Top 3 tips for clients for excellent Fall family photos with children.

Here are some of my top tips for those of you planning a fall family session!

1. What to wear:

Start planning the mom's outfit first, then build around that. It may seem silly, but what I do to plan, is to go on Pinterest and I search for "Fall color palettes" (or summer palettes, depending on the season.) and you'll usually get something like this, which shows some fall colors that blend together beautifully. (If you click the link, it should take you to the website this was found on.)

I find my favorite one, and would advise the mom to pick an outfit based on one of these colors. For fall season, I find mustard yellow, burnt orange, sage green, burgundy, etc to be gorgeous for the surroundings. After the mom has picked her outfit, she can pick outfits for the rest of the family looking at the rest of the colors that match. A great affordable resource is Old Navy, as they tend to have a lot of clothing in basic neutral colors without distracting graphic images on them. For women, I recommend long maxi dresses, lacy tops with flowing skirts, long shirts with leggings and cardigan, or anything that just makes you look your best. For boys in the fall, I recommend long sleeve thermal shirts, button down shirts with suspenders, t shirt with blazer, or a nice knit sweater. In the fall time, the weather can fluctuate, so be sure to choose outfits with layers that can be adjusted. If the weather is super cold and you don't want to have heavy jackets covering the children's outfits, add thermal underclothes underneath so they can stay warm. For little girls, I love things such as long dresses with scarf and cardigan, long shirt with fur vest and leggings, or sweater dresses with boots. For the dads, I recommend similar to the boys, button down shirts in neutral colors, long sleeve thermals or knit sweaters with button down underneath. Please be sure not to choose any shirt with distracting images on it, such as a Nike logo. Mild patterns such as floral and plaid usually work and coordinate just fine. I found these images on Old Navy’s website, and think these are great ideas for fall.

2. How to make sure the kids cooperate:

Kids can be hard to get to cooperate for photos, especially toddlers. Please make sure that they are dressed appropriately (warm or cool) and well fed. If you ask your photographer, they will usually bring treats or stickers or some kind of reward for the children. Please do not get upset if the children are running around and not sitting still. This just makes everyone stressed out, and it is noticeable in the photos. Just relax and let your photographer handle it, we are used to this! Most family sessions with young toddlers aren't going to get a perfect shot of everyone smiling directly at the camera, but candid photos of you hugging and loving on your babies are always possible, and honestly everyone loves those better anyway! Just show up with well fed and adequately dressed babies, and just be prepared to love on them and kiss on them, and trust your photographer to capture the connection between you. Remember, this is who they are right now, and even if it may be frustrating that they may not sit still and pose perfectly, this is who they are (a crazy wild running around toddler! :) and later you'll be happy to remember them that way. And as photographers, we usually have plenty of tricks to get those perfectly posed photos even with the youngest kids, so just trust us and don't stress out!

3. How to make sure you love how you look in the photos:

Be sure and tell your photographer what you're hoping for out of your photo session and what you're worried about. We want you to be happy with your photos! If getting a certain shot means more to you than anything, please tell us and we will do anything to nail that shot for you. If you're self conscious about the way you look in photos, tell us! We will be more than happy to try and make sure you're always posed in a way that makes you feel your best, and sometimes photographers will let you sneak a peek at the back of the camera so you can see how you look and be reassured. Try your best to control things that you can, like making sure that everyone's hair is combed and shirts aren't overly wrinkled and kid's fingernails aren't dirty. Most photographers can offer retouching on things like small bruises and scabs and acne, so if you're worried about anything like that, talk to your photographer and let him/her know. We want you to love your images!

Above anything else, just relax, show up on time and be ready to love on your family and you will get the best results!