The Ultimate Style Guide for Family Sessions

Updated: Jan 2, 2021

Hey babes! Tiff here. I'm ready to give you all the juicy details about styling your outfits for the perfect family session. I want to share color schemes, layering outfits, and where to find the best deals! Enough with the chitty chat - Lets get started.

1. Firstly, write down at least 3 things you think your style entails. Are you dark and mysterious? Do you tend to gravitate more to dark colors? Or... do you prefer the California look with bright tones & airy feel. It is totally up to you, (with the exception of the photographer). The internet is filled with a bunch of photographers that really want to work with you and deliver a gallery that showcases your style & most importantly who you are! But, it's important to research before making any decisions. Photographers spend lots of painstaking hours trying to find their style. We go through trials & errors with editing, we drive ourselves crazy trying to get our camera settings perfect. So, when you are on your photographer's website and see a reoccurring style, please don't expect them to change it for your session. If their style is not prevalent (more often than not it is) just ask! **For me, I prefer high contrast, dark blacks, and lots of colorful saturation in combination with un-posed & natural looks.** We rather discuss it than edit and send a gallery that isn't up to par. Also, if you have a request for a certain look make sure you make it known. Photographer's will agree or disagree and send you on your way (respectfully, of course!). It is their art, their personality coming through in your photos. Find someone you can vibe with and LOVE, but also appreciate their style. Three things photographers will not budge on: change in style, raw images are not for everyone to see, and yes we do want that plate of food if we are at an event! LOL

2. Does it matter? Um, yes. Well, for me at least. I am located in NJ and the best part about this area is that we get to experience all four seasons, (also the band in Atlantic City but let's get back to style). When I take family photos I like to parallel the color scheme and vibe with the month. So, if it's fall let's plan for dark colors like burnt oranges and burgundies. If it's summer, whip out those flowy and airy sun dresses and t-shirts and let's get to shooting!! FYI Just because colors are light or dark, that necessarily does not solely create your look. Editing is a large part of the equation. You can have light colors with deep contrast and dark blacks, you can also have dark colors that create a more airy vibe. It's in the edit, lighting, and posing.

3. Once you book with your photographer and decide on an epic location, start planning what you want your style to look like. Pinterest is a savior, and it's there for a reason! So go pin your heart out, girl (or boy!). When I work with clients I always recommend that they text or email me Pinterest inspiration. No, it's not a rip off of another person's work & no your session will NOT look exactly the same. BUT it definitely gives the photographer an idea of what look you are going for and how we can make that epic photoshoot happen! Take a look at your location and coordinate appropriately. If you are heading to the beach, cowboy boots are probably not the best choice and you most likely won't show up for a photoshoot in the snow in a bikini. (Unless you are into that kind of thing, KYLIE JENNER).


4. Got your style down? Figure out what month you want to photograph your session? Location coordinated? Great! Now let's shop, baby! Let's be honest, no one wants to drop a couple of hundred bucks on a session, only to spend another few hundred on outfits. That is why it's best to find stores that have quality clothing but don't break the bank. It's also important to buy items that can be reused, recycled, or resold. (Facebook market place is a thing ya know!) Got a party next weekend? Maybe you can wear that cute dress you bought for our shoot. See what I mean? Save yourself time & effort and think practically. Again, if laid back, un-posed, and natural photos are not your thing this tip might not work for you and that's ok! There are a ton of high fashion photographer's that prefer to showcase their own style. If you are into that sort of thing, make sure that your photographer is aware beforehand. Renting an outfit is always an option, just like that beauty posted above. Gorgeous girl, gorgeous dress, and a sufficient way to add a little pop to the session! Talk about your expectations so that both you and your photographer are on the same page.


5. Get to your local GoodWill and ASAP. If you are into high-fashion, now's your chance to fabricate a high fashion look for less. Find styles that just might not exist anymore but make for awesome photos (example, bring me all of the corduroy and mustard tones straight from the 70's... I live for it!)


Peep down below. I listed a few color wheels for you guys! Not sure if that tone of green goes with your light blue jeans? I've got it covered. Another rule of thumb, coordinate with your backdrop. If you are shooting in a park in the spring expect lots of green and bright tones. You know what looks really nice with green and bright? Maybe some burgundies or navies--- contrast, my friend, makes everything better. Maybe you want to head in a completely direction and choose crisp whites for a more airy vibe! See what I mean? The direction is what you prefer and what works as the perfect combination between the client & the photographer. December is coming up and you insisted on an outdoor shoot? Welp, expect lot's of brown tones and high contrast. Maybe pick a nude tone to contrast the dark tones of the winter and allow your family to be the center of attention! It's all in the style, location, lighting, and posing. Put it in a pot and mix it up and you have the ingredients to your perfect styled shoot!

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