family session


Woodley 168 2000 CROPPED 2

Looking your best

More than any other question, clients always ask what they should wear to their family session. Putting together your outfits can be a daunting task, but it doesn’t have to be! Here are some tips to help you with styling.  Chances are you already have everything you need in your closets.   No need to stress, you're going to look amazing!

Quick Start Guide


Maxi dresses, fitted tops tucked into long skirts, a-line dresses, skinny jeans with a feminine top, cute shoes/boots.


Everything listed for mom, plus optional accessories - headbands, hats and diaper covers and/or consider shorts underneath dresses for more coverage.


Long sleeve button down shirt with the sleeves rolled up, chinos, khakis or jeans, leather shoes.


Everything listed for dad, with optional accessories & layers.

Archibald Family 101 p


General Tips

Dress it up!

Dress up for family pictures! These are pictures will be hanging up on your walls, displayed at grandmas, and looked back at for years. Take it a step above your everyday outfit.

Complement, don't match

We want colors that generally complement each other, for example soft colors (light blue, gray, blush) or neutrals (cream, gray, khaki, denim, white.)  Make sure any two family members' outfits next to each other don't overly match or clash.


I recommend checking out sessions at the locations you've chosen and you can see how different colors look in the space.

A good dose of neutrals with your color palette always looks great and works well with my style of photography (light grays, whites, off-white, tans, pastels, earth tones, etc.)

Be careful with bright, highly saturated colors.  They will cause color cast, especially noticeable if worn up top on a sunny day.  It will tint your face that color and anyone standing around.  If you have a bright purple skirt, and your toddler comes up to hug you, one side of their face will probably be purple.

If you love bright colors and want to incorporate them into the session, just add in plenty of neutrals or more subdued colors to balance them out.


Don’t be afraid of patterns and prints! They can work great in moderation. Try one statement piece (for instance, a colorful floral dress for mom) and one subtle pattern on one of the kids, and then keep the rest of the family more simple.


These are often the forgotten last element, but they can really make or break your outfits! If you can’t find shoes you love, consider going barefoot (just bring walking shoes to get from point A to point B). Steer away from athletic shoes and bright white sneakers.  Your eye will be drawn to the brightest part of the photo.

Try on clothes beforehand

Check your outfits from all possible angles in the mirror, not just the one you like best. Try sitting, squatting, leaning forward, etc. The kids’ clothes should work well in motion so that we can play during your session (think flying, tickling, and hanging upside down).  Choose clothing that gives you freedom of movement, keeps you warm/cool, and won’t require a lot of maintenance throughout your session and won't show wrinkles easily.

For the guys

Button down shirts are my go-to for guys and much more flattering than flimsy fabrics, t-shirts and polos.

Uda Family 003 p

What to Avoid


Careful with Stripes

Beware of small to medium stripes.  We shoot at a narrow depth of field to get those creamy backgrounds and stripes often times end up quite distorted and we end up with rainbow patterns.  Stripes are adorable but please check with us before incorporating stripes into the outfit.

High Contrast Patterns

Watch out for high contrast patterns such as black and white or navy and white dots and such.  Especially small high contrast patterns.  These often don't translate well in camera either.

Patterns when...

I would stay away from patterns on anyone if the littles are fast movers and you don't see them standing still and cooperating super well.  I may need to do a head swap or two and it helps sooo much if I don't need to match up patterns 🙂

Packard 567 p2

Grooming Tips

A week before
  • Guys - you may want to get a hair cut about a week before your session.
  • Ladies - make sure hair color is nice and fresh.  Professional hair and make up (specifically done for photos) can really make a difference!
  • Braces - white or clear rubber bands if you have a chance to change those out before your session.
  • Avoid sunburn, unwanted tan lines and bloodshot eyes from water activities.
  • Start hydrating and getting plenty of rest.

Day of
  • Makeup - If applying make up yourself, go just a little heavier with mascara and color as it tends to wash out a bit in the photos. Bring makeup for touchups if needed.
  • Brush your teeth before the session.
  • Iron any clothing that needs ironing and take care not to let it wrinkle on the way to your session.
  • Guys - make sure you're facial hair is freshly shaven and/or neatly trimmed.
  • Bring an extra pair of shoes if your picture perfect ones aren't perfect for walking around or if they soil easily.
  • Nail Check - remove old nail polish and make sure nails are clean.
  • Watches usually look best left off as do elastics on wrists, friendship bracelets around wrists and ankles.
  • Leave transition lenses off for the photos or bring a regular pair that doesn't tint.
  • Keep pockets empty.  We don't want bulges from cell phones, wallets, and sunglasses.
  • If bringing clothes to change into, make sure you bring all the parts to the outfit - belts, shoes, accessories, etc.
  • Apply lotion to dry skin
  • Sleep - get a good night's rest if possible
  • Make sure you eat beforehand and avoid food that might stain lips and teeth.
  • Come ready to relax and have fun!
maps locations ponto