • Threadsense.com - Beautiful and unique boho style clothing and accessories.  Stick with the dresses here! $$-$$$
  • Modcloth.com - A fun, flirty, affordable site for women's timeless dresses, tops, and the best shoes and accessories! $$-$$$$
  • HM.com - I consider H&M the holy grail for inexpensive shoot clothing!  Boy and men clothing is a big win here too!  Awesome low price point with trousers/ pants at around $10 and super cute little cardigans, sweaters, button downs and other great accessories for super low prices.  Keep in mind that H&M sizes run big and can fit differently than you may be used to.  Give time to try and exchange with this store. $-$$
  • Shopruche.com - Another great site for women's dresses and tops.  Gorgeous, gorgeous clothing! $$$
  • For additional accessories: