How to Plan: Family Photo Outfits

I love to take family photos.  Something about documenting a certain stage in life with beautiful photos brings me joy! Although I can’t always predict how it will go with two kids – (I leave it up to our amazing photographer to capture the magic that she does), I can make sure we look put together! I may spend a bit more time than some on deciding our outfits, but I’ve got a good system down and I love having something to shop for-whether its in a store or our closets!  Here’s some tips on choosing outfits for your family’s photo session:

one. Decide on a time frame/special occasion for your photos. Are you taking pictures for Christmas cards or a special birthday? Will you be taking them in the spring or the fall? Obviously if you’re taking photos in the summer you don’t want to be wearing sweaters and jeans and if its fall photos you’re doing, you may want the overall look to be more cozy!

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You can also add to this with accessories. Here in Southern California, there was really no need to a blanket scarf in the fall, but it looked super cute on our Christmas Cards! For Aubrey’s first birthday photos, I added a party hat and a fun accessory to bring in her party theme just for a few photos.

two. Choose a location.  Your photographer may be able to help you with this – but once you have a time frame, location is a big factor in deciding our look.  Typically if I mention the beach or something rustic, our photographer Alex will have a few options up her sleeve for us.  I love light and bright colors on the beach. Keep in mind if you’re going somewhere that has specific colors or decor, you don’t want to clash or blend in. I’ve noticed browns and olive greens may not work in a more rustic location with lots of trees and long grass (which is obviously a setting I love).

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three. Once you know when and where your session is taking place, the coordinating begins! Choose your starting outfit. For me, it’s typically mine (mama’s gotta look good, haha). I know my girls look cute in anything and it’s easy to find a shirt for my husband to go with anything. Sometimes my outfit is neutral, and sometimes it has a pattern or makes a statement. Once I’ve found something for me that goes with the overall feel I’m going for, I move on to the girls, and then my husband.

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burgundy dress is LuLaRoe | floral and green ombre were both LC by Lauren Conrad at Kohls | white dress is Knox Rose at Target | sequin dress was from Rent the Runway

four. The kids. As cute as matching outfits are for two sisters, I like them to be different so they don’t just look like one blob. Since my girls are young, we tend to hold them often so I like some contrast. I usually do one in a pattern and one in a solid. Or two solids with different textures. Just some difference to make it interesting! Depending on your preference, you can choose a color from the pallet of your starting outfit, or an opposite yet complimenting color. One way I like to keep a bold look more simple is to keep something consistent like denim pants.

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The girls’ white outfit details are in a recent post.

five. My husband. For men, and especially those who don’t like to play dress up, simplicity is key. Family photos are not his idea of a great day, so I try to make his outfit as painless as possible! His go to look: pants and a button up. If I want a more dressed up look I find a long sleeve and he wears nicer shoes. If I want a more relaxed look, I go for a short sleeve and boots. I want to be sure we all look cohesive in this way.  If I have on a floor length dress, it only seems fitting that his shirt is a bit dressier and on the contrary, if the girls look more relaxed, I want us to also feel casual! His shirt is usually simple (unless our overall look needs a pattern or something) and compliments my outfit alone and the girls clothes. I always like to sneak in a photo of just us, so I want the two of us to look complimentary on our own.

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The last tip is to find a photographer whose style you love and would want to see in your home. I found Alex from Alexandra Kayy Photography while I was pregnant with Aubrey and she has been capturing the special moments in our lives ever since! I love knowing that our memories are in good hands! She’s been at the hospital the day after my babies were born and documented our girls as they’ve grown. I cannot thank her enough for the gifts she has given us through photographs!

Check her out here: Facebook | Instagram | Website

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I hope you enjoy coordinating your family’s outfits for your next family photo session! Do you have any tried and true tips for good family photos? I’d love to hear!


