I hope you enjoy these images from my last fall session of 2017! I had the season almost wrapped up when this mama asked if there was any way I could squeeze her family in. She had been hoping for family portraits for ages and was ready to make it happen and I'm so glad! It's so important to have pictures of your family hanging in your home. Nothing makes your kids feel appreciated the way having their pictures displayed prominently in the home does. You will never regret having your family portraits taken, I promise! Just ask Jennie!
This mama contacted me about doing a surprise photo session of her kids as a Father's Day gift for her husband. In March. At first, I was a bit confused as to why she wanted to schedule it so early. Then she explained to me that in Spain, where they are from, Father's Day is on March 19 this year. And so we did the session in March!
I have had to save these photos for over a week and it's been so hard not to share them with you before now! But now that the surprise is out I can show you these fun photos of these sweet siblings and their mama. The afternoon of the session was absolutely gorgeous and I love how these turned out!
I am so fond this family! They have such an amazing story of waiting on the Lord and then being blessed with (and surprised by) triplets, followed by twins, followed by sweet baby C. I love documenting their normal because their normal is always exciting! I had the chance to spend a morning with them last week and let me tell you, their mommy is amazing! There is no perfection in motherhood for any of us, but I love watching Sarah with her kids. She radiates love and patience and her children adore her! Enjoy this little glimpse into their crazy, ordinary lives.
"WHAT SHOULD WE WEAR?"
A lot of people struggle with this question. What on earth are you supposed to wear for family photos anyway? It can get even trickier when it comes to lifestyle sessions. Since we're relaxed in our home, should we dress more casually? How casual is too casual? If we're not careful, we can get stressed about the session because we are so worried about our clothes. I'm here to help.
When dressing your family for a session, keep it simple. Wear simple clothes that won't detract from the subject of the photos - your family. You don't need to match or all wear the same color. In fact, it's best not to do those things. But you should coordinate. That just means your clothes should look nice next to each other.
Actually, it's more about what you should not wear than about what you should wear. Here are a few tips:
DON'T HAVE EVERYONE MATCH EXACTLY
The days of everyone wearing plain white shirts and jeans are behind us. If you're too matchy-matchy, you are drawing attention to the clothes instead of the people and the memories being captured.
AVOID BRIGHT COLORS AND LOUD PATTERNS
Notice, I did not say no colors or patterns. But there is a difference between bright primary colors and soft pastels. In terms of color, stick with light or dark and avoid anything that would be labeled "bright." (This rule wouldn't necessarily apply to an outdoor session, but for a lifestyle session inside the home, there is enough going on that the bright colors are a bit too much.) There is also a difference between a bright, large floral print and a soft plaid, or gray with white stripes. So in terms of color and pattern, remember to keep it simple.
STEER CLEAR OF GRAPHICS
That means no silkscreened T-shirts. This rule applies to both children and adults. No cartoons, no sports teams, no pictures or large letters. The one exception I would make to this rule would be allowing older siblings to wear a "big brother" or "big sister" shirt if a new baby has just arrived.
"So now that I know what NOT to wear, what should I wear?"
MIX NEUTRALS AND SOFT COLORS
Neutrals include black, denim, khaki, white, off-white, gray, and even navy. Colors should be either soft pastels (pink, light blue, pale green) or dark colors (burgundy, dark green, deep plum). Keep in mind that the colors you choose for each family member do not have to match, but they should look nice together. Ideally, you would choose two, or no more than three, colors for the entire family.
PATTERNS ARE OKAY, BUT CHOOSE THE RIGHT ONES
Patterns can make your wardrobe look less boring and add some texture! When choosing patterns, look for small simple patterns in soft or neutral colors.
PAY ATTENTION TO FIT AND COMFORT
Be sure everyone's clothing fits well and is comfortable. Clothing that is too large or too small can be distracting, even on children. Make sure clothing is wrinkle-free and easy to move around in. It would be a pity to dislike your photos because you think it looks like you have a muffin top or your husband's belly is showing.
BONUS TIP: GO BAREFOOT
We all know that during your in-home lifestyle session, the photographer is going to go for the infamous everyone-on-the-bed shot. This would look weird if you were all wearing shoes. If you can't stand the thought of your bare feet being in the photos, sit in a way that hides them. But please, whatever you do, don't show off your socks in the photos! Socks just aren't attractive and they will distract from the rest of the photo. Barefoot is the way to go!
Now that you know how to pick out your clothes, relax! Most likely you already have pieces in your closet that will work. At most, you may need to buy one or two pieces, but you shouldn't need to go out and buy entire outfits for each member of your family. Being happy with your clothing choices means you'll be even happier with your photos. And now that you have your wardrobe taken care of you can sit back and enjoy your session and the fun time you're sure to have with your favorite people!
Do you enjoy having your portrait taken? I must confess, I hate having mine taken! I feel so self-conscious trying to figure out how to stand, where to put my hands, whether I should smile or not, where I’m supposed to be looking. Most people I know feel the same way. Having our photos taken can feel awkward, so many of us put off having our photos taken for as long as we can.
The thing we are forgetting when we fail to schedule family photos because of our own insecurities, is that one day we will look back and wish we had more photos of the whole family together. We all know that life happens so fast. As the saying goes, the days are long, but the years are short. Your family is changing, your children are growing, your life is passing by! That’s why it’s so important to have your family photographed at least once a year. You need to document those changes and that growth!
But what if you could do more than just capture what everyone looks like this year? What if you could capture the essence of your family? What if you could document your favorite weekend activities together? What if you could frame the way your children interact with each other, rather than just how tall they have gotten? What if you could capture the way your husband plays and jokes with them? Or the way your youngest child still likes to snuggle on your lap? What about the way your toddler still curls up her finger and sucks on it. You might want her to stop sucking her finger, but you don’t want to forget how she looked when she was doing it.
That’s what a lifestyle session is all about! It allows me to capture so much more than how you look. It allows me to capture who you are! Imagine having professional quality photos of your son playing with his favorite dinosaur toy on the top bunk. Or a canvas worthy photo of your entire family giggling on the couch. You can have meaningful photos that evoke memories!
So what can you expect from a lifestyle session? How is it different from a regular portrait session? Well, for starters, a lifestyle session can happen anywhere! More often than not, lifestyle sessions are photographed in the home. The beauty of an in-home session is that it does not have to be subject to the weather. These cold winter months are the perfect time to schedule a lifestyle session in your home.
Another difference between a lifestyle session and a regular portrait session is that a lifestyle session allows you to be less formal. Yes, there will still be a few suggestions regarding dress, but you can feel comfortable dressing casually and looking more like yourself. You can be barefoot and wear your favorite pair of jeans because the goal of a lifestyle session is to preserve the memory of who you are, not to make you seem perfect.
And the most important difference between these two types of sessions, is that during one of my lifestyle sessions there is no formal posing! You will simply be able to enjoy the people you love in your own home while I capture you interacting with one another. You may be nervous that this will seem awkward, but trust me, it’s not!
What if you want frame worthy photos? Trust me, you’ll be more likely to stop on your way down the hall and enjoy the photos hanging there if they evoke emotion. A picture of your toddler laughing? Perfect for a frame. A photo of your little girl twirling? That’s the way you always want to remember her.
If you have been considering a lifestyle session but have just been a little be nervous about the unknown, I would love to answer any questions you have and walk you through what a session in your home might look like! Feel free to send me an email and I’ll be happy to give you some more information. I’m sure that once you get an idea of what a lifestyle session could be for your family, you’ll be excited to book one!
You can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Can’t wait to hear from you!