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my little fam-o-ly | how to style a family shoot

I’ve been trying to decide if being a photographer makes it easier or harder to be photographed. On one hand, you know what kind of stuff to wear because you know what looks good on camera. You know what the right light is. You know where to go. You know what kind of session you want. On the other hand, you have to let go of control. & trust that the dear, sweet photographer you choose to deal with your own personal crazy, can also get your unwilling-participant-of-a-husband to give her something other than an eye roll & the “is this over yet” attitude.

Oh Nicole. I heart you. You captured it all. You captured my family. You caught the looks and emotion that I can’t ever catch on my camera. You brought me to tears. I am so grateful. I loved your family session & now I know what you felt when you told me you were sitting at your computer crying. Because I feel it too. I do believe, this is just the beginning of our family session swaps. If only the military will cooperate & give us orders together. Maybe next time we can be neighbors. In the snow. Because we are both the kind of crazy that the other totally understands. :)

So I thought I would share my family photos here because (a) I love them & (b) I love fashion & can help you pick outfits for your family shoot. So let’s talk about shoot styling!

The keywords for this shoot that were in my head were “warm & cozy” and definitely “fall-ish.” I now know why the short sleeve sweater was created…so those of us stuck in wretchedly warm winter climates can pretend it is winter & wear a sweater. Which, indeed, makes us sweat. So I started with two pieces of clothing to build the outfits around: my boots & caroline’s dress + sash. (I’ll link everything below) I started with browns & the colors in the sash & coordinated everything from there. It is a good idea to pick one busy print, then coordinate all outfits in colors inspired by that print. I knew we wanted it casual, so denim was a must. I always prefer dark denim. It is much more flattering than light denim.

[cannot tell you how much I adore this image. I have never been able to get that face on camera!!!!]

[just me & my girlie. what a joy this little girl is.]

[very into pointing out body parts these days. & caroline’s version of a “smooch” for mama or dada is her putting her forehead on our mouth & smacking her lips. teehee.]

[& if you were following me over on FB, we chatted about profile images & how important they are for a business. I think they can set the tone for your whole brand. I want my clients to think “warm & sweet’ when they see my pictures. So one of these will end up in all the places that require profile pictures…I just can’t decide which one is more “me.”]

[& what a gift…this is possibly my favorite image of my husband & I. EVER. It’s just us. 13 years later (we’ve been together since we were 15) we’re cozy. we’re comfortable. we’re best friends. & we were watching our caroline decide whether or not she should step off a curb. into the street. she didn’t. ;)]

[also should note that some of these images have been edited by me & some by nicole. we swapped RAW files & edited our faves. :)]

So, cheat sheet:

  • pick one print, use colors in that print to choose the rest of the outfit colors.
  • one person should be in a solid with accessories that match the print’s tones. Solids are especially great if they are textured.
  • One person in stripes or plaid can further coordinate the pattern & solid.
  • accessorize! a lot! match & mismatch.
  • & most important of all, choose something you are really comfortable in. when you are comfortable, it shows.

& if you want to see our summer family photo shoot styling, you can check it out here and here.

Now links to the above…

on caroline:

  • dress: paper denim & cloth kids (no longer in business)
  • sash: The Purple Chameleon on Etsy It’s supposed to be an adult headband, but I had Christina make it a bit longer so the print wrapped all the way around her waist. is it BEAUTIFUL, or what?!
  • leggings: RL kids
  • headband made by me
  • shoes: pediped Isabella

on me:

  • top: DEX clothing, lucky find at marshalls
  • jeans: true religion, nordstrom rack
  • boots: via spiga, reeeealy lucky find at marshalls three years ago (yay for size 6 feet!)
  • belt: anthropologie Ruffled Blossoms
  • hair: nowlin roberts hair, but styled by me with a chi flat iron (it deserves a mention because I am a natural blonde. for real.)

on hubby:

  • shirt: ben sherman nordstrom rack (these shirts are awesome…they come with a tag that says ‘please do not iron. we like it this way.’)
  • jeans: seven for all mankind

Related Posts with Thumbnails
  • annie - thanks shawna! we’ve had photos taken of reagan but never with our family because we don’t know what we’re doing. haha. but now i know how to dress us and make it look coordinated. i’m inspired to have family photos done! these are just gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • Erin Weilert - I think you should do a blog about how you styled your hair with a flat iron! :) I’ve been trying to do that for a few months, decided to let mine grow some before I try again. I love the look but another problem I have is actually taking the time to do it in the morning. My attitude is usually that I don’t want to take the time to mess with it but once I get better I’m sure it will be quicker. Yours looked SOOOO cute in your session!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - Your words mean the world to me. Seriously. So happy to have you in my life! You guys looked fabulous-you were fabulous-and Tommy was a breeze.

    the first one and last one are my favs i love it in your b&w!ReplyCancel

  • Nicole - p.s. I MAJORLY agree we need to live where we can rock our cute boots. Can we get stationed in Colorado? Fort Carson, please!ReplyCancel

  • Sara - I LOVE your family photos… if only I could get my husband in front of the camera… Just a thought, for your profile photo, I prefer the headshot, the one on the left. It feels more intimate and personal. I like the other picture, but I’m more drawn to the boots in the picture than you.ReplyCancel

  • nowlin roberts - Ok, now I really have to book my session! Bring your calendar next week. Gorgeous family~ReplyCancel

  • Ivy - Such great info and beautiful shots! My vote for your pic is the full body one – it highlights your great style more. I had to laugh when I saw Caroline is wearing Pedipeds. Braxton just got his first pair a couple weeks ago (been in Robeez til now). After I put them on he kept standing on one foot and shaking the other leg trying to get it off his foot. If only the video camera was handy!ReplyCancel

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