Getting ready for a photo session...and why I adore textures and patterns

We're all really used to have our photos taken all the time on camera phones, but when you're getting ready for a photo session it's worth keeping a few simple pointers in mind. 

Here are my top five tips to help with the really fun bit of getting ready.

1) Plan ahead what everyone is wearing

When I work with clients to plan a photo session, I tend to suggest including some prints because it's all too easy to keep your photos in a digital format and never display them around your home where you can enjoy them each day.

 Classic clothing means you're drawn to the emotion of the moment

Classic clothing means you're drawn to the emotion of the moment

Remember this when you choose your outfits - wearing classic clothing rather than anything too trendy will help your photos to remain timeless.

I'd recommend you try to avoid:

- obvious brand names, labels or slogans as these will be distracting

- uncomfortable clothes or clothes you feel awkward wearing because they're ill fitting, and you might feel tempted to adjust them.

I really like to get everyone moving around during their photos to create natural and authentic moments. If you are having a family session and your children are small, you might end up sitting on the floor with them or running about so bear this in mind when choosing your outfit.

2) How do your outfits work together?

I adore patterns and think clashing patterns can look amazing, especially in close up photos. I'm also going to go totally snap happy for any details, like embroidery, lace or chunky knits (if you sit still I'll probably be taking macro photos before you know it. Sorry in advance).

The only thing to avoid is matching patterns - if one of you is wearing stripes, polka dots or anything bold, no one else is allowed to match.

 Different patterns together - I'm in love!

Different patterns together - I'm in love!

Try and make sure everyone is wearing similar tones too - all bright colours, neutrals or darks can look great, but a mixture might be harder to pull off.

3) Where are you having photos taken?

Bright colours in outdoor locations can look incredible. Take harsh urban environments with lots of grey, beach locations or countryside and they'll look brilliant with a pop of colour.

 Natural colours with bright outfits

Natural colours with bright outfits

If we're doing photos at your home, on the other hand, you'll need to consider how your outfits work with your décor.

Texture can really add depth and atmosphere to photos. If it's a cosy winter walk,  a woolly scarf and hat will look great against your smooth skin in close ups. Similarly, lighter fabrics in the summer will work beautifully with sunshine.

 I love these different textures and patterns together, the spots, stripes and fluffiness!

I love these different textures and patterns together, the spots, stripes and fluffiness!

4) Have a few options

This is a tip especially for those with little children, make sure everyone has at least one change of clothes they'd happily wear as an alternative. Children fall in puddles (or puddles which look shallow end up being thigh-depth), people get stuck in mud and babies...well we all know babies can get through more than one outfit an hour. 

5) But most importantly, be yourself

It's your unique wonderfulness that you're bringing to the photo session and so you can throw all of my rules out of the window if you fancy, and let's just do the pyjama photoshoot (yes, you know who you are ;-)).

Do you have one outfit you always go to for photographs?