August 7, 2020

What NOT to Wear for Your Orange County Family Photo Session!

Let's face it. Putting together outfits for your family session is a little stressful.


But it doesn't have to be! I want your family photo session experience to be as easy and stress-free as possible. So I've put together some tips on what NOT to wear for your session. I hope it helps! Don't forget to check out my post on what TO wear here! (Spoiler Alert: my sessions include wardrobe styling and help!!!)

Photo of a family in Newport Beach at Lido Marina Village
Family sitting on a beach in Laguna Beach, CA
Photo of a family at Serrano Creek Park in Lake Forest, CA

1. DO NOT WEAR ATHLETIC OR RUNNING SHOES.

Comfortable shoes are recommend, but stay away from running or athletic shoes. They're bulky and distracting because they don't pull an outfit together. I find this is mostly an issue with Dads and boys, possibly because they don't know what else to wear. Shoes can still be comfortable without being "athletic" looking. Vans, Converse, Old Navy and H&M all have good options.


2. DO NOT WEAR UNCOMFORTABLE Shoes That YOU CAN’T MOVE Easily IN!

My sessions, especially with small children, are pretty active. (Ahem, Moms.... I am talking to you right now!). While beautiful, sometimes heels or platforms may not be the best choice, depending on our session location. During our session, we could be running, swinging or spinning kiddos, and walking. Some locations have grass, uneven ground or require a short walk to get where we are shooting. The last thing I want, is for you to end your photo session with painful blisters.


Photo of a family on the beach in Laguna Beach, CA
Photo of a family at the Mission San Juan Capistrano in San Juan Capistrano, CA

3. AVOID NEON SHADES, SUPER BRIGHT COLORS AND LOGOS OR CHARACTERS.

Now, let's be clear - I am not a photographer who wants everyone in neutral colors. I love pops of color on my clients and colors that coordinate with our session location. That being said, there are certain colors that look better on camera, or are flattering for skin tones. The last thing you want is your eye drawn only to the bright, neon yellow shirt your four-year-old insisted on wearing, which is now casting a neon yellow glow on everyone! Logos or characters are distracting, and I want beautiful photos that focus on your family connection and the surroundings.


4. Ill-Fitting Clothes are a no-no!

This seems obvious, but let me elaborate on some common clothing mishaps. Dads should expect to be throwing kids in the air, giving shoulder rides and they often end up wearing shirts that are too short for their torso. When choosing what to wear, have Dad try lifting his arms to the sky. If the shirt ends up above his belly, it’s probably not a good choice! Jeans or pants that are too tight make it uncomfortable for Dad to sit. Moms tend to sometimes wear shirts that don’t fit right in the chest. If they are too small (resulting in gaping between buttons) or too large of a neckline (resulting in gaping open/showing bras), it can be hard to navigate during a session. The last thing we want to do is be constantly adjusting clothing! Also, please don't assume that I can magically erase or change clothing mishaps during the editing process.


5. SHORT DRESSES AND SKIRTS CAN BE HARD TO Manage DURING YOUR FAMILY SESSION.

You've got great "gams" and you want to show them off! I don't blame you! I would too!!! But, shorter skirts and dresses make it difficult when we transition to seated poses. There’s no good way to position someone in a short dress on a quilt without being very limited in angles, if you get what I mean. If you love a shorter hemline, consider something with a fuller skirt which can more easily be arranged around your legs.

Photo of a family in a field in San Juan Capistrano, CA
Photo of a family on a street in San Juan Capistrano, CA
Photo of a family in front of a VW Bus on the beach in Orange County, CA

6. AVOID COLLARED SHIRTS/Suspenders outfits for BABIES AND TODDLERS.

When babies or toddlers wear collared shirts, they have a tendency to ride up when being held and those collars end up blocking their sweet faces. When at all possible, choose a shirt without a collar, like a comfy sweater or a plain t-shirt. As cute as suspenders look on a baby boy, I have yet to see them actually stay on a baby's shoulders. They are constantly slipping down and need fixing.


7. AVOID TURTLENECKS AND TIGHTLY WRAPPED SCARVES.

Open necks are the most flattering for both men and women. Turtlenecks and scarves can really add bulk where you don’t want it. Avoid turtlenecks entirely and if you want to wear a scarf, loosely wrap it or drape it.


8. AVOID THE IMPULSE TO “DRESS UP” FOR YOUR ORANGE COUNTY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION.

The biggest pitfall of being over-dressed is normally the dads! When I am asked what dads should wear, I always suggest a simple crew neck, henley t-shirt or sweater. When Dads come dressed in slacks, button downs and hard shoes, they often look like they are uncomfortable moving around, sitting on the ground, and getting playful with their kids which can translate to a “stiff” look on camera.


9. Most importantly, Stop trying to be SOMEONE YOU’RE NOT!

Just because something looks cute on Pinterest, doesn't mean it fits your family's vibe. Don't go for a preppy J. Crew look if you're more of a laid-back surfing family that wears a lot of Quiksilver -- embrace your family's style! You will look and feel uncomfortable if you aren’t dressing true to yourselves. If you want advice on what to wear in a style you love, email me!


Photo of a family in San Juan Capistrano, CA
Photo of a family on a baseball field in Yorba Linda, CA