What to wear in photos, COUPLE edition!! I’m so excited about this one. These two pieces were found at H&M and are under $100 together (only $85 actually!).

Women’s Dress @ H&M
Men’s Jacket @ H&M
Where to take photos with your love?
  • a tall grass field would be romantic,
  • restaurant patio tables, you know the black iron kind, would be sophisticated,
  • under an umbrella in a spring rain would be fun and creative,
  • on a busy street would be modern and could even become elegant with the right scenery,
  • on a blanket, under a big tree, with a picnic basket and loaf of bread and fruit would be lovely and classic.


Tired of taking sub-par photos of your kids? These 3 simple adjustments will have you taking the photographs you like in no time.

1- Get close! Don’t be afraid. Get right up in their space. They really don’t have a sense of personal space anyway.

2- Eliminate distractions. Push aside extra toys, blankets, etc. These things clutter your photo and keep your eye from the main event, your cute kid!

3- Aim for center. Frame your shot so you are getting their nose right in the middle of your camera view. If you were playing tic-tac-toe in/on your camera viewer, this would be the center space, or just above it on the line.

How I got the shot above. The sun was close to setting. We took a quick walk to a grassy area near our house. I asked him to lay in the grass but he was getting itchy and didn’t want to lay his head down. He had his hands behind his head like he was relaxing. I stood over him (with one foot basically on either side of his head). I said something funny like, “Watch out, I’m going to sit on you!” And then I took a few shots. This one is my favorite.

In Photoshop I brightened his teeth, adjusted the lighting a little bit, changed it to black and white, and took off a few specks of “boy dust” as I call it off his face (aka DIRT).

One of the questions clients ask the most is, “What should we wear?” Here’s one suggestion for a spring family photo shoot. I choose all these items from Old Navy. All you need to do is add a few of your own basics and accessories. Best part, these pieces come in under $100.

My best advice for what to wear for family photos is this:

  1. We want to wear matching polos and jeans. Is that okay? Please don’t match! It seems like a good (and maybe even easy) idea at first, but the photos turn out less interesting. Most of the time, the matching outfit, is not what someone would normally wear, and it’s obvious that they are uncomfortable. Not really what you want your face to say in a photo that will hang on the wall for a while. ((I am re-reading this and want to add, I have seen matching clothes (i.e. all white) successful when #5 is applied))
  2. Can you do my hair and makeup? No! And neatness counts! Go ahead and iron and remove those grass stains. Hair cuts are good too. Fresh skin and hair are a must. Photoshop can only do so much :)
  3. Is it okay if we try something new? Keep your style consistent with what you would normally wear. If you are not a leather jacket kind of person, family photos is not really the time to experiment with this look. Likewise, if you are not a pearls and ballet flat’s kind of mom, don’t force yourself into that either.
  4. What colors should we wear? Have you visited Pinterest? There are all kinds of great color scheme ideas there (for photos and otherwise). Again, this is not the time to experiment with colors you don’t normally wear. I think a good rule of thumb is to pick 3 coordinating colors, and one accent. For example my family’s last photo shoot we wore: Navy, white, khaki, and our accent was apple green. Check out my board on what to wear in photos on Pinterest. And this other color board might give you some inspiration too.
  5. Are simple outfits best? Layer, layer, layer. Some of my favorite photo shoots include styling where kids are dressed in layers and/or include multiple textures in their clothing. For fall and winter this is a bit easier, i.e. a t-shirt with button down shirt on top, covered with a sweater vest and a blazer. For spring or summer try layering with accessories, i.e. a hat and a scarf. Another idea: layer tank tops and skirts with leggings underneath. If you check out your favorite store’s home page or catalog, you’ll see great examples of how their stylists put the brand’s clothes together for their own photo shoots.
  6. Should I dress for the location? Depending on where you are taking your photos, the weather does not have to dictate your clothing. My family took our family photos on the beach every year. Sometimes we took a “summer” themed shot in November. Yes it was freezing, and we would grab our coats between shots, but my mother would have us wear summer clothes. We laugh about it now (and we cried about it then), but the photos look like it was a beautiful summer day. Same goes for using a more urban or industrial location. Free yourself up to choose clothing for the family that you like, and don’t limit yourself by the current season or weather conditions.
  7. Can we wear prints? You don’t really want your clothes to over power the subjects in the photos. This can happen with prints. Some people have amazing style sense and can pull prints off really well in ways I would never expect. Most of us don’t fall into that category. If you are going to put a few people in prints (stripes, plaids, patterns, flowers) Keep the prints varied in size. And try keeping some of them under layers of other things (i.e. a plaid shirt on dad, under a blazer. AND a printed shirt on your little guy with a solid tee underneath.)

Have any tips on what to wear in family photos? Or what NOT to wear? Would you like me to talk about this more often?

This was such a fun shoot of a set of three brothers right here in St.Louis, MO. These are some of my favorite little guys. Check out the eyes on the oldest boy. Aren’t they amazing?!

Sometimes you just can’t get every kid in their best moment. (Did you notice the little one wasn’t quite so thrilled to be getting his photo taken.) The best thing you can do is just work with it. We tried a few breaks, but he was just tired. I actually gave the parents with a few crying shots. Why not? Kids do spend a lot of time crying. I am so glad I got some shots (one one shown here) of the mom soothing the little guy, which was not in the original plans.

You know I love printing photos online. And getting cash back by starting here with Ebates, saves me even more. I got this coupon code in my inbox today for 50% off Photo Books. Wouldn’t this make a great Mother’s or Father’s Day gift? Start at Ebates, and shop Snapfish. Use code HALFOFFBOOKS by 4/15/12. Fine print says you can use it up to 5 times per customer!

Let me know how your book turns out. Did you choose to tell a story with your photos, or document an event? I think I might FINALLY make one for each of my kids with photos from the last year. I always intend to this for their birthday’s, and I haven’t gotten around to it.

Posted in DIY

Boys give you a run for your money, that’s for sure. Here is a small selection of some young men I photographed this year. It’s fun to pull them out of their shells, sometimes challenging, but usually they warm up after I start talking video games, bugs, or sports.

To help boys feel comfortable in photographs, let them lead. Ask them how they feel about the location, or even where they want to pose. I like to ask lots of questions and let them talk through the photos. It usually helps them relax their face and stop trying to pose the way mom might have suggested on the way to the shoot.