Five Tips to Prep for Your Session

1.  Choose outfits with coordinating colors - NOT matching! 

The trend of having everyone wear the same color (i.e., black, white) in family portraits has come and gone.  These days, it's all about coordinating colors, patterns, and textures.  Think about your home decor when choosing your color palette, and where you will be displaying your images.  Also, consider your backdrop when choosing colors.  If you are incorporating a neutral-colored wall in your images, you shouldn't choose a neutral palette.  Finally, consider the season, and choose colors that are appropriate.  Start by choosing a fun accent color that you really want to incorporate into your images.  Then build the rest of your color palette around it.  For example, if you choose yellow as an accent color, you might want to go with navy and green as your primary colors.  Fuschia can accent turquoise and black.  Jewel tones, like burgandy, navy, and gold, work well together, and are a great choice for fall.  There really is no rule to coordinating colors, as long as everyone incorporates them.  

In the image below, the girls are both wearing coral.  Navy is brought in with the boy's outfit and the little girl's scarf.  The mint green top coordinates with both navy and coral, and adds some fun to the image.

2. Patterns are great, but don't overdo it!

Patterns are fun, but not on everyone!  One person with a pattern that incorporates most of the colors in the palette is plenty.  If you have too many people with patterns, it will be distracting in the final image.  Florals, stripes, plaids, and polka dots are great choices for patterned clothing.  Leave the character t-shirts at home!  Your child may love his Transformers shirt, but you won't want to be looking at it on your wall for the next several years!

In the image below, Mom is the only one with a busy pattern.  The others are wearing coordinating colors with no pattern.  Plaids can be incorporated with other patterns because they aren't as distracting as other, busier patterns.

2.  Add texture and layers with accessories!

Nothing looks better than layers!  Scarves, jewelry, vests, bowties or ties, jackets, and hats are all examples of fun textures and layers that you can bring into your images to make them more interesting.  Remember the rules about coordinating colors and patterns when choosing your accessories!  

This senior adds a fun look with her floppy hat.  It adds texture to the image, and accentuates the shadows on her face, adding mystery and a little bit of sass to the image.

4. Pay attention to details!

Are your little boy's pants long enough to cover his socks when he's sitting?  If not, what do his socks look like?  Are your shoes scuffed or muddy?  Are everyone's shirts pressed, if need be?  Any stains?  Do any clothes lend themselves to "wardrobe malfunctions?"  It's much easier to fix these kinds of things before your session begins than to try to edit them during processing!  

In this image, everyone's shoes are clean, pants are pressed, and Dad's jeans are just long enough to cover his boots appropriately.  And PS...did you notice all the layers?  LOVE!!!

5. Consider your personal style, especially Seniors!

You want your images to look authentic, so make sure the clothes and accessories that you choose coordinate with your own personal style.  This is especially important for Seniors!  You will want to capture authentic moments that represent who you are at this point in your Life Journey.  So bring your letterman's jacket!  Play your guitar!  Wear your favorite ball cap!  These images are your memories.

This beautiful Senior incorporated her academic successes into her session with one of her favorite books.  When she looks at her images later in life, she will remember the girl she was in this moment.

All images © Courtney Lindsey Photography

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