Client Styling Guide

 
 

Visit Honeybook, a website designed by photographers where you answer a few questions about your family and your style, and receive a ton of recommendations of what to wear for your photos. It is FREE for you to use, and you can either follow the links to purchase the exact items, or use it as a design board to find items that pair well together that you already have in your own closet!
Use Client Access Code: ono13236

 

use Client Access Code: ono13236


 

In order to help you look your very best for our session, I created this styling guide to help you choose the outfits that will have you feeling beautiful and looking your best. I feel the need to address this because sometimes an outfit that looks amazing in person is kind of blah in photos, and an outfit that is really kind of "eh" can make for gorgeous photos! In the photos below you'll see some families who nailed their outfits! But before you read on, I need to preface this with a few blanket statements:

  • These are guidelines, not rules. These tips are what I have found work best based on research and experience, but at the end of the day these are your photos, so feel free to take as much or as little advice as you feel you need.
  • Your two main concerns when choosing your outfits should be comfort and personality. I want you to be comfortable and I want you to look like you. If your outfits check those two boxes, everything else is just a bonus.
  • I am NOT a stylish person. Target t-shirts and jeans or leggings are my daily uniform. These tips below are just what I have found to photograph best in my experience.
  • I cannot shout this last one loud enough: I want to help you! If you have questions, ask them! If you want to send me photos of potential outfits, shoot me a text! If you want to start a collaborative Pinterest board so I can help tailor these tips to your style, let's do it! That's what I'm here for!
 
 
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Colors & Patterns

  • Do not wear clothes with words, logos, or images on them.
  • Coordinating is good. Matching is bad. Everyone's clothing should compliment each other, but it should not be identical!
  • Neutral colors photograph better than bright or bold colors. Any shade of cream, brown, gray, or earth tone is wonderful. For example, choose burgundy rather than bright red, olive green rather than kelley green, or mustard yellow rather than bright yellow. 
  • Small, subtle patterns are great, but large or loud patterns can be overwhelming in a photo and take attention away from the subject- YOU!
  • Try to limit patterns to only one per family. Photos can look too busy if there are too many patterns competing for attention.
 
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Texture & Fabrics

  • Textures are a dream in photos! Lace, flannel, wool, linen, even small amounts of fur on hats or hoods look amazing!
  • Think about the weather when choosing fabrics. In the spring and summer, choose lighter fabrics that will keep you cool and move in the wind or as you walk. In the winter, choose thicker fabrics, like wool or flannel, that will keep you warm and match the cozy feel of your photos.
  • Make sure the fabric you're wearing isn't so stiff it restricts your movement. Break in your jeans beforehand.
 
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Types of Clothing

  • It's important the style of your clothing is cohesive with the environment and the rest of your family's outfits. For more urban settings, dressier clothing pairs nicely. For more natural environments, casual clothing makes more sense.
  • Women: skirts or dresses will photographed best, hands down.
  • Men: Jeans or khakis, t-shirts, sweaters, button-down shirts.
  • Girls: dresses, pinafores, rompers, jumpsuits, overalls, shorts, jeans, or tees.
  • Boys: collared shirts, suspenders, rompers, jumpsuits, shorts, jeans, tees. 
 
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Accessories

  • Don't ignore your shoes. Heels are almost always a bad idea, as are dress shoes for guys. We walk a lot and play a lot, so you better be able to play tag or Ring Around the Rosey in whatever you're wearing!
  • Barefoot is an option! If you have a summer session scheduled and want to be barefoot, let's do it!
  • Adding hats, scarves, or jewelry not only makes your outfit more interesting, but also more personalized to you, and is another way to tie it all together.
  • Accessories are especially great for little ones; I love a little girl in a bow or a boy in suspenders, and every child looks adorable in a hat!
 
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Hair and Make Up

  • This is entirely your call! If you feel most beautiful having your hair and/or makeup professionally done, go for it! If you are more of a minimalist and don't usually wear a lot of makeup, don't wear a ton of makeup to your session. You'll be uncomfortable and it will show in your photos. 
  • I do recommend those with long hair keep it down- it creates an additional element of movement and helps create beautiful portraits.
  • Bottom line- do whatever you need to do to feel gorgeous!
 
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Putting it all Together

This is the flow I have found works best when creating outfits:

  1. Taking into consideration the season, choose one or two main colors that will be incorporated into everyone's outfit.
  2. Start with mom's outfit. Build mom's outfit around those main colors, adding in neutrals to complete the outfit (By the way, denim counts as a neutral in my book!)
  3. Next, create your child(ren)'s outfit(s). Find a way to incorporate your main colors into their outfits, again using neutral colors to complete the outfits. Make sure your kids are comfortable and able to move in their clothes.
  4. Build your partner's outfit. You could use your key colors, or you could stick entirely to neutrals here. 
  5. Finally, add in your accessories. Boom, done!
 
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Maternity and Newborn

All of these tips apply to maternity and newborn sessions as well, with a few additional ones:

  • Maternity: show off the bump! Either in a shirt or dress that fits tightly over your bump, or in a flow-y dress that will cling to your bump in the wind. 
  • Newborn: I always recommend newborns wear a plain, snug-fitting onesie, white if possible. To reiterate an important point, do not put them in any clothing with words, logos, or pictures. Patterns are fine as long as they are small and subtle. 

Stores I love:

Shop your closet first, you do NOT need to buy anything for your session! But if you really really want to go on a mini shopping spree, here are a few stores I love!

  • Target. Duh. 
  • H&M, especially for toddler dresses
  • Zara- just be careful here, some of their clothes combine several patterns, which will look chaotic in photos
  • Etsy- okay, this one isn't a specific store, but it's a great place to find accessories like hats, bows, shoes, etc for your kids
  • Free People- kind of a hippy vibe, but they have beautiful dresses what create lots of movement in photos
  • Morning Lavender
  • ASOS
  • Joyfolie

If supporting small business is more your jam, a few of my favorite shops are: