Showing posts with label what to wear. Show all posts
Showing posts with label what to wear. Show all posts

How To Style Your Family for Photos [Naperville, IL Family Photographer]

The question I get asked the most after people book their sessions is, "what should we wear?!". I get it, choosing an outfit for yourself can be challenging, not to mention coordinating your husband and children too. It's a lot, and tends to be the most stressful part of the session, but stress no more! I've coerced my amazing friend Coelle into writing up her tips and tricks for styling a family for photos. She has a background in photography as well as interior design, and just has a great eye for coordinating ensembles. I hope you find her styling tips helpful when planning your own outfits for your photos, and be sure to visit her at Coelle Hope on Instagram, or for beautiful, family friendly design.


I have worked in photography and currently work in interior design so styling for family photo sessions is sort of right up my alley. However, it can occasionally still throw me for a loop so I wanted to share the tips and tricks I stick to when planning that always help us look photo ready and still have each family member looking and feeling like themselves!

  • Consider your session location! Unless the plan is to do something avant garde like wearing a ball gown in a corn field, which believe me, I am totally on-board with that act of personal expression! Just make sure you have that convo with your photographer to make sure everyone is on the same page. Back to the typical situation; if it’s an outdoor session and you have a running toddler, consider clothing that moves well, does not wrinkle easily, you can sit in it, hold your child in it without flashing everyone.That type of thing. Or if your venue is a modern art gallery and you have always wanted to rock stilettos for family photos- now is the time!
  • Dive into your color palette! What colors do your family members usually wear? If you do the purchasing for your family, what do you gravitate towards? Stick within this realm for color. Same with patterns and textures! Stick with your comfort zone. If you never wear ruffles, don’t start for a photo session. We are mostly a solid and stripes type of family, so I embrace it when putting together our looks and can still create interest within our comfort zone.

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  • Lay out the plan! I usually start with my husband or myself because typically one of us has THE outfit or THE top I’m planning the entire look around. After that I move to the kiddos. This is where it can get a bit tricky because we have three boys and although I want us to compliment each other, I don’t want them dressed the same or even coordinated too predictably. Make sense? 
  • Example of complimenting children’s outfits for my family of three boys. All three outfits are the same level of comfy-casual but not too similar. These differences provide visual interest and give everyone their own look.
    • child one: button-up shirt untucked with sleeves rolled and jeans
    • child two: pullover sweater and colored jeans (grey-wash, or olive green..) 
    • child three: solid t-shirt with open cardigan and jeans.
  • Create additional points of interest by giving everyone some fun personal style pops! Everyone gets something is my rule! I like to vary the location of the style pop on each person. So if one child wants to wear a hat, not everyone gets to wear a hat. Sorry, harsh, I know! This is a good opportunity to find something that is “so them” and years from now you will look and say “Ohh you DID always love red shoes!” You might be wondering how do I do this for my husband and I? Let me give you examples. Your husband can rock those trendy leather shoes (dark plain socks, of course) and his nice watch. He could also add some layers to provide that style. If he typically wears a t-shirt, make it a solid t-shirt and add a casual blazer, cardigan, or long sleeve pocket T in another solid color. If he has cute glasses he likes to wear (anti-glare please!!) have them wear those! And for me, my base outfit might be plain but I can add a scarf, and/or fun shoes. Or maybe I'll throw on earrings with a solid top but patterned skirt for a style pop.
  • Remember how I mentioned the kiddo that loves red shoes? Well, I really want to talk a bit more about footwear. (Sorry, soapbox!) I really like to have the kids wear shoes that aren’t their everyday sneakers (unless your children somehow keep those looking good). I typically find “picture shoes” at either Target or Old Navy (the slip on All Star knock-offs work great!). Trust me, you will look back at those photos with everyone perfectly styled and then those darn every day sneakers will stick out like a sore thumb!

After reading those tips, now you are ready to plan and style your family photo session! You've got this!

Jen Madigan Photography is a Chicago and Iowa City, IA based photographer available for travel worldwide. She specializes in lifestyle newborn and family photography.

 I would love to tell your family's story through photos! Contact me for details and to book:

What to Wear: Spring Family Session [Iowa City, IA Family Photography]

Getting your family ready for a photo session can take time and can be overwhelming, so Coelle has put together a spring style board to inspire you.The following tips will help make sure your family is photo ready when preparing to create wonderful family photos:

  • When thinking about what to dress each member of your family in, remember the days of all matching shirts or outfits are long gone! Try striving for a “coordinated” look instead. Work within in the same color pallet but feel free to throw in splashes of color outside of the pallet (see the little girl cardigan below for example of surprise color!).
  • Consider comfort! Photo sessions are a blast and filled with movement, you might be running through a grassy field or all cuddled up together on a park bench during the shoot (maybe save the fancy dress and high heels for date night...).
  • Have everyone try everything on before the day of the photo shoot, kids grow so quickly...if you have the perfect thing in mind that has been hanging in their closet for months, it might not fit any more, have them try it on before hand!
  • Think about details; jewelry for mom, hair clip for little girls to keep the hair out of their eyes, cute and clean shoes for everyone!

