All About Portrait Sessions
STYLE TIPS FOR HIM & KIDS
Tops & Bottoms
In the same way that a dress is the most flattering silhouette for the female body, a blazer, sports coat, or jacket has the same flattering effect for men. You can’t go wrong with a dress shirt, slacks, and a blazer.
Long sleeves are more flattering than short sleeves on men, so we’d recommend steering clear of t-shirts or polos, and instead opting for a long-sleeve button-down. The other benefit to long sleeves is we can roll the sleeves up for a slightly more casual look, which gives you two looks with one shirt.
For colors, I recommend neutrals and soft. When selecting your pieces, I recommend choosing a different “weight” for the pants and coat. So for example, navy pants (darker) and a heather gray blazer (lighter). Or gray pants (darker) with a soft powder blue shirt (lighter).
When selecting an outfit for photos, the most important part isn’t the price. It’s the fit. For men, it’s important to have a jacket that fits snugly (but not too tight), and pants that are the correct length and don’t have too many breaks. Just like high heels make women look taller than they are, bunched-up fabric stacked on top of a man’s shoes makes him look physically shorter than he really is.
Solid colors will help keep the attention where it belongs, whereas pinstripes or plaid patterns tend to distract the eye, so stay away from too strong of prints, avoid logos, and opt for solids instead.
The next time you walk by a store like J. Crew or Banana Republic, you’ll notice the male mannequins and models are always wearing several layers at once. Layers on men look great on camera, so even when it’s hot outside, it’s worth an hour or two of discomfort for photos that will last you a lifetime. Adding extra layers will bring added dimension and visual interest to your photos. If the temperature permits, you could even consider adding a v-neck sweater with a pop of color from a long-sleeved collared shirt and tie underneath, or bringing a leather or denim jacket with you. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with layers!
It’s All in the Details
Long pants with closed-toed shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine look for a man. They draw attention away from your legs and feet, and place it where you want it: on your face! So, for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts and sandals at home. Dress pants, colored pants, or nice dark-washed jeans work best. Brown leather dress shoes complement almost every look, whether you’re wearing slacks, colored pants, or dark-washed jeans. As opposed to athletic shoes, dress shoes, help elevate your photos and will give them a more editorial look.
How to Prep Your Man
Even though taking photos might not be his favorite thing... YOU ARE! Most men aren’t overly excited to take photos for any length of time, mostly because they don’t have an expectation of what’s to come and why it’s so important to you, which is why I recommend sitting down together for fifteen minutes to educate and empower your man. Tell him why you chose me and my style of photography. Show him your three favorite sessions that I’ve done, explain why you love the photos so much and express to him how much this session means to you. Trust me, if he loves you, he’ll bring his A-game and light up the camera for you! The most common thing I hear from guys before portrait sessions is this: because of a bad experience in the past, they don’t like taking photos or don’t feel like they’ll be good at it. By the time the session is over, though, most guys can’t believe how fast it went and just how much fun they had!
Prepping Your Little Ones
Setting expectations before your session is the key to great photos and happy kids.
Before your session, pack a bag with water and your kids’ favorite snacks. If they’re too young to follow directions, bring any objects that you think might help me get their attention (like small toys or stuffed animals) when it’s time for them to look at the camera.
If your little ones are old enough to understand you, it’s a good idea to prepare them for what’s to come before the session starts. Explain how much the photos mean to you so they know to be on their best behavior. A lot of families pick something fun to do –– as a treat after the session –– if their kiddos are good listeners, like dinner at their favorite pizza place or an ice cream cone!
It also helps if your kids' bellies are full and they’ve had some good rest before the session. After you do your best to prepare them, give yourself (and them) some grace! I have a lot of experience working with kids (I'm a mom of three), so if they’re “in a mood” or aren’t cooperating perfectly for some reason, rest assured that we’re not judging you (or them). I’ve seen it all and know how to get great photos no matter what! My goal is to make this as fun and stress-free as it possibly can be for you and your family! This season of life feels long right now, but in the grand scheme of things, it's short. So even if things don't go exactly as planned or as you'd hoped in terms of your kids’ behavior, one day, you’ll be so glad you took these photos.
One Final Note
I know I just gave you A LOT to think about! Don’t panic 😄 Just take it one step at a time. I can provide a Portrait Session Checklist to help you stay organized and on top of things! All you have to do is ask for it, but if you have any questions at any point, please know I’m here for you! If you’re deciding between two dresses and can’t commit, no problem! I’m here. If you love two locations but can’t make up your mind, no worries! I can help with that, too. If you need a recommendation of any kind, I’m on it! Remember, I’m just one message (email or text) away.
At the end of the day, though, the location you choose and the outfits you wear won’t matter nearly as much as the fun we have together and the memories you make. The style choices you make will definitely enhance your photos, but the most important accessory to bring with you is joyfulness –– which is the one that makes the biggest difference in your photos anyways. You don’t need to have prior experience in front of the camera. Just show up with a smile and I’ll take care of the rest :)
I’m so excited! See you soon! 😄