How to Look AMAZING for your Family Portrait Session

Included in each of my client’s portrait session is wardrobe consultation. Why? Because when you are super busy, thinking about not only what you need to wear, but your whole family, just may be too much! Sometimes we could all use a little guidance. 

Where to start? Read below…

1. Choose your Palette First. Think of royal tones, earth tones, neutrals, pastels, etc.

2. Honor the Season. For each season, I like to compliment the tones around me – think of the colors of the blooming flowers in the spring, or the orange and brown leaves of the fall, and select your wardrobe to honor the time of year.

3. Look at the color wheel. This is a lifesaver, especially when a mom has a certain dress, or color she wants to wear but gets stuck on everyone else. All we need to do is refer to our trusty color wheel and choose a color opposite the wheel for the compliment. Canva’s Color Wheel is a brilliant interactive color wheel that is so simple to use!

Tamara Gonzalez photography; Atlanta family photographer

4. Don’t match, but Do Coordinate Outfits. Start by selecting the outfit of one family member, perhaps the youngest, and then as you select others, pull select colors from that first outfit and begin layering coordinating colors.

tamara Gonzalez photography-male couple with son

5. Stay True to Your (and your Family’s) Personality. I always guide my clients to stay true to their fashion sense rather than what they see in magazines. That said, do dress yourself up more than you would normally.

Tamara Gonzalez photography-family sitting in park mom giving daughter kiss

6. Opt for Neutral Colors. If you are at all unsure of what colors to wear, neutrals are your best friend. They photograph well and blend into any season.

Tamara Gonzalez photography-extended family session

7. Fit the Style to the Location. Whether it’s a park, or a city stroll with lots of fun graffiti, your outfit needs to dress the part.

Atlanta Beltline Family Session; Tamara Gonzalez Photography

8. Be Comfortable! The last thing you want is to feel like you can barely breathe, or that you are constantly worrying about a clothing mishap. Be comfortable. This goes for your little ones too – your session is the time for everyone to feel good and have fun – it will show in your photos! 

Tamara Gonzalez Photography; Atlanta Family Photographer

9. Think of Movement. Movement in your photos adds emotion. To add movement, select clothing like dresses, skirts and scarves. And let your hair down to be free!

10. Keep it Simple. Stay away from neons, logos and overpowering patterns.

In addition to personal consultation, I offer a styling service, Style & Select, which provides a custom tailored styling tool for clients. Photo approved clothing items for everyone in the family are shown in the Style Results and the custom coordination tool allows clients to piece together outfits for everyone before a single thing has been purchased. Clients are then linked to partnered retailers to buy their selected items if they wish to (or they can utilize similar things they already own). Personally, I love playing around with the outfit combinations!

Once clothes are chosen, definitely take more time with your hair and makeup. I also partner with hair and makeup artists like Brielle Brenner of Brenner Beauty – who is insanely talented and will help you look amazing! This is an easy add-on whenever a client just wants to do something special.

Finally, have fun! Don’t worry about anything during your session – I am here to guide you all along the way.

Sixties Inspired In-Home Session | Atlanta Family Photographer

This 1960s inspired session may have been the most fun shoot I’ve worked on! When Cate reached out to me with this idea, I was obsessed. Her idea was to recreate photographer Slim Aarons 1964 “Monocled Miss” portrait of Renata Boeck having breakfast in bed with Cate’s inspired theme of “I Woke Up Like This.” We modified the inspiration portrait to include Cate’s husband and six-month old sweet baby girl. When I saw the inspiration photo I knew we needed off-camera flash to get that 1960s glam vibe. Cate Dunning is the co-founder of GordonDunning, a boutique design firm here in Atlanta, and she styled the bedroom set with her expert eye. Her love for story and history is evident in her home – it’s her grandmother’s home, and her baby’s nursery was once her mother’s. Cate is a gifted designer, with a beautiful family.

The inspiration photo by Slim Aarons

Slim Aarons | Getty Images

A Sentimental Virginia Highlands Family Session | Atlanta Family Photographer

When your teenage son that you adopted at birth is about to head off to college, things can get a bit sentimental – to say the least. I cannot even imagine what it will be like the day we send our kids off into the world. I will be a hot mess, that is for sure! David first contacted me to do this session as a birthday gift for his husband. I just loved getting to know them over that hour in their stunning Virginia-Highlands backyard. Getting to meet people like this, and give them memories, is why I do what I do. I had such a hard time going through their gallery and narrowing down images, because I could feel the sentiment and emotion in every single one. Thank you so much for sharing this moment!