FAQ: What to Wear To a Photo Shoot 2nd Edition

Several weeks ago I wrote a blog post on the ever difficult topic of what to wear to photo shoot!  I received some great feedback from that post.  Many of you told me it was incredibly helpful!  I am glad for that!  No matter if you choose a session with Crystal Starr or one of the other super talented photographers in the world, your choice of clothing can really make a session go from good to fabulous.  Whenever I come across a useful resource I will be sure to pass it along.

Recently I noticed a post on the  I Heart Faces blog that contained some fantastic visual depictions of great outfits that you can use as inspiration.  I was elated when I saw they posted permission for photographers like me to share those images on our own blogs with our readers and clients.  So, here I am!  Sharing them with you!

I love the summery feel in both ensembles.  They play a bit off of the classic nautical theme without the old red, white, and blue that is so typically used.  Also, these outfits take a cue from my previous blog post where I suggest you choose 3 complementary colors and work from there.  The set of outfits surrounds itself around the colors of orange, grey, and blue.  While the 2nd set of outfits is based on the colors yellow, navy, and blue/grey.


These boards make me want to go shopping!  And that is saying a lot because anyone who knows me knows I am NOT a shopper!  ESPECIALLY a clothing shopper.  The inspiration gives me head start though and gives me a bit more confidence that I could find something that works.

I hope these images help you the next time you try to plan outfits for a family photo session!

FAQ: How do I bring out the best in my child during a portrait shoot?

Photographing children is a labor of love!  They are quite the wiggly little things who are easily impacted by just about anything! They might be hungry, thirsty, tired, under the weather, or just plain uncooperative.  Honestly, during a child or family photo shoot I have to give the creative credit to the child themselves!  I merely follow their lead and capture what they give.

Little ones are so adorable and I highly advocate having your child’s portrait taken regularly.  They just change so fast!  Time goes by so quickly.  You don’t want to let the opportunity pass you by.  Before you know it they won’t be a baby or a toddler or a preschooler any more.  You can’t go back.  As a mommy who will be celebrating her baby’s fist birthday this week… it just feels all too raw and real right now.

So how can we get the best from our children and make the best photographs?  First I have to say that choosing custom photography is a really great choice.  Most custom photographers allow for quite a bit of time and flexibility in their shoots.  In my experience chain studios such as Walmart, Sears, Target, etc… give you a very short block of time and zero flexibility.  You just have to hope your child will shine in 20 minutes.  Custom photographers take the time to get to know children allowing them time to warm up and get comfortable before they pull out the camera.

As a custom children’s photographer I like to follow the child’s lead.  I like to play games!  I like to interact and have fun!  I want the child to be happy and comfortable!  You just won’t get great photos otherwise.  Often parents tell me that they can never get a smiling photo of their child.  The child either makes bizarre faces or refuses to cooperate.  I admit, I do occasionally run across a child who even I can’t get to smile.  But that is very very rare.  I do so by interacting the child on the child’s level.  My years as a teacher and a mommy have taught me well how to get along with little ones.

A good example of this is a recent shoot I had with 3 year old Thomas.  Thomas is an active high energy little boy (just like they all are).  I used his energy to create games that he enjoyed.  While he was enjoying himself I snapped away.  Mom was thrilled with the results.  In the photo below Thomas had discovered a wooden porch that wrapped clear around this little house at the park.  He DELIGHTED in running around and around and in his mind sneaking up on me.  During this game I was able to capture the photo below.  And since he enjoyed that game so much he was in high spirits and totally enthused to let me keep shooting him as we moved through the park.

That being said… Safety first! I want your family, especially your children, to remain safe at all times. You are responsible for keeping an eye on your child. My field of vision is limited by my camera. If you are concerned your child might fall, eat something they shouldn’t, or hurt themselves in anyway please feel free to jump in and help your child.

One thing I always tell parents is this… Please Do not try to FORCE cooperation. The more you WANT them to do it, the less THEY want to do it!  Silly but true!  Positively encourage your child!  Bribe them if need be.  I have to say, during our couple of hours together we are not trying to raise saintly children.  Let’s just have a great fun experience and create awesome photos.

I love capturing action! The best shots are those I take as the child (and family) is playing and having fun being themselves.

I encourage families to bring snacks & drinks (though no red juice that will stain clothes or faces). Napkins, wipes, and tissues are often handy as well.

Real smiles are the best! Please please PLEASE do NOT ask your child to say cheese!  I say that with a smile and a laugh.  Sometimes it happens and that is just fine.  But cheesy smiles are not what we are hoping for!

Some of the most beautiful photos are those where the child is not smiling.  It is worth wile to capture children in a wide variety of moods and facial expressions.  Smiling and looking at the camera is not always the end goal!  I strive to create all kinds of memories and photos.

