Family Session Style Guide Engineer's EyE Photography

What Every Client Needs to Know

I am SO excited for your session! I'm so honored to help you create memories you'll cherish for a lifetime. I've provided this guide to help you get the most out of your session, and by the time you've read through this guide, you will feel more than ready and prepared for your session...and I'll take care of the rest! Your job is to be yourself, have some laughs, enjoy your family, and let me create the photos you'll love for years to come.

Style Tips: for her

Don't be Afraid to Dress it up! Dresses and skirts look most stunning because they really flatter every female body - especially on camera. I recommend avoiding pants or shorts of your session, and saying yes to a dress instead! Long, full-length flowy dresses and skirts look amazing in images because they bring extra movement to the photos, especially when juxtaposed with nature. Floor length dresses or skirts are great if you're sitting or crouching closer to the ground to interact with your little ones, make moving around much easier and look perfect on camera.

Choosing Colors When choosing colors for your outfits, look for softer tones and more muted shades. Avoiding ultra-bright, bold or neon colors helps bring all the attention to your faces and lets the eye focus on the way you feel about each other. The camera loves shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like heather grey, creams, leather brown and white. Darker blues, greys and browns are also a wonderful option, especially in the fall and winter months. This softer palette fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments.

Flattering Your Features In my experience, every woman, regardless of her shape, has an area of her body that she is self conscious about, so recognizing that area in advance is key. Choosing flattering silhouettes and colors that complement your natural features is the best way to ensure you'll love the way you look in your photos! Three-quarter length sleeves have an awesome slimming effect on arms, so be on the lookout for an option with a longer length sleeve. You can also bring along a cute jacket, blazer or cardigan. Skinny straps or strapless dresses can have the opposite effect on the arms on camera. When it comes to shoes, heels elongate your legs, making them look fabulous. If the location is more natural, wedges are a great option. Quick Tip: Bring a set of flats to wear when moving from place to place - your feet will thank you later!

Make a statement Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can help bring some extra dimension to your images, and be a nice tie-in when you're coordinating with a group. Big statement necklaces bring a lot of pop to the photos, while smaller, more delicate ones will not be as noticeable. Belts, bracelets and earrings bring great visual interest, so choose one or two that don't compete for attention.

Hair & Makeup Professional hair and makeup looks amazing on camera and removes the stress of getting ready on your own. This is the time to treat yourself! Whether it's lash extensions or blown-out hair, professional hair and makeup will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera, and always photographs like a dream. If you choose to work with a makeup artist, have her apply your makeup in natural light, if possible, so it looks fresh and not too heavy. If it's not in the budget or schedule to go get pampered, no worries! Treat yourself to an in-home facial and hair mask (maybe even a bath!) a few days beforehand. If you usually wear your makeup simple and natural, great! Adding just a little more can help it show up perfectly on camera, and little things like remembering mascara, or a touch of eyeliner will really help your eyes pop. If you normally rock your makeup big and bold, awesome! Just do your thing!

Fashion Tips: for him

The Best Fit Long, fitted pants and close-toed shoes are the most sophisticated and masculine looks for men. They draw attention away from his legs and feet and place it where you want it: on his handsome face. So, for your session, it's usually best to leave the shorts, sandals and faded jeans at home, as well as any pants that are too loose or baggy. Fitted dress pants, dark fitted jeans or fitted colored pants look great on camera. Solid shades of gray or navy are a strong compliment to most women's outfits, whereas pinstripes and plaids can distract the eye. I also recommend staying away from graphics and logos. Keep it simple.

Layers! Next time you walk by a store, you'll notice the male mannequins and models are almost always wearing several layers at once. Layers on men look great on camera, so even when it's hot outside...trust me when I say it's worth an hour or so of discomfort for photos that will last a lifetime. Blazers, vest and coats up the level of any look. If weather permits, he can also consider adding a v-neck sweater with a pop of color from a long sleeved collared shirt underneath. Don't be afraid to get a little creative!

It's all in the Details Brown leather dress shoes compliment almost every look, whether he's wearing a full suit or blazer and colored pants. Ties, bowties, colored socks, belts, suspenders, vests and watches are sharp compliments to any outfit for men and boys alike.

How to Prep Your Man Most men aren't overly excited to take photos, because they don't have an expectation of what's to come and why it's so important to you. Take fifteen minutes to explain why you chose me and my style. Show him some of your favorite sessions and tell him why you love them and how much your upcoming session means to you. Trust me, once he know how important it is, he'll light up the camera - for you! I constantly hear about how much husbands dread sessions, and I do my best to help them feel comfortable and at ease. 90% of the session I tell them is "Don't look at me, focus on them!", and that's where the magic happens. By the time we're done, they won't believe how fast it went and how comfortable they were!

Prepping Your Family

Coordinating the Crew As you're coordinating your outfit with your family, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palette and wardrobe pieces coordinate but don't actually "match". Approach it by thinking about what 'fits' together instead of what 'matches'. This will create more visual interest and allow each personality to shine through.

How to Mix Colors The goal to coordinating family outfits is to visually break up the colors and shades so that you're not all wearing the same color on top and bottom. The more you mix that up, the better. Plan each outfit with dominant and accent colors in mind. Aim for each person to have a different dominant color, then tie in and vary the accent colors. If you have multiple children, don't feel like you have to put them in the same type of outfit, mixing up the wardrobe pieces will bring additional visual interest to your photos.

If you have any questions or want to bounce ideas off someone, text me! I would love to collaborate with you to find the perfect outfits!

This was by far the best experience we’ve had with professional photos. The photos are amazingly beautiful but, more than that, you instantly put my family at ease in front of the camera, encouraged laughter and fun instead of stiff poses or forced smiles and you focused on capturing who we are as a family. When I look at the pictures from our session, it’s amazing to me how accurately they capture the phase of life we’re in and how much true personality shines from them. These will certainly be treasured memories for years to come. Thank you so much.

Prepping Your Littles

Pack a bag with snacks and water to bring to the session. When kids get hungry, they get grumpy, and we can fix that! Also, since a lot of my sessions are near sunset (and during the summer, that gets late!), I recommend a late nap and full bellies to make sure they're awake and limit the grumpies that can come with missing bedtime (bonus if they're extra snuggly when they get tired). If they're old enough to understand you, it's a good idea to prepare them, so they know what to expect before the session starts. Explain how much the photos mean to you so they know to be on their best behavior. A lot of families discuss and pick something fun in advance as a treat after the session if they're good listeners. Once you prepare them physically and mentally, then feel free to give them (and you!) some grace. They're little, and with two of my own, I know not all days go as planned. I also know how to work around the kids and will do everything in my power to get you great images, regardless of their moods. My goal is make your experience as fun and stress-free as possible for you and your family!

I always get nervous about getting a great shot with younger children. But, the kids were relaxed and she was great at getting their attention and keeping this mom's stress level non-existent.

At the end of the day, the outfits you choose and the location we select won't matter nearly as much as the memories you make together. These memories are the most important thing to me, and I want your session to be a time of you to just be yourselves and enjoy each other. Have fun together, laugh a lot - I'll take care of the rest.

As always, if you have any questions at all, text or email me!

847.845.3358 | engineerseyephoto@gmail.com | engineerseyephotography.com

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