Tips for clothes styling and colors for family photo sessions

When it comes to group and family photos, the question of 'Should we match?' always comes up.

My suggestion is to color coordinate, not necessarily match.

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Matching isn't a bad thing, at all.  If you have a large group getting together (think family reunion or co-worker celebration) and you're wanting a large group photo of everyone in a special shirt, definitely go for it.  If you want to keep things simple and classic with all black or all white, do it.

However if you don't want to match, but you're not sure what to do, I would suggest color coordinating your outfits.

What's color coordination?  It's choosing colors that match while still styling everyone in the photo uniquely and bringing out their own personality.

In order to help you visualize color combinations, I've put together a few samples.  Basing outfits off of these color palettes will allow you to build outfits around your group or family photos while still bringing out each individual's own unique, personal style.

A few tips on styling group and family photos:

  1. Don't tell everyone to wear red (or any color), then expect all the reds to be the same color.  It's a lot more common than you think.  Clothing manufacturer's all use slightly different dye, so you'll never get just one shade of red.

  2. Black and brown can be combined and look good.  Think black tights with brown boots.  It shouldn't work but does.

  3. Let's face it, young kids look cute when they match.  Older kids, not so much. Older kids want to stand out from the crowd and be themselves. 

  4. If you're uncomfortable in an outfit, don't wear it and choose something else.  If you're uncomfortable in your clothes, it will show up in your photos.

  5. Pick a neutral (white, brown, black, cream), and then start choosing colors off of your neutral.

  6. Think of your setting and background.  Have a warm background, choose cooler colors to stand out.  Cool background, choose warmer colors.  Bright colors really pop with neutral backgrounds!

  7. When in doubt, ask for help.  As photographers, we can tell you if an outfit will photograph well.  Plus, we love to see families and groups rock their photo sessions!  Send us a picture! We'd love to help!

Coordinating family clothing for photographs-Emily Ingalls Photography-Round Rock and Pflugerville Family Photographer.jpg
Coordinating family clothing for photographs-Emily Ingalls Photography-Round Rock and Pflugerville Family Photographer.jpg
Coordinating family clothing for photographs-Emily Ingalls Photography-Round Rock and Pflugerville Family Photographer.jpg
Coordinating family clothing for photographs-Emily Ingalls Photography-Round Rock and Pflugerville Family Photographer.jpg

Family Photo Session | Pease Park, Austin, TX

Family photo sessions are some of my favorite sessions to photograph.  The interaction between parents and children, the smiles and laughs, the inside jokes amongst the family, all of this makes a family and comes out through their family photos.

This particular family photo session was extra special to me!  I photographed this family while they were in the NICU.  I volunteer with an organization called The Tiny Footprints Project.  I photograph preemies in the NICU and their families to give them happy and special memories during what can be a stressful time.  This strong, little girl came into the world a bit early and has grown into a full blown toddler.  Her parents are the sweetest people!  And they brought their dog with them, which I got to love up on.  Enjoy this sweet family photo session I shot at Pease Park in Austin.

Photographing a genuine smile! | Round Rock Family Photographer

As a photographer, I dread hearing people say, "Say cheese!" while I'm trying to photograph families and children.  They are honestly trying to help, but in the end, I get one of these weird smiles like this (and this is my own kid!).

 Definitely not a genuine smile! He was probably thinking if I just smile nice I'll get this over with. Alas, it didn't work and I ended up with a crazy smile.

Definitely not a genuine smile! He was probably thinking if I just smile nice I'll get this over with. Alas, it didn't work and I ended up with a crazy smile.

One of the best compliments I received from someone was when they told me, 'You just seem to capture the real person, someone's genuine being.  Not just a smile and nice picture.'  I about swooned when I heard it because that is exactly my goal!

I want to capture a person's character... their genuine happiness.  That's what I'm about.

I don't want to just hand someone pretty pictures with people smiling on them.  I want to hand them gorgeous, not just pretty, family photos with true emotion and personality.

Each one of use is unique.  Every child and person I photograph has their own personality.  Some kids are just serious.  Some kids are happy-go-lucky and have nothing but smiles.  It's finding out how to capture them uniquely that gives me great joy.

 

Here are a few quick tips I use to capture a genuine smile on children anyone can use!

