Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Family Portraits... What to wear?

A portrait is not the same as a snapshot.  A good family portrait conveys the uniqueness of both the family and the individuals in the family.  And a great family portrait is one that flatters each of the subjects and is pleasing to the eye (obviously!).

The family portrait shows a prearranged sense of design, arrangement of its elements, a uniformity of expression, and in many instances, a coordination of color and clothing (see picture shown above).  Although each family member pictured here is wearing a different (albeit similar) outfit, the colors coordinate and expresses a sense of unity... a strong family bond!  But it also highlights the individuals faces and expressions because the viewer is not distracted by fancy designs or clashing colors.  This is especially useful in larger families as shown below.

But this rule does not always apply.  Again, it is really up to the client's taste in how they want there portrait to ultimately look.   What if you don't want to totally match?  That's fine too.  My advice is to pick a color palette of two or three colors for outfits, be sure to accessorize and most importantly…be comfortable!  I know this advice can still leave clients with a lot of questions, so I thought I would provide you an outfit inspiration for the upcoming Fall season.  Again, be playful and accessorize, but if you stick to a particular color palette, you can't go wrong.

When looking to put together outfits for your family, start with the kids.  You can choose a bold pattern for one of the children and pull colors from that pattern to determine the color palette for the rest of the family.  I often find it easier to look for outfits at stores that cater to the whole family like Gap and Old Navy where you can dress everyone head to toe without breaking the bank.

I hope these tips help inspire the look you are seeking for the perfect family portrait.  Remember... Life is a story.  Share your life story through the beauty of your family portrait!

My Fall calendar is filling fast and I’m looking forward to seeing lots of familiar faces as well as some new ones.  I can help you with your portrait in time for those holiday cards.  A framed family portrait is also a great gift for that parent or grandparent that has everything!!!  Shoot me an email to book a shoot at or call me at (916) 572-6272.

Finding that connection...

Here is an un-edited shot that I took about a year ago in the old historic section of Roseville, CA.  I was on a photo-shoot and had this beautiful female model in my camera lens when I noticed that her eyes kept peering over to a young gentlemen that was walking through the neighborhood with some of his buddies.
These guys were intrigued by the shoot itself and had their sites locked in on the gorgeous gal.  My model yelled out "I want him... in the shoot", pointing a finger toward one of them.  I looked at him, asked him if he'd ever modeled, and also if he were interested in jumping into the shot.  With some shyness, he replied that he never modeled before and then his friends coaxed him into standing next to the female model. His buddies were laughing and joking.  I then asked (after I had him sign a model release form) if he would mind taking his shirt off.  He looked at me for a quick second and then obliged and removed his shirt.  My model was smitten by his bravado and you could feel the electricity coming from their mutual attraction.  I stepped back and let the shutter fly!  Find the connection and feel the energy... That was a fun shoot!

See more of this shoot on my website (  Here is the shot in post production...