Here’s a quick version of these tips:

 

one. Time frame/Season/Occasion

two. Location

three. Inspiration Outfit

four. Compliment with texture, pattern, solid, colors

five. Cohesive as a whole – bring in elements for consistency (i.e. denim)

Love your photographer!


xoxo

Whitney

 

Five on Friday

The weekend is fast approaching, yet again! I love rounding up the week with 5 things we liked/did/ate! Follow the links at the end to linkup with April, Christina, and Natasha!

one | A sweet friend of mine came over to take some photos for me so I can have clearer profile and introduction photos. Let me say, attempting to take solo photos was one of the weirdest experiences! What did we discover? The more awkward you feel, the better the picture is going to be! Haha…anyone else feel like that? Looking at all those fashion bloggers and everything they make it look so easy to look cute. Not the case. Definitely could use some more practice (maybe when we don’t have 4 toddlers under the age of 3 running around!) but it was a fun first attempt!

two | I got this Nuby popsicle mold two years ago to make breastmilk popsicles for Aubrey during her first summer. Now, I love that the molds are small and perfect for a toddler treat! We’ve been making them using yogurt and its the perfect treat for a hot summer afternoon! And its small enough that I don’t mind if she has it before dinner and she can finish it before it gets too melty!

three | I’m sure you’ve seen it, heard it shouted from the rooftops 850 times, but…the Nordstrom Sale is happening! And its open to everyone now! Have you purchased any amazing deals? I’ve shopped and put like a million things in my cart, but haven’t made any purchases yet.  I find it hard to shop for fall things when its like 100 degrees outside! But here’s a few things I’m loving:

booties | black long sleeve | peep toe bootie | cardigan

four | For Christmas my parents got me a 50mm lens for my Canon and I absolutely LOVE it! But I’ve been looking into a wider angle lens to be able to easier photograph a larger area, like a room or other areas in my house.  After reading a little bit, I think I’m leaning towards a 35mm. These are definitely a bit more of an investment though! I’d love to know if you have one and if you love it enough to be worth the investment? I’m clearly not a professional, but I love learning about photography and experimenting to get better!

five | Next week my baby turns ONE! How has this year gone by so fast?! I cannot wait to celebrate her and have a fiesta with our friends and family! I’ve started a party planning post that I’m excited to share!

Hope you guys have a happy friYAY and a wonderful weekend!

Be sure to catch April, Christina, and Natasha!

 

The Day of Family Photos

A few months ago, I was thinking about my youngest daughters first birthday approaching and how time was moving so fast. This would be a perfect reason to take some family photos! Documenting the milestone of “1” while also getting some Christmas card shots in sounds like a win/win. Right?

Then the day gets closer. It’s a week before, I’m scrambling to pick an outfit scheme. Thankfully the Gap (tank) and Old Navy (dress) come to my rescue to find outfits for the girls that coordinate with a dress I liked at target weeks ago. (unfortunately I cannot find my dress online anymore! But I love almost everything Knox Rose makes!) Then the husband. Always my challenge. He is such a trooper and I’m thankful he humors me and tags along for all of these “photographic moments” but he can be picky. And I tend to procrastinate! So naturally, the morning of after two trips to Kohl’s, he has a new shirt and new pair of pants.

 

Phew. We all have clothes. Now to plan the entire rest of our day around “the golden hour”. Don’t get me wrong, I live for the golden hour and our photographer always has perfect timing and gets us in the best light. But 6pm is just so hard with an almost 1 and 2 year old! At some point between lunch,  naps, go back in to put back down for naps, playing, snacks, packing for what seems to be a whole weekend but it’s just a 2 hour photo shoot…I get ready. This is something that rarely ever happens for this exact reason. Who has time for this?! Shaving, shampooing, drying, makeup, curling…all in the same day? Normally I’m lucky to get 10 minutes to just get clean.