 

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  1. Don't ever ask a person to say cheese.  Just don't.  They always look awkward.  (see photo above)
  2. Ask them to finish this sentence, "We all scream for _________!"  They'll scream ice cream and start giggling!
  3. Tell them not to smile in a very serious voice, then just keep repeating yourself.  9 times out of 10 they start smiling and giggling after about the 4th time I've told them not too.
  4. As them to jump, twirl, sing their favorite song!  Children love being active and showing off for people.

I won't sit here and tell you this works all the time, but most of the time it does!  Try it for yourself when you're out photographing your own family life!

A quick announcement!

Fall Mini-Sessions are open for booking in October and November 2018!  Fall Mini-Sessions include 15 minutes and 8 high resolution digital photos for $150.  Contact me to book yours today!  emilyingallsphotography@gmail.com or 512-853-0899

 

Emily Ingalls is a professional photographer residing in Round Rock, Texas.  She specializes in family and children's portraiture, lifestyle newborn sessions, and commercial lifestyle and publication.  Emily serves the Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Georgetown and surrounding Central Texas area.

My Favorite Season for Family Photographs

What is the best season for your family photo shoot?

It's a fairly common question I receive.  Today I'm going to give you my answer.

Any guesses?  Ok... here it goes.

Fall is my favorite season to schedule family photographs!

It may not come as a surprise to many of you, but I'm going to explain why I love to photography outside in the Fall.

First of all in Texas, fall is defined as that short (almost non-existent season) which comes right after summer when we're all sweating outside after 5 minutes and before winter in which we are all bundled up because we can't stand the cold weather.  And by cold, I mean a high in the 40s or 50s.  It can be anywhere in the late October to late November early December time frame.

One of the reasons I love photographing outside in the fall is all the fun colors!  The leaves are changing colors to beautiful oranges, reds, and yellows.  And sometimes you get the gorgeous deep purple color.  It's a perfect backdrop!  When families where complimentary fall colors with the fall background, everyone looks cohesive and the photos stand out.

Another reason is the cooler climate.  Granted the weather changes on a dime at times, but having a cooler climate outside where the highs are in the 60s or 70s instead of 90s makes a big difference.  Parents and children are more comfortable being outside for longer periods of time.  no one is sweating profusely.  And the cooler climate energizes kids!  Kids are just happier which makes Mom and Dad stress less.  But it's not quite cold enough where everyone is in jackets, cold.

The last reason is the light!  I'm a lightseeker.  In non-photography terms, it means I love to seek out beautiful light for photographs.  I love backlight (when the light is behind the people I'm photographing).  It gives a beautiful warmth to family pictures and makes everyone glow a little.  In my opinion, October, November and December have gorgeous light before the sun sets.  It's one of my favorite times to have family photo sessions.  Golden hour is the hour right before the sun sets, and it is magical!!

Although a lot of families have their family photos taken during the fall for the holiday season, it's not the only reason photographers love the fall.  Everything about the season just makes up happy!  The colors, climate and light all come together, and we create beautiful family photos for you with it!

I'm already booking fall sessions.  If you want to book yours, please contact me at emilyingallsphotography@gmail.com or 512-853-0899.  Or send me a message through my website!

Family Photo Session | Pflugerville, TX

Large family reunions are one of my favorite types of sessions to photograph!

I come from large family.  My mom was one of six, and my dad is one of three.  I have somewhere around 20 cousins and more than a dozen aunts and uncles.  Add in the fact most of my cousins have children, and let's just say a family get together for us becomes large, loud, and fun very quickly!

When a family asks me if I'm ok photographing close to 20 people for a family reunion, I always laugh a little to myself.  Mainly because large families don't scare me off at all.  I love shooting them!

A couple of weeks ago, I photographed this family's reunion during a hot, humid July day.  They had family coming in from out of state for a vacation during the summer, and Mom/Grandma wanted photos of her children and grandchildren. And to make it even better, they had Great Grandma there!  Four generations in one photo!

If you ever get the chance to have a generational picture taken by a professional photographer, please have the photo taken.  You'll never regret having a professional photographs taken!  You will treasure them for a lifetime!

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Emily Ingalls is a professional photographer. She specializes in family and child portraiture, newborn lifestyle photography, and commercial photography.