mother holds daughter laughing

April 21, 2022

Location and Styling Your Family

Location, location, location. You hear it all the time in real estate, but it is so important when it comes to styling your family photography session too. Let’s talk about a few reasons your session location should point you in the right direction when it comes to styling.

Texture is King

Look at all the amazing texture in these photos! This talented client hand made all her kids sweaters which makes this even more special. I love how the rich colors and variety of plants in the location play with the detail in their sweaters. The solid colored shirts also help draw your eye to the texture in both the sweaters and the environment. If they were full of pattern I think the photos would have been too busy and overwhelming. Bigger knit clothes lend themselves to more texture and work great in photographs.

mother holds young daughter while laughing
mother stands lovingly with her 3 children in open field
father stands behind son with hands on his shoulders while son smiles
toddler girl spins in field with flowers

Here is another example of solid colored outfits in a location full of texture. The sweaters are made of different material and photographed perfectly. It just works!

Pattern Mixing

This client mixed patterns beautifully which can be quite the challenge! I think it works great because her pattern is small, subtle, and simple. Low contrast patterns that don’t quickly draw your eye combine easily with other patterns (her sons plaid). Also, the location was full of colors that were opposite the colors of their outfits (blue and orange). The buttons in her daughters dress and husbands shirt (you know I think Dads look best in a non-fussy shirt) add variety. The location isn’t full of plants and environmental features that add more patterns so it all came together nicely!

mother kisses toddler son in fall location
family of 4 standing together with fall leaves in background
baby girl being held by both parents
laughing woman stands with sun setting behind her
young son laughs in fathers arms

3 color mix

The biggest tip I give clients when picking outfits is to stick with 3 colors. There is something magical about 3. Find shades or variants of those 3 colors for your family and you will be set. Keeping location in mind as the base for styling your family, think about the setting for your photos. Is it Spring and full of new green life and flowers? Is it an open field of golden grass? Is the Fall foliage at it’s peak? All these things will help you choose the right 3 color mix.

parents stand in garden hugging children
mom sits on path with daughter and son
toddler girl in garden with family in background
family of 5 throws leaves into the air with fall background
mom smiling with two teenage daughters

Matching your location vs. contrasting your location

Here are two examples of clients taking different styling approaches to their location choices. The family shown below chose to go with the vibe of their Old Town Alexandria location by picking classic, slightly dressy pieces. This mom nailed the mix of textures in fabric, varying patterns that work together, all while staying with 2-3 colors.

mother with 3 daughters in brick alley
family of 5 stands in town setting together

The second family chose to oppose their rugged, rough, rundown location. They went with sparkly pinks, flowy dresses, glitter, and ruffles. Both of these options work great, it’s just what works best for your family!

family walking towards camera in fall setting with old buildings
daughter being held and kissed by both parents
husband kisses wife while family is sitting on blanket
husband and wife stand together kissing

Styling your family with location in mind

What vibe do you want when styling your family? What is the goal for the end result with your gallery? Where will you use the photos? How often do you plan on having family photos taken? I love working closely with my families to help them find the right location and outfits which combined make the best photo session possible. That and a couple other things are the key to gorgeous, amazing photos 🙂