We did it. I’m ready and dressed, packed up the girls’ outfits, car is loaded with snacks, possible distractions and entertainment and we are on our way.  Surely the baby will get in a power nap and be happy when we get there. Nope. Surely Aubrey will eat on the way so she is full and happy. Nope. And so the chaos begins. We get there and load up this awesome wagon with all of our junk to pull around with us and find the perfect spot on a bridge to stop for the first photo opportunity.  There goes Aubrey…running away straight for the pile of horse poop – thank goodness she missed it! We catch her and wrangle her and got a glimpse of the shenanigans she was going to pull for the entire session. An hour and a half of bouncing and tickling Blake to get her to smile. Chasing after Aubrey and offering bribe after bribe to get her to stay still for 5 seconds, maybe even a smile?!

Somehow we make it through, make it home, and get the kids to bed…late, but oh well! And somehow, Alex gets amazing shots and I fall in love with the sneak peeks and (im)patiently wait to see the rest!

website | facebook | instagram

Alexandra Kayy Photography has captured so many of the most important milestones in our lives and we couldn’t be more grateful! Stay tuned for more photos from our session and photography related posts!

Hope your Monday was short and the rest of your week is fabulous!

Whitney

Bumpdate {31 weeks}

December 18, 2014

how far along: 31 weeks, 4 days

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{bumpdate photos this week were taken by the wonderful Kim of Kim Harvey Photography! there are so many to love that they will get their own post! stay tuned!}

size of baby: a pineapple {15.2-16.7 inches, 2.5-3.8 pounds}

gender: a sweet baby girl!

weight gain: up 27.5 pounds! {lets hope we keep it slow and steady from here on}

maternity clothes: for sure! still rocking my regular pj’s and comfy clothes at home…but we all know how that works out!

stretch marks: keeping them away with my Mustela cream!

rings: on…but I’m thinking I should remove them for a bit, just so they don’t get uncomfortable!

nursery: is really coming along!! our rocker came last week {thanks mom & dad!} and I’m trying to finish washing the bedding! we got some adorable wall art from Hobby Lobby last weekend and I cannot wait to get it all hung and share some pictures!

movement: still crazy in there! she moves ALL. THE. TIME…and I love it!

symptoms: mild back pain, fatigue {duh, +27.5 pounds}, and major nesting! is that a symptom? I’m not sure…but at least its a productive one!

sleep: cannot get enough! but so happy that I’m sleeping well!

cravings: sweets {as always}, soft pretzels and sushi! really, I think I just want miso soup and anything I can put soy sauce on!

aversions: nothing in particular…

what I miss: being able to walk through Ikea without feeling like I ran a marathon!

best moment this week: we were busy bees last week! decorated {minimally} for Christmas, checked off many lines on the baby to-do list, had a 3-d ultrasound & I had photos taken!!

the hubby was a trooper this weekend and we had “a really big day” on Saturday {side note-I’ve never seen this movie – can you name it? –  but Todd and a friend of  mine keep referencing it, so naturally it’s all I think about when writing about a Saturday morning filled with errands}.  we ordered the stroller {which has arrived and is AMAZING!}, picked out a side table from Ikea {but still have to go back to find it because it was sold out}, found some super cute decor at Hobby Lobby AND explored Buy Buy Baby for the first time!! thank goodness Hobby Lobby and Buy Buy Baby aren’t just right around the corner from our house! it was my first time at both stores and I can officially say I’m addicted!!

on Monday we spent the morning and evening at Kaiser for an appointment and Baby Care Basics! so much information! let’s hope we remember how to swaddle and bathe her 2 months from now 😉

Baby Care Basics    Bumpdate {31 weeks}

oh, and it was also my birthday! I had a wonderful time celebrating with my family! apparently baby progress is way more exciting!!

looking forward to: a relaxing weekend! we have a housewarming party to attend on the calendar, but hopefully the rest of the weekend will be spent enjoying our cozy living room {see our beautiful shorty tree on my Instagram from this morning} and washing baby stuff!