Spring is the perfect time to schedule a family photo shoot! Spring styles are colorful, the sky is bright, the grass is turning green and we are all thrilled to be outside!

What to Wear: Spring Engagement Session [Iowa City, IA Engagement Photographer]

As the snow has melted away, it finally feels as though spring is coming! It's a busy time of year, but with such gorgeous weather and the flowers blooming, spring is a perfect time to schedule your engagement session. Coelle put together three looks to give you some style inspiration as we look ahead to warmer weather. Use these ideas to shop your own closet and put together something fabulous, or I've provided the links if you are in love with any of the specific items below.

Also, styling for sessions can be added onto any collection if you want Coelle to personally come shop your closet with you! :)

Dressy Look
 Dress, necklace, shoes, and for the guys... a sport coat (pair with dress pants)

Casual Sundress Look
Dress, Earrings, Shoes, for the guys...Sweater (to pair with jeans)

 Casual Denim Look
Top, Jeans, Sandals, Earrings, for the guys...Button-down Shirt (wear with sleeves rolled up + jeans)

What to Wear: Spring Maternity [Iowa City, IA Maternity Photographer]

Spring is just around the corner (yesterday's weather was so nice, I'm pretty sure everyone on our block was busting out their grills for the season) and that means outdoor sessions! One of my favorite types of sessions to do are maternity, as it's such an exciting time for a couple as they await the arrival of their new little one.

If you are preparing for a spring maternity session, Coelle put together a couple looks to give you inspiration. Links are provided if you like any of the items shown, but as these are just meant to inspire you, check out your own closet to put together similar looks!

Casual Spring Maternity Look: 

Dressy spring maternity look:

What to Wear: Winter Maternity Session

Maternity sessions happen during all times of the year, and they can be just as beautiful in the cold winter months as the summer months! Luckily there are adorable maternity clothes that are picture perfect for all seasons. I have put together a few ideas for all you expecting mamas out there to consider when planning for your maternity session. 

I always recommend asking friends and family who have recently had children if they have maternity clothes you could peek through, you never know what treasures you might find. My sister-in-law sent me a box of maternity clothes and I lived in a few of her items through my pregnancy, it was wonderful! 

When choosing clothes for a winter session it is better to choose form- fitting tops that hug that baby bump tightly. Consider sweaters paired with a scarf or a sweater dress with tights and boots. Maternity specific coats can also be an adorable winter option, and you can always have some photos with it on and some without it. Don’t forget including accessories, such as jewelry and scarves! - Coelle

Links to these specific items can be found below all of the looks Coelle put together, and you can click HERE for more information on how to purchase the Sutton necklace featured in the first look. You can also shop your closet for similar items! 

Items have been sourced from Motherhood Maternity (jeans, wine cords, and cardigan), Target (dress), Gap (sweater), Anthropologie (scarf), J Crew factory (second necklace).

What to Wear: Winter Engagement Session

Living in Iowa, with it's 40 degrees one day and -17 the next, planning a winter engagement session can be a little tricky. However, when a client is up for it and the weather works in our favor, winter sessions are some of my favorite. Everything is so beautiful, and peaceful - and who doesn't like the chance to cozy up with their fiancé for warmth? ;)

Coelle came up with a couple inspiration boards for those who might consider a winter engagement post. There is a way to click on the items beneath both sets, (except the cream sweater in the second set and the men's plaid shirt) but these looks would be so easy to recreate with similar items you already own. Don't forget some tights for the skirt outfit, might be a little chilly to go without!

Urban/Downtown Winter Engagement

Casual Winter Engagement

Shop most of the items below, or shop your closet!


What to Wear: Maternity Session Inspiration

As always, make sure to check out my Pinterest board for great outfit inspiration, but here are two I came up with for a maternity session!

Sperry, Calvin Klein Jeans, Gap

For Her: Top, Jeans, Necklace, Shoes
For Him: Shirt, Jeans, Shoes

Forever 21, Sperry, Gap, Antonio Melani, J.Crew

For Her: Dress, Belt, Bracelets, Sandals 
For Him: Shirt, Jeans, Shoes

What to Wear: Summer Sessions [Families + Engagements]

Looking for some style inspiration for a family or engagement session during these last few weeks of summer? I put together a few looks to help inspire you with bright colors, nautical stripes, and floral dresses. Also be sure to check out my Pinterest board for more outfit inspiration for every season.

I love this bright maxi dress (Gap has a great option as well) paired with a bright statement necklace, and the little girl's dress from Zara is just too too cute.
This second look is inspired by the colors in this J Crew ensemble.

And finally, one for the engaged couples, pair a cute floral sundress with a delicate necklace from Etsy, and a bright polo for him.