In the end, a positive experience will create beautiful photos.  My most relaxed and fun loving clients typically end up with photos that I am most proud of.  We’ll take our time and do what it takes to get it right!

Here is to a fantastic and FUN photo shoot!

FAQ: What is a Gallery Canvas Wrap?

My clients frequently ask me to describe for them what a Gallery Canvas Wrap looks like.  Since a picture is worth a thousand words I thought I’d share a few photos so you can see exactly what I am describing.  I cannot say enough good things about Gallery Canvas Wraps.  They are absolutely positively STUNNING.  They are worth every red cent you spend on one.  I would cover every square inch of wall space in my own home with them if I could afford to.

Canvas wraps are unique in that they arrive ready to hang.  No need to frame these beauties though you absolutely can if you want to.  The image is created on a beautiful quality canvas and stretched over a sturdy and long lasting frame.  The image is glazed to ensure long life and to reduce fading over time.

Canvas wraps take a photo and make it a true work of art.  You paid a premium to have a professional photographer use outstanding equipment and the latest techniques and artistry to create a special piece for you.  Why not showcase it?  Canvas wraps do a fantastic job of doing just that.

When considering an image for a canvas wrap you need to ensure there is ample, and I mean AMPLE room all the way around the main subject of the photograph.  With a gallery canvas wrap the outer edges of the photo truly extend and wrap around the outer frame. Imagine taking a piece of wrapping paper and wrapping it around a gift box.  The sides of the gift box are decorated by the edges of the wrapping paper.  The sides of a gallery wrap are finished (or decorated by) the sides of the photo.  If there isn’t enough room you might have part of someone’s head or a body lost off of the edge.  This is hardly ever attractive.  If you are interested in a package with a gallery wrap then I’d be happy to help you select the best photo from your session.

Now, I’m off to choose a few photos for my own home to have created as gallery wraps.

Tips for Your Photo Shoot! What to Wear! Connecticut Portrait and Wedding Photographer!

Do you have a photo shoot with Crystal Starr Photography coming up soon?  Have you thought about booking one soon?  Let me help you have the best possible experience and create photos you will treasure forever!  Let’s begin with the basics.  What should you wear?  What kinds of clothing are most flattering and look best in portraits?  Let’s get into that.

What NOT to wear!

  • Anything you don’t feel comfortable in.  Seriously!  If you aren’t comfortable then you will not look comfortable in photographs.  You will be self-conscious or fidgety.
  • Avoid solid dark colors and solid light colors.  When everyone in the group is wearing all white, all black, all gray, or all navy blue you create photo that is more 2 dimensional, flat, and to be quite honest… boring!  Not to mention very unflattering for everyone.  It becomes difficult for the eye to determine where one person begins and another ends so EVERYONE ends up looking much wider!  No one wants to look wider, trust me.
  • So toss out the white shirts and khaki pants or jeans.  You can do better.  I promise!
  • Avoid tiny stripes or patterns, or logos.  These are distracting and are not picked up well by the camera.
  • Avoid having everyone wearing just the same thing.  Seriously, the matchy matchy look is just not flattering or interesting!

So what SHOULD you wear?

  • Alright, I just massacred all of your ideas didn’t I?  Before you run away screaming keep reading! Bright, bold, saturated colors photograph best.
  • Choose colors that go well together. One way to style your family is to choose one colorful piece of clothing (like Mom’s dress) and coordinate everyone else’s outfits around it.  To be more specific, choose three bright colors and purchase everyone’s clothing around those colors.  Perhaps pink, blue, and yellow are your colors.  Maybe sister has a sweater with those three vivid colors.  Dad has a nice shirt in blue, brother is dressed in yellow, and mom has pink and blue in her attire.  Coordinated and interesting but not totally matching.
  • If we are shooting a large extended family then think in much the same way.  Choose three colors and just invite everyone to go with it.
  • Bold elements are a lot of fun!  A big bold necklace, a wide brimmed funky hat, a brightly colored scarf, big chunky healed shoes, all of these things add so much interest and variety to a photo.  A talented photograph can use these fun things to bring out the best in the photos and they can ensure these things do not overtake the photo.

Below I have a photo of one of the best dressed sessions I’ve ever had.   You can see they are definitely coordinated but each outfit is distinct and if you knew these children then you’d know what they were wearing is what they like and feel most comfortable in.

Confession time!  I stink at coordinating my own family for photo sessions.  I am NOT a shopper!  I cannot STAND malls.  I’d like to hire this Momma to dress MY FAMILY!

I hope this FAQ helps you when planning your next photo session!

Have a fabulous week!