“WHAT TO WEAR” – “WHAT TO EXPECT” GUIDE
Here is a guide to give you suggestions on “what to wear” and bring, as well as what to expect during your session.
FAMILY BEACH SESSIONS:
You’ve finally decided to have a family portrait done! Now, what should you wear? Here are a few tips on “what to wear” to make the images look great.
With the beauty of our Rhode Island beaches in mind, a laid-back casual look is probably the best way to go. Many families choose to coordinate their clothing choices for their beach portraits. You may want everyone to dress in identical colors, or simply color coordinate the group. Popular color choices include either white or pastel tops with khaki or denim slacks, pants or capris. As a general rule it’s best to avoid patterns, stripies and bright colors. Another suggestion is to choose one color theme such as blue and each person wears a slightly different shade or the boys wear one shade, girls another.
A great variation of the classic khaki/white or denim/white beach color scheme might be for the women and girls to wear long, flowing white dresses instead of slacks or capris.
A beach straw hat can be a nice touch for the girls as well.
Long or short sleeves generally work better than sleeveless. If you would like to wear sleeveless, make sure you are comfortable with how your arms look. Generally, long pants or capris are good. Sundresses are also pretty on Moms/girls. Don’t worry about your shoes..go barefoot! Remember that your nails and toenails will show in some of the shots.
Makeup should be kept as natural as possible. It is good to put some emphasis on your eyes and lips, but try not to overdo. Try not to get a sunburn before your shoot. It’s not a good look for your portrait. A fresh shave for men is recommended.
An evening sea breeze is quite normal along Rhode Island beaches. Even a slight wind can blow hair in front of your eyes and cause people to keep moving their arms and hands to remove it. The best advice is to use some hair product before you arrive or bring it along in case you need it. Headbands, clips, ties are another good alternative to bring with you.
Young children can bring a favorite beach toy. It might make a great shot if they are allowed to hold it. Sometimes, it may be the only way to get them to sit still for a shot. Please make sure the kids are rested and well fed before the shoot. It’s a good idea to have some backup snacks or treats too. Bribing helps sometimes!
I try and schedule beach photos towards the end of the day, about an hour or so before sunset. There are less people at the beach at the end of the day so we’ll have more privacy and hopefully we can get a beautiful sunset shot.
I take a variation of photos. Of course, I take several of the family all together. I also like to get other variations – just the kids, just Mom and Dad, Grandparents and the kids, each child alone, each child with just Mom, each child with just Dad. At the end, I like to just follow the kids around and get some candid, playful shots. If you have a specific set up you would like, please let me know beforehand and I will do everything I can do to accommodate your request.
FAMILY SESSIONS IN THE PARK OR HOME:
If you are having your family portrait taken at another location such as a park or at your home, all of the above applies. However, keep in mind your backdrop. If you have foliage in the background, neutrals or simple colors that will complement the foliage is good, such as a cranberry red, soft yellow or coral. If you having it your home, think about where you are going to hang the photo. Are you going to have a photo enlarged and hang it in a particular room? If so, what colors are in that rooms? Choose colors that compliment that space. Coordinate your outfits and add accessories.
Those are just a few simple suggestions for making your family photos look great! Remember, keep it simple and casual… fun and relaxed. These photos should not only be a treasured heirloom kept in your family for generations to come, they should be a fun memory too!
MATERNITY AND NEWBORN PORTRAITS:
Maternity sessions are all about capturing your beauty during your pregnancy, and the miracle of the baby growing inside you. It’s so important to be relaxed and comfortable during your session. Make this day about you. Don’t schedule a lot of things to do, eliminate distractions, and pamper yourself. It’s a great day for a manicure and pedicure. Hands and feet will show up in some of the images. Remove clothing that causes lines (such as socks etc.) a few hours before. Most maternity photos do bare some skin, so bring a robe to make yourself comfortable.
It’s best to only bring those who are being photographed to the session. If you would like your other children to be in the photos, having someone come with you for childcare for the remainder of the session is highly recommended.
Some clothing tips: I recommend some basics – yoga pants, tank tops, camisoles, lingerie, and jeans. Jeans that sit below the belly, and even jeans from before your pregnancy will work even if they can’t be zipped up. As long as they can fit up over the hips, they’ll work. Clothing that bares the belly work really well, such as a shrug that ties above your belly. Please make sure all clothing is either ironed or steamed. Beyond the basic clothing items, I will provide fabrics to create pregnancy wraps for you.
Be sure to bring your diaper bag, this will most likely be a 2 hour session or longer. Make sure you’ve had some snacks before and parents should wear layers as it gets warm in the room! The baby will mostly be photographed without clothes, but feel free to bring a favorite blanket, onesie, or hats!
For Mom, a simple black, short sleeved shirt or tube top are perfect. For Dad, a black tshirt and/or bare chest.
Other suggestions: sun dress, white button down blouse, yoga pants, blocks that spell baby’s name, sonogram photos(s), baby shoes, items you would like to be photographed with accessories, such as headbands, scarves, jewelry, jackets and hats can really add to your look. Other props (favorite sports teams, antique items, musical instruments). Color! Splashes of color look really great!!!
Senior sessions are so much fun! This is time focused on just YOU! Make sure you take some time to prepare your clothing choices and get your hair/nails ready.
Here are some suggestions for clothing choices:
- Solid color clothing photographs well. Avoid large patterns, stripes.
- Bring a variety of colors and styles. Bring a few accessories too. It’s a great idea to change your earrings, scarfs, hair accessories. Change the style and bring some dressy, some medium, some casual. For outdoor sessions, remember it’s likely that the only place to change is your vehicle. Bring your extra clothes on hangers, not stuffed in a bag.
Some of the shots will be close ups, some will be full length, so think about your feet and shoes too.
Bring props that define who you are. Some ideas are: Sports equipment (soccer ball, football, basketball, baseball, whatever), sports uniforms, music instruments (from school tuba to rock guitar), activities (dance leotard and shoes, swimming, hobbies, you name it!)
If you wear glasses, beware that they do cause glare. If you want to wear your glasses, check with your optometrist. They might be able to let you borrow an empty set of frames similar to yours for your photo session.
Try to avoid getting sunburned. That doesn’t photograph well. Make-up does wonders, but don’t go too heavy! Natural is best. Bring some to freshen up during the shoot.
There are many beautiful places here in RI to have a photo session. Some of my favorites are Roger Wheeler Beach, URI Botanical Gardens, Wildlife Refuges, the ruins at Scarborough beach.
You can bring your pets. However, if you do bring a pet, have a carrier or someone who can take care of it during the shoot.
We will be at the mercy of mother nature. Cloudy is fine, it actually can help at times. However, rain is a problem and we will have to reschedule.
Hopefully this information will help prepare you for your session. You will have a chance to talk to me prior to your session to ask any questions and get suggestions.