The purpose of portraits is to put the main focus on the person being photographed, not the clothing or the props which should only compliment the bigger picture. When choosing your clothing, let it coordinate with your choice of background. Make sure you discuss the background color with your photographer before the photo shoot. If your background is going to be dark, then choose dark clothing that will compliment that look but not fade into the background too much. If your background is going to be light, choose light clothing. This doesn’t mean that if your background is going to be black that you have to wear a black shirt. You should coordinate your colors so that your faces stand out as the center of attention and your clothes act as a complimentary tone. After all, you are taking the time for a portrait session so I want to give you the tools to make a beautiful portrait. I encourage timeless clothing, to insure that your photos stand the test of time (and trends!) Bold colors or earth tones with fun accessories such as hats, scarves, etc. are fantastic. However, think about shying away from any clothing with name brands, pictures, or words on them, which can detract from your child or family and give the photographs a dated look.

~ non-distracting colors

~ neutral tones

~ think of the details (jewelry, nail color, socks…)

When scheduling your outdoor photo session, it is important to know that the time of day affects your photo shoot. Indoor photography doesn’t matter because you are not using the sun as your primary light source. The most flattering light outside is during the times of sunrise and sunset. At these times the sun gives off beautiful golden tones, but because the sun is so low, your photographer should use a reflector or flash to fill in the shadow areas for a beautifully lit photograph. The middle of the day when the sun is high, it gives off a very harsh light with very harsh shadows on your faces. This time of day should be avoided if possible, although the lighting can be worked with if the photographer uses a little fill flash or a diffuser. It is better to take your photos in a shaded area during the middle of the day. The reason for this is because your face will have no harsh shadows under the eyes and nose this way. This gives you even lighting and the photographer can work with putting a little light in your faces many different ways. A perfect day for a photo shoot is an overcast day. When the clouds cover the sun, it completely diffuses the light and lights every face perfectly!


When dressing for a family portrait you can wear anything you like, but try to keep the tone of the clothing the same from person to person. Not everyone has to wear exactly the same clothing, in fact it tends to look unnatural, but keep the color tones the same so they don’t become distracting. I highly suggest sticking to a color palette of 2-3 colors.

Family portraits can be done anywhere. You can choose an outdoor location or use my studio for indoor portraits. Other than your home or the local park, there are plenty of locations that would make a great backdrop for your family’s portraits – the beach, an urban street, a friend’s farm, even an old junkyard or graffitied building! Choose a setting with colors that will compliment your home. Consider using deep fall colors, white winter snow, or the colorful blooms in the spring.


– complimentary outfits (ask me for some color schemes and would be happy to send you some)

– simple, classic clothing is best for parents

– accessories, such as headbands, scarves, jewelry, jackets and hats can really add to your look

– chapstick (even for the guys)

– denim

– dress up shirts

– fun, flirty dress

– ladies, keep those hair ties off of your wrists so they don’t leave marks

– take fingernail polish all the way off or freshly painted nails with a color that compliments the outfit

– think about your socks if they end up showing in the pictures


Bring a few costume changes for your session to really give you a variety. During your consultation we can discuss how much clothing you are comfortable taking off for your portraits. I have a variety of coverings that we can get creative with but if there is anything in particular you want to wear in your session, be sure to bring it. Determine ahead of time if you want other people in the pictures with you, i.e. spouse or other children. Maternity sessions can be done on location outdoors as well as in my studio. If you have a special location in mind, I would be happy to work that special place into your images. This could be either a place that holds sentimental value or just a place that is very picturesque.


– denim jeans (maternity and an old pair that you can button down or unzip for photos)

– basic tank tops that really show off your bump

– tube top

– flirty sundresses (empire waist really helps show off your bump)

– lacy lingerie

– white or black button down blouse

– yoga pants

– take fingernail polish all the way off or freshly painted nails with a color that compliments the outfit

– chapstick, lipstick, and touch up makeup

– sonogram photo(s)

– special items you would like to be photographed with

– just remember simple goes a long way

– ladies, keep those hair ties off of your wrists so they don’t leave marks

– special locations

High School Seniors

Senior portraits sessions are creative and fun. I like to use your special interests to define who you are in these portraits. We can use your own props to add a sentimental element to your portraits. There will be a few costume changes so consider picking a few different styles of clothing to go with different settings. Senior portraits can be done either in studio or on location but from my experience location settings are more dynamic. Think of your favorite memories to use as settings. Locations to consider are local parks, the family farm, an open field, national forests, your school or any place you like to spend a lot of time. After picking a location, match the tone of your outfits to your setting.


– costume changes

– personalized and sentimental props

– good locations can add a great background element to your portraits

– take fingernail polish all the way off or freshly painted nails with a color that compliments the outfit

– chapstick

– touch up makeup

– ladies, keep those hair ties off of your wrists so they don’t leave marks


Portraits of children over the age of one can be done in a variety of ways; the tone of the photo is up to you. Do you want a fun and playful look, traditional, or a little dramatic? If you want to go for the fun and playful look then use some bright colors. Dress your children in bright colors and choose a complimentary background. If you are taking your pictures outside on location, use a playground or some bright green grass as your background. Just like for babies sessions, keep some snacks nearby. They can be used as a bribe or just sitting down for a snack before the session might make the child more comfortable in the setting. Feel free to bring along anything you might want to photograph with your children. If they have a favorite toy or blanket, they love tea parties or skateboarding, or even if they like dressing up as a fairy princess or a superhero…these are the things that you will look back on and remember with fondness when they are grown.


– snacks and drinks, nothing too messy

– wet wipes to clean hands and faces

– chapstick for those little lips

– bright colored outfits really make your portraits pop!

– personalized props or special interest props

– accessories, such as headbands, scarves, jewelry

– denim

– fun, flirty dresses

– cut and clean fingernails

– take fingernail polish all the way off or freshly painted nails with a color that compliments the outfit


Babies from three months to a
year can be easy to photograph given the right conditions. I encourage you to ensure your child is as well rested as possible with a full tummy. Babies are the happiest and most playful under these conditions. Keep some snacks and drinks close by because they make for a good bribe if the child is feeling uncomfortable. Bring their favorite toy or a toy that makes noise that they enjoy to grab their attention. They also come in handy if your toddler has a meltdown and just needs a break to play and let the mood pass. Be prepared to make silly faces to get your baby smiling and laughing. Babies can be photographed with a cute little outfit on or if you still want them naked to show off their cute pudgy baby skin. I have a variety of props that will suit this style of session.


– snacks and drinks

– favorite toys for comfort and to use as prop

– outfit change

– sentimental props