Once we have determined light and location that reflect your family’s personality and style, it is time to discuss what to wear.
If the location we have chosen is to be as much a part of the story as the people, then I like using neutral tones for the clothing. This way the people, background, and clothing aren’t all competing for attention.
For example, I love love love the peony gardens in Ann Arbor. Did you know it is the largest peony garden in North America? For my daughter’s annual session, I chose to keep her dress very neutral so her expressions and the flowers would take center stage.
I wanted to add a pop of color for this image; and I knew her butterfly wings would be pretty close in color to the peonies, so I had her put on the wings and “fly” away.
And for a fall session, I dressed both of my kiddos in cream, so the fall colors would stand out.
For this image, I started with just her cream, sweater dress. But the color of the trees was so vibrant that I thought it created too much contrast with her cream dress and she looked washed out. When I put her jewel toned jacket on, the colors looked just right.
For this afternoon session, we used the shade created by the buildings. I knew we would stay under the gray of the buildings, so I encouraged mom to dress this happy, baby girl in something bright so she would stand out.
This fun family session took place in mid November. Most of the fall color was gone, and we knew it was probably going to be an overcast day. So in this case, I encouraged the family to go bold with their clothing. I LOVE mom’s pop of color in her pants and how the girls’ clothing have shades of pink without being too matchy matchy.
Sometimes clients ask about mixing patterns. In this case I love how the girls don’t match in the traditional sense, but the different patterns work because the colors are similar.
When choosing what to wear for a family session, I find it easy to start with my daughter’s wardrobe. I usually find a dress with a pattern, then pull out the colors from the pattern for the rest of us. I am guessing that is how this next client planned their wardrobe as well.
I am happy to help you prepare for your session. I have gone to client’s homes to “shop” in their closets to put together a look and most of my clients send me phone pictures for feedback. If you are looking for inspiration, I also have a board on my photography pinterest page to help you get ideas. Aside from considering how the clothes will look together (and with the backdrop) also consider what fits your family’s style.