What to Wear: Going beyond the Blog Post.

This session happened a while ago now, but it turned out to be one of my favorite family sessions. In fact, I used this session to create my sample coffee table album (fodder for a different post!).

There were many factors that went into how this session came together including a gorgeous location, beautiful evening light, a great looking family, a baby who LOVES the camera but also the wardrobe.

I know we all peripherally understand that wardrobe is important, important enough that many photographers put up a new “what to wear” blog post every new season or so.  But the impact of the outfit selection on the outcome of the images just cannot be understated.

In fact, there is  a photographer local to me who I greatly admire who I know does pre-shoot IN PERSON wardobe consultations with her clients! I don’t think I’m there yet,  but in my initial correspondence with clients and even in my contract I do repeatedly offer to assist in wardrobe selection.

I have had people take me up on this in varying degrees, but the mother of this session was open to me actually styling the whole family’s wardrobe and then she actually followed through and ordered everything (well, with the small exception of the dad’s outfit which was a variation on the theme.)

I used polyvore to put this outfit storyboard together complete with links for mom to purchase each item and then emailed it to her:

It must be said that I am NO stylist/fashionista so putting this together definitely took some extra time on my part, but in the end, I think the resulting images were taken to  a different level because of it.

There is just no photoshop fix for poorly chosen outfits and no matter how much you rock the session, there will be something missing in the end result if the outfits are off!

So now that you’ve seen the storyboard, here are the resulting images.  (You can see these larger and more impressive looking on my photography website!)

Baby Nate in his babygap jumper:

with big brother Ryan:

The whole gorgeous family:

See how that coral dress color just POPS against the lush green in the background? It also adds a nice contrast to the navy blue of dad and baby Nate and a great compliment to the greens in Ryan’s plaid shirt.

I LOVE how the purples and greens in Ryan’s shirt play off the flowers in the background of this shot:

But more importantly, these looks are timeless and classic.  No one will look out of style 10 years, 20 years  or even generations from now!

I’m including a few more images from this session not necessarily because of wardrobe (which you’ve seen all of by now!) but because I was so happy with the way they came out :)

All images shot with the Canon 5D Mark II and the  70-200 lens.

So that’s been my experience so far, and now that I’ve had a taste of “styling” the whole shoot – I want to do it for every client!

How much do you currently get involved with your client’s wardrobe selections?

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Diane says:

Hey Arianna, love love love those photos….just curious as to what aperture you used on the family photo on the road…beautiful shot!!!

ariana says:

Thanks Diane, the aperture was 3.2 :)

Lisa says:

Wow – that’s a good looking family. I love how the clothing is reasonably priced – the mom’s dress was less expensive than the baby’s jumper!! Great choices :)

jbhat says:

I think it’s FANTASTIC that you make recommendations to them. What a cute family that is, and they all look great.


ariana says:

Suzy, I’m so glad it worked out for you!

Shara, if you ever get stuck, ask your photographer for some advice and see what they come up with! Also, Inspire me Baby regularly does some REALLY nice ones: http://inspiremebaby.com/tag/what-to-wear-2/

Shara says:

What a great looking family. I never know what to wear for pictures, and I’ve been avoiding family portraits since my son was born (8 months ago) because of it. I never even know how to dress the kid for his pictures. I would LOVE a “what to wear” blog post, or even a link to someone else’s suggestions.

suzy says:

thank you for the wardrobe advice you provided a few months back. I think it made a huge difference in the outcome of our shoot. I agonized with my families wardrobe selection for weeks. What would have been fabulous is for our photographer to come over and take a look at a few options I had laid out and choose the one that she thought would be best. Or I could have sent her a picture of the options I was considering and get her opinion.