We had planned a fun outdoor spring shoot for these three, but of course, the weather didn't cooperate, so we decided to do an indoor studio shoot in their home. They still turned out adorable!
I photographed this little doll as as a newborn last year, but she and her family have since moved out of state. I was excited to hear that they were going to be in town for her first birthday and wanted to get her 1 year photos taken while they were here! Isn't she adorable?
Did you know that Three Ladybugs Photography offers a referral credit*? For every person who completes a paid session and says you referred them, you get $25 to apply toward prints, digital files and other products on your next session! Even if you've never had a session with Three Ladybugs, you can refer others and apply the credit to your first session!
To top it off, I'm offering double referral credits* this spring! That means that every person you refer between now and May 31 earns you $50 towards your print purchase!
*Terms and Conditions: Credits will be given after referred client's session is paid for and completed. Referral credits may only be applied to print or product purchases for future sessions and may not be used to purchase products for sessions previously completed. Referral credits may not be applied to session fees. A limit of 2 referral credits can be used per session. Referral credits may not be redeemed for cash.
Clients often ask me what they should wear for their family photo session and how to go about coordinating outfits. I have been meaning to write a post with my suggestions for picking outfits for a photo session so that clients can easily reference them and finally got around to it today.
To me, the most important thing about a photo wardrobe is that is in line with who you and your family are. You should wear clothes that you would wear normally, not something you would only ever wear for photos. Of course, you don't want to wear your favorite old stained t-shirt, but you should wear clothes you plan to wear again. If you never wear dresses, don't wear a dress. If you love flats, wear a nice pair of flats. When you wear clothes you like and feel comfortable in, you will be more relaxed and comfortable and it will show in your photos.
I have two strategies for choosing and coordinating outfits that I suggest to clients, but first, here are a few general tips:
-Coordinate clothes between family members, don't match them! When everyone is wearing very similar colors and clothes, people get lost. You want each person to be dressed as an individual.
-Patterns are ok, but avoid big, flashy or gaudy patterns.
-Choose colors you love, but try to avoid a lot of very bright colors, especially in the red/pink family. This doesn't mean no red or pink, but try to go with somewhat more muted shades as opposed to fuchsia.
-Since the weather can be unpredictable in Colorado, make sure you have coordinating sweaters or jackets for the kids that you wouldn't mind having in the photos.
-Look for simple, but interesting pieces. Pieces with a lot of extra embellishments can take the focus away from the people in the photograph.
-Don't forget to consider the shoes! Try to avoid athletic shoes, especially white or light colored ones and especially on adults. They tend to stick out in full body shots. Casual shoes are fine, but leave your running shoes at home.
-Add a few accessories, but don't over-accessorize, again, this takes the focus away from you!
I said earlier, I have two different strategies for choosing outfits that I suggest. Pick the one you think will work the best for you (or combine them!).
Strategy 1: Pick a Color Scheme First
One way to go about picking outfits for your family photos is to start with a color scheme. Start by choosing a neutral or family of neutrals. For casual photos, you may go with denim or khaki/tan as your neutral. For more formal photos, you may want black or navy as your neutral. Then, choose 2-3 additional colors to complete your color scheme. Once you have a color scheme, you can pick outfits for each person (or ask them to pick outfits) that fit in the color scheme. Remember, you don't want everyone to match and not everyone needs to wear all of the colors. In the example below, the neutral is denim/dark blue. The two additional colors chosen were purple and gray. As you can see, mom is only wearing purple and denim and dad is only wearing gray and denim. Again, not everyone needs to wear all of the colors. As you can see, all these outfits coordinate well and they would look great together in photos.
Strategy 2: Pick an outfit you love for one family members and build on it
The second strategy involves picking one special outfit that will become a centerpiece in your wardrobe selections. Probably because I am a mom of girls, I typically recommend starting by picking an outfit for one of the girls in the photos (if you have any!) and then choosing the other girls' outfits to coordinate, followed by the boys, then mom and dad. Of course, if you find a great piece for any family member, you can use it as your starting point, regardless of who will be wearing it! In the example below, I started with the little girls' dress and added her leggings, shoes and sweater to make it a complete outfit. Then, I moved on to her brother followed by mom and finally dad. As you can see, each of other outfits goes well with the little girl's dress and they all also go well with each other. This photo also illustrates the recommendation to have coordinating sweaters or jackets for the kids. Depending on the weather, they can wear them or not. Either way, the photos will still look great! It would probably also be a good idea for mom to bring a coordinating sweater just in case.
More information on the Senior Model program is available at www.threeladybugsphotography.com/senior-models.html
My girls' grandmother bought them all cowgirl outfits for Christmas and wanted photos of them. I have also been meaning to get Kayla out to take her 5 year photos, which I am way behind on. So, a few weeks ago, we took the girls out to Fossil Creek Reservoir Open Space for a session. Here is proof you can get cute photos of kids outside in Colorado during the winter!
