My job is to capture those authentic moments; and to prepare my clients for their session. Wardrobe, location, time of day and carefully selected props work together to create beautiful images. I want to share with you some of my personal secrets that are key components to creating memorable images.
Wardrobe. Probably the most crucial aspect of your session and for many the most intimidating. Wardrobe adds character, depth, texture, colour and personality to your images. It can add to the emotion, and highlight special occasions.
I love colour. I will always lean toward pops of colour versus neutrals. Why? because they truly add more to your images. Think about your favourite colours, the colours you use in your home and the colours that may reflect the season your session is in. I think there is a misconception that you are limited to only a few colours, some of my favourite images utilize many colours in wardrobe. The key is how you put the pieces together.
The second most important aspect of wardrobe is texture. I find texture can often be overlooked, which is unfortunate as it add so much depth. My favourite textures are lace, ruffles, fur, leather, and heavy knits. These are so incredibly easy to add to your selections so keep texture in mind when laying out outfits.
Lastly, patterns, I feel so many are afraid of patterns and bold prints. Or think they are limited to only one. This is another misconception. The key is using patterns that won’t fight with each other. A tartan, heavy stripe and small polka dot can be used together because they are very different patterns. Just ensure the colours within these patterns coordinate and work together, this will eliminate the patterns from fighting with each other.
Putting outfits together in a group can be very overwhelming. Selecting a particular piece to work from is the easiest way to start. Take the below image for example. When selecting these outfits, we started with Amanda’s mustard yellow dress. She was wanting a fall feel so keeping her pallet in that range of warm fall inspired colours. We pulled the white and navy from the dress across the families outfits. Bringing in other patterns; Callie’s striped skirt, and Paul’s plaid shirt. As well as different textures, a leather belt and boots, heavy knit sweater and light knit sweaters as well as different fabrics like linen and denim. Paired with a canoe and patchwork quilts this whole sessions screams fall!
Location. Why is location so important? Because it holds far more than you think. A lot of people just think well I’d like trees, or a open field or perhaps a city backdrop. But location paired with wardrobe will create the mood of your session. Location can add colour, texture and depth.
The below session was at the beach in Victoria, BC. The driftwood, sand and seagrass added so much colour and texture. The wardrobe selection was light and airy and played into this wonderful summer session. The addition of a vintage hand stitched quilt completed the look and helped add variety to the pictures. Locations that kids can “explore” add more opportunity to catch those wonderful candid moments.
Location is also a great way to use a place that is close to your heart. The family below has a beautiful acreage and decided they wanted to have their session at home. I love having the opportunity to shoot at locations that have meaning to my clients. Really not sure where the best spot might be? I always have suggestions for locations so please do not hesitate to ask!
Props. I am a minimalist when it comes to props. I select carefully with both wardrobe and location in mind. Sometimes all you need is one perfectly selected prop to make you session. Sometimes you don’t require any.
Timing. Sometimes the best light for photos isn’t at the most convenient time. It is best to avoid midday and if it cannot be avoided make sure the location selected has ample shade. My ideal session time is first or last light, also known as the “Golden Hour”. This is when you get the beautiful rich colors in the sky and soft warm light.