tips + tricks

and vendor recommendations

dressing for your session

tips & tricks

Dressing for your studio portraits

When dressing for your newborn or studio family portraits, I have found the sticking to predominantly neutral colors works the best. Greys, whites, creams, black, beige and tans.

Tip #1: Families who stick with all light (pastels, whites, creams), or all dark (jewel tones or black) end up with the most seamless portraits. Where the focus remains on faces & expressions. It is more confusing to the eye if one parent is wearing dark, and other one is wearing light, so try to avoid this.

Tip #2: It rarely matters what you wear on your bottom half, or for shoes. Simple jeans or leggings will make for a much more comfortable day.

Dressing for your on-location portraits

You can stick with neutrals in this environment as well, but it can also be fun to bring in some bolder colors! These are my five tips & tricks for getting it right!

Tip #1: Shop for your entire famiy in one store. A single store will use the same color scheme in a season for all of their clothing lines. This will make matching shades much easier!

Tip #2: Pick out a plaid shirt first! A plaid shirt has a built in color palette - with colors that look good together, chosen by design experts! You will use this shirt as a basis to start building your other outfits. Once you've got a solid look going, you can replace the plaid shirt with something else if you aren't a fan of plaid.

Tip #3: Try to avoid being matchy-matchy. Instead use the plaid shirt to coordinate your outfit selections, and get some color variety!

Tip #4: Feel free to mix it up with solids & prints. The plaid shirt's color palette will keep the look pulled together. Try to avoid very bold & large print patterns, and also avoid text & logos - these can be distracting to the eye.

Tip #5: Layers, textures & details! These translate great on camera. Don't be afraid to layer jewelry, scarves, sweaters, or jackets to create depth in your outfits. Also, consider the smaller details like earrings, hair pieces, finger nail polish & shoes (no white tennis shoes, please!)

Often, it is easiest to find my clothing first. I know I need the right outfit to be comfortable during the photo session, and I don’t want to feel pressured to wear something I don’t feel good in, just because the color is right.

 After choosing my color palette, I dress the kids next. Having five kids can make this a challenge, but childrens' outfits are great for bringing in different textures, patterns, and sometimes, bolder colors. Finally, I will choose a complimentary solid-colored shirt for my husband.

What Works for Our Family

how I do it

I always lay it all out together (usually while I am still in the store), and see if I feel like there is a good balance between the colors, patterns & textures. After I do this, I will often end up switching up some items to achieve a coordinated and cohesive look. 

Remember that chunky jewelry, and scarves & jackets can be added to an outfit to help balance textures and patterns, if needed. 


favorite vendors
Great for newborn through young children, including toddlers, birthday & six month sessions.
Great for custom handmade cake smash outfits or crochet items. Just search for what you need! Beware of long shipping times though! /
Great for coordinating family outfits, something for everyone in similar colors for the season.

Birthday Decor/Props

I love browsing JoAnns, Michaels, Target, and Hobby Lobby for props, decor & inspiration!
If you already know what you are looking for, try a quick search on Etsy or Amazon - they will have just about anything your heart desires. 
Parents commonly bring pennant banners and balloons to coordinate with their smash cake.

Smash Cakes

Due to allergen concerns, you will need to provide your own smash cake and most coordinating decor. Some of my clients are super crafty & will make their own smash cake!
But, if you don't have the crafty gene (or the time!) many of my clients have found luck  with their local grocer. If you order ahead of time, most of these bakeries will customize the decor to match your theme.

There are also several specialty bakeries around town, for a bit more money, you can have a cake custom made for your session at: Frost It Cakery, JaimeCakes, Kaye's Cake Designs and other local cake artists.