I can’t believe October is behind us. Boy, what a crazy busy wonderful October it has been! My busiest month to date, although November will have it beat. And let me tell you, the October families rocked it. I have such amazingly beautiful, fashionable clients, and they really brought it in the coordinated wardrobe department. I get asked this question all the time - what should we wear? And while I do touch on this with a few tips and examples in my welcome package, I thought this would be a good time to dig a bit deeper and show you what works. Courtesy of my super stylin’ October families, of course.
Now, a few things.
Disclaimer #1: Your own personal style and what you feel comfortable in is the most important thing to consider when planning your wardrobe for a session. If you are uncomfortable, it will show. If you dress in a way that doesn’t represent you, then your photos won’t represent you. These are just examples, not meant to be an explicit list of “do”s and “don’t”s.
Disclaimer #2: October was packed with sessions. I’m going to showcase a few examples, but I’d need a ten part series to showcase them all. If you don’t see your photos here, it doesn’t mean you didn’t totally nail your family’s wardrobe. Promise.
Ok, here we go!
#1. COLOUR – Gone are the days of jeans and white t-shirts on everyone. There’s nothing like a punch of colour to really bring some life to your portraits. Now, this doesn’t mean put everyone in jeans and red t-shirts. I’m talking complimentary colours, coordinating neutrals with an accent. A mix of tones that works.
#2. PATTERNS – Stripes and spots and plaid, oh my! Patterns are good, but you want to be careful about really bold patterns that might be too busy and take the focus off your lovely faces. You also want to avoid putting everyone in patterns. A pop of pattern can have the same effect as an accent colour – it can inject a ton of personality and really bring together everyone’s wardrobe.
#3. FOOTWEAR – I remind all of my clients of this in their welcome package. Shoes matter! We do see your shoes in at least some of the photos, and it’s important to not only wear something comfortable and practical for you location, but stylish and aesthetically appealing, too. Now, this doesn’t mean to wear stilettos for your forest trail session (eek!). But it does mean your footwear is a part of your outfit. So if you throw on some old runners with your skinny jeans, leather jacket and patterned scarf thinking no one will notice…. well, we will. And you will. You’ll see it in your photos and you’ll think “ahh, why oh why did I wear those shoes? I love everything about this photo except for the shoes!”. So you want to think comfortable and coordinated.
#4. ACCESSORIES – Love them. Scarves, hats, jewelry, headbands. And the cooler weather is the perfect excuse to go buy a special accessory that is at once stylish and functional, like a warm scarf or a cute wool hat. Accessories help to tie different outfits together and give some personality and colour to your wardrobe. Especially in a season when your outfit options are limited by the cold weather, accessories allow your own personal style to shine no matter what you’re wearing.
#5. COLD WEATHER – There’s no escaping the cold. It’s here to stay for awhile, but that doesn’t mean we all need to retreat to our indoor havens. Coats can be super stylish and fun, and you can actually build your wardrobes around your jackets. Now, I don’t mean for you to wear your fluorescent ski jacket with reflectors and 85 zippers. I’m talking about your snazzy wool coat, your sharp leather jacket. You know, your “going out to dinner” outerwear. Pair that with a fun patterned scarf or a brightly coloured knitted cowl and you’ve got yourself an amazing “outfit” for your outdoor session. If you want to leave the jacket out of the photos, no worries. My suggestion is to dress in layers, and bring your coats along just in case. I’ve often paused for warm-up breaks in a session so that everyone can slip back into their jackets and mittens for a few minutes before resuming the picture taking.
The moral of the story is this. Be yourself. Be comfortable. But be CREATIVE! These photos will (hopefully) be framed on your wall, given as gifts to relatives and used for holiday cards. You want them to represent you, but you also want them to have personality and style.
On that note… Here are just some of my stylin’ October families who really raised the bar with their wardrobe choices!!
Meet Phil and Jessica. They came to their engagement session with two locations and two outfits in mind. And they totally nailed both. On the left, we have a great striped shirt paired with a coordinating solid colour, and adorable shoes that really add personality to the outfit (LOVE me some TOMS!). On the right, we have a bold red solid paired with a coordinating navy solid and great boots that really complete the look. Not to mention… the accessories! I LOVED Jessica’s fun patterned scarf (that tied in with Phil’s navy) and the cute leg warmers peeking out above the boots. Personality and comfort. BOOM.
Ahhh, the Kelly Family. I loved their mix of blues and greys. You can barely tell, but the little guy on the left actually has an argyle pattern on his navy sweater, which added a nice punch of personality. I loved mama’s boots and lovely blue scarf in a lighter, bolder blue, as well as the girls’ blue hair accessories. Lots of warm layers and fun accessories meant they stayed warm AND looked amazing.
For her maternity shoot, Teresa came sporting a GORGEOUS handmade shawl. I loved the rich green. It really added a colour pop to their black and white wardrobe.
The Babineau girls were adorable in their coordinating reversible jackets. They stayed warm and didn’t even need to take their coats off, because they were so cute! They also added a fun pop of colour and pattern to mom and dad’s neutral palette.
Mette, Hubert and their girls did such a fantastic job mixing and matching. This is the difference between “matchy matchy” and perfectly coordinated. We’ve got a pattern on the far right that ties in the white, blue and fushia present throughout the whole family’s wardrobe. Throw in different shades of grey, varying denim styles, bright colour pops and awesome accessories (see girls’ headbands, jewelry and scarf), and you’ve got a fun, interesting, totally coordinated combination.
I love the pink rubber boots (how could you not, right?)!! Mom knew we’d be trekking through the muddy woods, so she came prepared. The matching boots added a punch of colour and tons of personality, and I love how little sister ties everyone together with pink, blue and white in her cute little outfit!
Natalie and Ron did such an amazing job coordinating by using a neutral palette of navy, grey and white and throwing in a fun pop of teal and great accessories to add visual interest and tons of character!
The Kucharski Family coordinated blacks, browns and whites and used Anya’s gorgeous handmade mustard sweater for a pop of colour. I love how mama’s sweater (left) ties all the colours into its beautiful pattern.
Finally, the Friyia family. They came with a great combination of blue, cream, grey and fushia for a fun pop of colour. I love little Jillian’s bright cowl – a fun accessory that kept her warm, too!
Hopefully these tips and examples have been helpful and inspiring as you prepare for your upcoming session. If you have any questions or need a second opinion, feel free to ask!
Now it’s my turn to go put together outfits for our upcoming family session… wish me luck!