Boutique Time

I am participating in the Swoon Weekly Fall Boutique on Saturday, October 3rd in Mesa.

Swoon fall boutique Noelle Lara Photography

There will be many great vendors participating. You can find out more by visiting Swoon Weekly on Facebook or Instagram @swoonboutiqueaz.

The Fall Boutique is happening at 1155 S Lyn Rae Square. Make sure you stop in for a visit.

I am hosting a giveaway at my booth. Come visit me to enter for a FREE mini portrait session!

How to Style Your Family for Portraits

It’s family portrait season and I want to share how I go about styling the family for successful, fun, coordinated portraits.

My most used piece of advice when a clients asks is:  do not dress everyone matching. Where coordinating colors but not the same for everyone.

Start with two to three colors and you can add one or two neutrals (white/cream/beige/brown/black/grey). I do this by finding one or two outfits and branching out from there. I have always started with the kids clothes, they are the ones you want to stand out in photos so they get the bright colors or the pattern pop. Once I’ve picked a color scheme/the kids’ clothes (this is usually a simultaneous decision) then I move to mine and my husband’s outfits for portraits.

Brandon & Kara |Noelle Lara Photography Wedding Announcement Photographer

{This couple is coordinated perfectly in blues and browns. He is wearing a striking plaid shirt and she has some more subtle polka dots on her tights. Fun boots to stand out and a belt to tie it together.}

I just mentioned this briefly, include a bold pattern or two to stand out. but do not put everyone in patterns. For those wearing solids it is a good idea to include texture and to layer the clothing. Texture adds interest in the same way a pattern does, but usually more subtle.  Also, texture is especially great in black and white photos.Layering provides options for multiple colors and gives the opportunity to have a semi-wardrobe change without actually having a wardrobe change. Very versatile.

CC Lawlor 2014  | Noelle Lara Photography  |Family Portrait Photographer

{The plaid shirt and fun patterned leggings stand out. The plaid shirt has all the colors brought into this scheme. Bright blue shoes on mom and coordinating necklace and hair bow for the little girl ties it all together.}

Next you can accessorize (a girl’s favorite word, amiright?) Accessories help to bring in all of your colors and give something to possibly interact with in the photos. (Or you could just eat the grass, like above. That always makes for entreating portraits.) This can be especially great for those who are camera shy or awkward. For example, the lapel on a jacket can be a handhold for the wife to grab and bring him in for a kiss or a hat can be held onto, partially or completely lifted to give a new expression and pose.

If you want to include props, go ahead. Props are especially great if they have significant meaning to you and your family, such as the quilt made by Grandma, the vintage hat that belonged to Grandpa, or a sport or activity your family really enjoys.

JSLawlor 2012 | Noelle Lara Photography Family Portrait Photographer

While you are making all of these color decisions remember to spread out the colors. Do not put everyone in a fun colored shirt with jeans. spread the colors out so there is some on the bottom as well as the top. Include headbands, necklaces, sweaters, skirts, shoes, etc. to bring all of the colors into the family.  Also consider what your family actually wears. For instance, my oldest daughter is incredibly sensitive to texture. She will not wear clothes that are itchy without crying all the day long. So in order to get happy photos of her, I have to make sure her clothes are comfortable. This same principle probably applies to many families.

Lawlor 2012 | Noelle Lara Photography Family Portrait Photographer

{This family is coordinated in black and grey with blue and gold. There is a plaid, stripes, and polka dots and Mom has a little cheetah pattern for a pop.  All the girls have gold necklaces. The dress has a lace texture.}

Some things to avoid in your portrait styling:  cargo pants–the extra outside pockets are distracting; ugly sneakers–shoes are in the photo too, make them intentional and part of the scheme; logos and bold graphics–these distract from the faces and can date your portrait. If someone (especially a guy) gets a haircut prior to portrait day make sure to allow at least ten days for it to grow back slightly so that hair looks natural.

Remember to have fun. You do not have to stick to everyone look t the camera and put on a fake smile. Get some genuine moments by enjoying each other’s company and having a good time.