Getting small children to cooperate for family photos can feel like a daunting task. Many families and photographers have experienced the frustration of a little one who just isn't excited about the prospect of having photos taken. The approach you take to getting them to cooperate can make all the difference between so-so photos and personal portraits you'll cherish. Here are a few tips I have learned to help children feel relaxed and comfortable during a photo session.
1. Have a vision. Avoid walking into a session with little forethought around the final images you are hoping for. Take time to look at a variety of images from different photographers before you book your session. Figure out what types of images speak to you. Do you like studio images or outdoor shots? Soft and hazy? Crisp and bright? Whimsical? Serious? Do you prefer images with eye contact or without? I could go on and on. You don’t need to know every detail of the images you want, in fact you should be willing to be flexible, but know what general style or feel you are going for.
2. Find the right photographer for you. Don’t assume that the chain studio in town is the right studio for you and your family. These studios are high volume and tend to produce very similar photos for each family that walks in the door. If those images match your vision (see #1), then by all means, schedule with them, but if they don’t, find a local custom photographer that does. When my oldest two were babies, we took them to a chain studio several times a year. I remember one particular photo of my oldest looking into a very large fake flower. I thought it was a great photo at the time and to be honest, it wasn’t bad by any means, but I have since seen countless very similar photos of friends’ kids on their walls. This isn’t necessarily bad, but the more I saw them, the less special that photo seemed. There isn’t really anything about it that speaks to who my daughter was at that age, it was just a cute photo of her. I have since become a photographer myself and have been lucky enough to take all the photos of my youngest since she was born and my older two since they were 3 and 4.5 myself. This recent photo of my middle daughter is such a good representation of her at this age. We would have never gotten this at that chain studio we used to go to!
Before booking with anyone, take some time to research some local custom photographers as well as the chain studios in the area, take a look at their work and decide which one is most in line with your vision. Many photographers do one style really well, some may even do a few very well, but none do everything well. Don’t choose a photographer whose portfolio contains no or very few images that match your vision and then expect him or her to produce it. Instead, find a photographer who has several images that match your vision in his or her portfolio. You should be able to point to images in the photographer’s portfolio to show what you are looking for.
3. Give your child/children some say. This may mean letting them choose their outfit (or choose from a selection of outfits that fit your chosen color scheme) or having them bring a favorite item to be photographed with. Not only will this help them feel some control in the process, you may end up capturing something special about this stage of their life you may treasure forever. Even if you don’t, they will be more cooperative and happy throughout the session if they feel they have had some input. This is my 6 year old. She picked the outfit, every bit of it, from the headband to the shoes. I know I am lucky that she did an awesome job, but more importantly, she was so excited to show off her birthday outfit and it showed in the photos. She even did her own posing (see #4).
4. Let them be themselves. Kids have their own little personalities and most aren’t afraid to show them off, so let them! I often encourage my girls to pick a few poses themselves and have gotten some of my best shots this way. They just seem more happy and comfortable when they are showing off their own personality rather than posing for me. During a shoot last year with my two oldest girls in their ballet costumes, I let them each choose their pose for a few shots. Those turned out to be my favorite shots of each of them. Not only did they do a decent job, but their expressions are so much more natural than when they were feeling forced into a pose by me…
I then let them pose themselves for the shot of them together. When they did this, my first instinct was to move them into a pose that was more ballet and less hip hop, but I refrained and shot them anyway. I think this may be my favorite photo of the two of them ever. It’s just so THEM.
5. Relax! Not only will it be harder for you to look relaxed and happy in the photos if you are stressed out, your children can feel your stress. The more you worry about getting the perfect shot, the less likely you will be to get it. My 4 year old is a great example of this. I am always complaining that she hates the camera and won’t look at me when I have it in my hand, which has been true on many occasions. However, I think it may be my fault. Maybe it wasn’t at first, but because of her history with the camera, I tense up as soon as it is her turn to take photos…and so does she, even when she was just begging me to take photos of her. Recently, I have stopped worrying so much and just let whatever happens happen. Guess what? She isn’t so camera shy after all! Take this photo for instance; in a group shot like this, I could almost never get her to look at me, let alone smile. This time, I decided not to stress about getting her to cooperate and look what I got (she is on the left)...eye contact and a smile!
Stand back, let go and let your photographer and child/children find their groove. Enjoy yourself, have fun with your family. The images will be much more meaningful when everyone in them is happy and enjoying themselves!
I took my three daughters and nephew to a new studio space I am planning on using for studio sessions to try out the new background for my upcoming holiday mini sessions. The kids wore themselves out running around while I set up and then were not in the mood for photos, so I only got a few. Oh well, at least they can give you an idea of what the background will look like!