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I'm a photographer and educator based in Scottsdale, Arizona! Giving joyful people laughter filled and stress free photos and helping photographers turn their dream to grow their business into a plan that actually works!
A lot of it comes down to styling! There are many elements to a beautiful photo. Consider location, lighting and composition to name a few. They each play a part in the overall look of a photo, and so does styling! Styling can make or break a photo. And when I say “styling” I’m strictly talking about the outfit choices of your photography subject. Hair and makeup can influence the overall look as well! Yes, some sessions dive even further into styling by adding a bicycle, flowers or maybe even a cute VW bug! But those things aren’t necessary to create gorgeous imagery. An intentionally chosen outfit can make all the difference!
I believe it’s important for your client to be comfortable during a session. Part of that means wearing clothes that feels natural to them! I also believe they should choose an outfit that they feel confident in! That confidence will help them see how beautiful/handsome/adorable they really are! These tips aren’t telling your clients to wear something that doesn’t feel like them. They’re simply meant to guide them through their photo shoot fashion choices!
The days of matching white polo shirts and khaki pants are long gone. When it comes to photos that will last forever and be displayed in your home, I would avoid matching. It’s important to make sure every person is seen! And something to make that easier is individual styling!
What do I mean by coordinating? Choose a color palette. I would suggest three or four at the least. Let’s say you choose emerald green, pastel pink, cream and brown. Mom could be in an emerald green dress and pastel pink heels. Dad could wear a pastel pink (yes, men can wear pink), collared shirt with light brown pants and a darker shade of brown for his shoes. The son could wear a cream sweater, emerald green pants (they’re out there) and light brown shoes. The daughter could wear a pastel pink, patterned dress, a cream vest or cardigan with brown boots. Each color is used a couple times, and we won’t see an overwhelming amount of just one color.
This family chose a black and white color scheme with pink and taupe scattered in there!
I’m loving this mustard yellow, teal, and blue look! And they threw in a white vest to add more variety!
I can’t get enough of this pop of yellow! It’s the only color that is used just once and it adds something extra!
It can be hard to accomplish a cohesive color scheme with an extended family session. This family below did a phenomenal job at adding plenty of color variety while making sure it didn’t clash.
We want our photos to be visually appealing without anyone being able to pin point exactly why it’s pleasing to the eye. Basically, we want to add variety so that it looks effortless while knowing that it won’t actually be effortless. ;) Bringing variety to your outfits doesn’t have to be complicated. It’s as easy as adding a hat to a stylish outfit. Pairing a cardigan with a simple dress. Pulling a sweater over a polo shirt. Throwing on a suit jacket or fur vest to elevate a look. Belts, bows, scarves, suspenders, headbands, statement jewelry pieces. The list goes on.
Accessories are helpful, however it’s also important to add variety in the actual clothes. If there are three girls in the family, have one wear a dress with a statement necklace, another in a skirt with a belt and the last one in leggings or a romper with a vest. Or maybe there’s three boys? One could be in dark jeans with a sweater, another in colored pants and a jacket and one in well-fit, classic shorts with suspenders. All of that combined would probably be overkill. Every one in the family doesn’t need something extra! But, at least now you can see, the options are endless!
Look at this family from head to toe! You’ll see variety all over! It’s subtle, but it adds to the overall look!
This family chose a neutral color palette but that didn’t hold them back from adding variety in different ways!
This family added variety in simple, almost unnoticeable, ways! Can you spot the contrast?
This one’s gonna be short and sweet. This is your time to shine, as cheesy as that sounds. Make bold choices. Wear pink. Or orange. Try the hat. Buy the dress. Rent the suit. Don’t be afraid to try a pattern. Or a variety of colors. You deserve to stand out and to feel special. You deserve to make the absolute most of this photo session! Believe that and let your styling choices reflect it!
I’ll leave you with some more photos of families who coordinated colors, added variety and made bold choices! And now you’re ready to go do the same! I hope these tips help when it comes to your styling family clients!
Looking for even more inspiration? Head to my “What to Wear” Pinterest Board that I created to help with styling tips and suggestions for family clients!
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Thanks for sharing these tips. It sure will help in better photography.
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