How to Prep for Summer Portraits
Summertime means loooong days, picnics outside, and lots of family time. With later sunset times, it’s the perfect opportunity to fit in an after-work portrait session if your weekends are packed! You may be overwhelmed with options and trying to style a whole family can be difficult, so I’ve compiled a few steps to help.
1. Choose a color palette.
Summer lends itself to soft, muted tones. Consider denim, taupe, and cream as neutral bases, and add in blush pink or powder blue for pops of color. Steer clear of stark black, white, or red as they will distract the eye.
2. Dress Mom first.
I always find something for myself first, then build the rest of the family’s outfits around my own. Why? Because if mom is happy and comfortable, everyone will be! Look for long flowing dresses, preferably in a light, textured fabric such as chiffon. Avoid short hemlines unless you’re wearing leggings underneath as it may limit your posing options. Don’t forget to accessorize with a beautiful statement necklace!
3. Embrace print.
Especially for the kids! Think breathable collared shirts for the boys and floral sundresses for the girls. As long as everyone is in the same color palette, it will look beautifully cohesive without being matchy-matchy.
4. Keep it simple for Dad.
Once you’ve figured out Mom and kids, Dad should be easy. There’s nothing better for him than a perfectly fitted pair of dark-wash denim. Pair with a collared shirt in a shade from your color palette, and he’s good to go! Just be sure to veto any t-shirts or sneakers, and avoid shorts if you can.
5. Prepare for a Late Evening
Portrait sessions are almost always scheduled 1-2 hours prior to sunset to achieve the best possible lighting – in the summertime, that means a 6:30-7PM start time. It’s perfect for the after-work crowd, but may be tough for kiddos! Be sure to feed everyone prior to the session, and consider treating them to ice cream after we’re done. I’ll have some tricks up my sleeve to hold their attention during the session of course, but knowing they have a treat in their future is an excellent motivator!
6. Pack Water!
I do my best to maximize locations so that we’re not trekking around unnecessarily in heat, and shooting late in the day helps with temperatures. Even still, be sure to pack a bottle of water for each of you! If there is a heat advisory or a thunderstorm threat the day of your session, we may postpone. I always try to make that call as far in advance as possible.
I hope this helps you feel EXCITED about a summer portrait session! Weekends are just about full through July, but there is weekday availability remaining.