Mel's Moments Style Guide

You’re all booked for your session! Woot! But, you are now freaking out over WHAT TO WEAR.

Have no fear, my beautiful people. I have prepared a style guide just for you!

As you’ve seen in most of my photos, I am striving to catch those raw, in-between moments. We want natural, beautiful portraits!

But, if you’re not wearing the right stuff, it will NOT come out natural or beautiful. So, here are some tips!


Your outfit selections help to tell your story, they express your personality and evoke feeling. They will impact your session’s overall look and feel. I want to help you make the best choices possible for you and your family so I created this family session style guide. These are my personal suggestions on how to coordinate outfits and on what photographs well. It’s up to you to take into consideration the season of the year we’re photographing in so you can select color schemes that fit. You should also decide where and when you’re going to display your images in your home once you’ve printed your favorites. Ask yourself if your outfits will look okay in the room of your home where you’ll be hanging them on the wall. If you’ve booked a holiday session, are you going to be displaying your images year round or do you plan to only bring these photos out seasonally each year? This will help you figure out if you should wear holiday colors/prints or just stick to a more fall/winter or neutral vibe.

COLOUR – Through colour selection, create contrast between family members by choosing a range of colour shades for each person to wear, from light to medium to dark (not too dark). When a group is photographed close together, members should stand out from each other rather than all blend together. I’d avoid solid black shirts (bottoms are okay) and solid white tops if you have very fair skin (this may “wash out” your complexion). These colours are okay if they’re layered with other colours or if they’re part of a pattern/print. Avoid very bright tops (especially red & green) as they tend to cast/reflect the color onto faces. Muted versions of bright colours photograph much better. Also, think about your location when choosing your colour scheme. If there’s a lot of greenery, I’d avoid wearing much of that color. If you’re familiar with the colour wheel, choosing complimentary colours to wear with your location colours will help you “pop” nicely.

TEXTURE/MOVEMENT – Adding texture to your outfits creates interest and the easiest way to do this is by incorporating a variety of fabrics and adding a few accessories among members of your family. Too many accessories could be distracting, so be careful not to overdo it. “Less is more”, right? Layering clothing adds texture, too. Examples of texture: corduroy, pleats, ruffles, seer-sucker, knit sweater, crocheted pieces, denim, lace, cuffed sleeves, hair bows, headbands, jewelry, bow ties, neck ties, suspenders, beanies, hats, scarves, knee-high socks, boots, fur, satin, vests, etc. Movement creates a lot of interest, too. Since my sessions involve a lot of movement, wearing flowing dresses or skirts will pick up wind and move with you and create beautiful interest in your images.

PRINT/PATTERN – Patterns can add dimension, texture and interest. Avoid logos and text (I don’t edit those out). Only a few members of your family should wear patterns or busier prints to avoid an overall “busy” or clashing look. If you do mix a few different patterns between family members, scale them. Have one person wear a small print, another wears a medium sized print, another wears a large print. Examples of prints/patterns: plaid, polka-dot, gingham, stripes, color block, floral, checked, paisley. I suggest starting with Mum’s or daughter’s outfit first (whichever one has the most interesting print/pattern) and then build from it by pulling colors from that outfit and assigning them to the rest of your family members. Don’t worry about the colors being an exact match, as long as they’re close you’ll be fine!


Hair + Makeup

So, this one is really up to each person. I say that if you can, get a professional to do these. But, I know that now a days most of us ladies know how to get our hair + makeup the way we love. But, if you can get it done professionally, it will definitely help boost your confidence for the session and it will be one less thing to worry about.

Also, for my engaged peeps, this is a perfect time to do a trial with your hair + makeup artist before the wedding!

If you decide to do it on your own, please make sure you try the look before the day of the session so you know what to expect and how you want it done. Instead of panicking the day of if something doesn’t turn out how you envisioned it.

If you do decide you want to get these professionally done, feel free to ask me for recommendations. I’d be more than happy to help!

No matter what you decide though, make sure to keep it true to you and that it brings out your beauty.

www.melsmoments.co.nz/vendors

Quick Notes

  • Neon colors throw crazy color casts on skin and typically do not photograph well.
  • Remember that shoes will show and can make images feel unpolished. I love bare feet in the summer for kiddos also!
  • Earth tones and rich colors tend to lend themselves well to a lot of the outdoor locations that I love to use!
  • Get kiddos excited by letting them help choose a special accessory to wear. If they have something near and dear to them let them bring it along to help tell a story!
  • If you feel like your children may misbehave, I recommend bringing chocolate, lollies or anything that will keep there attention.
  • I love H & M for boys clothing and hats or suspenders are always fun to play with!