STYLING YOUR SESSION-FEMININE If you want your portrait session images to look and feel a little more editorial, I recommend bringing a few small, simple props with you, like fresh flowers to hold or a blanket to sit on. If you want to incorporate another special element into your session, just let us know! Maybe you have access to some larger props that have a real “wow” factor, like a motorcycle, a boat, classic car, vintage bicycle or hot air balloon. This is the time to dream a little bit and decide what really feels like you! Props aren’t a must by any means. Some of my clients love them and go all out. Some pick one or two items to bring. Others stick with just their outfits –– and that’s great, too! The most important things you need to bring to your session are love and laughter. I’ll take care of the rest! NUMBER OF OUTFITS Wondering how many outfits you should plan? I’ve got you covered! Changing outfits during a session always takes more time than our clients expect, so in order to maximize shooting time and give you the highest number of photos possible, I recommend no more than 2-3 outfits to keep stress low and the number of photos in your final gallery high. DRESS IT UP Have you been eyeing a gorgeous dress, but just never had an occasion for it? This is your chance to do it up! Remember: there’s no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your portrait session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun! If you don’t want to spend a ton of money adding a new permanent piece to your wardrobe, a lot of our clients love Rent the Runway for their portrait photos because you don’t have to spend a lot to feel like a million bucks. Plus, you can send the outfits back when the session is over! Some of our clients love having an excuse to go shopping and purchase a new permanent piece (or two!) for their wardrobe –– and that’s okay, too! Whatever works for you! SAY YES TO THE DRESS There’s nothing more romantic than a long, flowy dress. Dresses and skirts tend to look most stunning on camera because they really flatter the female body — which is probably why the red carpet is always full of so many dresses and not very many pantsuits! I recommend choosing long, flowy dresses or skirts because they’re flattering on all body types, look amazing on camera and bring extra movement and dimension to your photos. Maxi (or floor length) skirts and dresses will give us the best “twirl factor,” add more romance to your walking photos and look especially gorgeous when posed with nature, like the snow, forest, fields, or beach. Cute, shorter cocktail-length dresses or midi skirts photograph beautifully as well. Our clients who choose to bring two dresses will sometimes choose one of each! FLATTERING YOUR FEATURES In my experience, every woman (regardless of her size or shape) has an area of her body that she’s self-conscious about. Recognizing the areas you’re self-conscious about when selecting your outfits is key. Choosing flattering silhouettes and colors that complement your natural features is the best way to ensure you’ll love the way you look in your photos. Three-quarter length sleeves create an awesome slimming effect on all arms, so be on the lookout for an option with a longer length sleeve. If your dress has shorter sleeves (or no sleeves) consider bringing a cute jacket, blazer, cardigan or pashmina to incorporate into your look. Skinny straps or strapless dresses have the opposite effect on arms on camera. For most women, skinny straps actually make arms look BIGGER. So I recommend avoiding those whenever possible if your goal is slimmer-looking arms. If it’s colder outside, I suggest bringing a warm coat (the longer, the better!) to wear when we’re not shooting so you don’t freeze in your dress. For shoes, keep in mind that heels elongate women’s legs and force constant tension in the calves –– which makes them look more toned. Closed-toed heels, in particular, look great on camera because they carry out the line of your leg all the way down to your toe. You can never go wrong with a pair of neutral pumps! If your toes are showing in a peep-toe heel, you might want to schedule a pedicure before your session so you don’t regret letting your toes show. If your shoes don’t show at all in the dress you’ve selected, you could always choose neutral ballet flats to make your session more comfortable. Lastly, make sure to bring a pair of flats/flip-flops to wear when moving from place to place. Your feet will thank you later! Make a Statement Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can really help bring some extra dimension to your images. Whether it’s a necklace, belt, bracelet, earrings, hat, or scarf, bringing an accessory or two can bring great visual interest to your photos, so choose one or two that don’t compete for attention when paired together. For example, if you go with bolder earnings, you might want to choose a more humble necklace, or maybe even no necklace at all. Fresh florals in a crown or bouquet can be a really romantic touch as well! HAIR AND MAKEUP Professional hair and makeup is on the top of most of our clients’ portrait session checklists because it looks amazing on camera and removes the stress of getting ready on your own. You’ll have these photos forever, so this is the time to pamper yourself! Whether it’s lash extensions or blown-out hair, professional hair and makeup will give you an extra boost of confidence in front of the camera, and it always photographs like a dream. If you’re working with an outside makeup artist or doing it on your own, apply your makeup in natural light (if possible) so that it looks fresh and not too heavy. Plus, that’s the type of light we’ll be shooting in, so it’ll give you the best expectation of how it will translate on camera. Most of our clients feel like their makeup is “too much” at first, since it’s more than they would wear on a normal day, so if you feel that way at the beginning, don’t worry! Good makeup artists know how to get it just right for the camera — and my clients always love the final result. I do offer this for engagement photos. Please inquire if you need this service. SKIP THE SPRAY TAN Although it might seem counter-intuitive, I recommend that you do not get a spray tan before your session (even a few days prior) because it tends to photograph orange even when it’s applied subtly and by a professional. Your actual skin tone will photograph most beautifully. CHOOSING COLORS When choosing colors for your outfits, I recommend selecting lighter, neutral tones and more muted shades. Bright, bold or neon colors are distracting and take the focus away from where it should be: YOU You can never go wrong with light neutral colors like cream, taupe, or light gray. The camera loves shades of soft pinks and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light-colored neutrals. That softer, more pastel-leaning color palette fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments –– and especially complements the beauty of New England! FALL & WINTER SESSIONS When seasons change and temperatures drop, sometimes it’s just too cold for a dress and heels by themselves (no matter how warm your coverup overcoat is). So I have some suggestions for late fall and winter that will still help you be fashion-forward and keep your color tones camera friendly. First, let’s talk about color palettes. Just like in warmer weather, I recommend muted hues over bold, primary colors. During fall, warm neutrals like camel, taupe, cream, champagne, and gray are still going to look great. If you’d like to incorporate color, choose sophisticated jewel-toned versions of bright primary colors. Here are some examples: mustard over yellow, crimson or burgundy over red, camel over orange, sage or emerald over green, and powder blue or navy over blue. These jewel tones will photograph beautifully in any season. Cold Weather Tips: Add a pea-coat, tights, scarves and heeled booties to a form-fitting cocktail dress. Snow Session: Statement coat with a beanie, scarf and gloves or a warm, oversized, snuggly sweater with tall boots and a hat. The great thing about snow is it creates a beautiful white backdrop, so even though it might seem counterintuitive, soft pastel, muted colors like soft pinks and powder blues still look great! And, remember, regardless of the setting, you can never go wrong with neutrals!