Guest Post: What to wear for your family photos

I would like to introduce my very first guest blog post, yeah I'm getting fancy! My good friend Andrea was nice enough to share some tips for dressing your family for your next photo session. Hi there, I'm Andrea from Four Flights of Fancy, a lifestyle blog where I write about my favorite things, including food, fashion and of course family.  I was so excited when Miranda asked me to guest post about choosing outfits for family pictures because I feel like in the last year or so I've finally figured out what works for my family, and I hope some of my tips will in turn help you.

Miranda is the real expert on photography trends, but it seems like in the last couple of years the trend has really swung away from black and whites and more towards color prints for family portraits, which makes me really excited.  It means more room to have fun with your wardrobe choices!  The first couple of years we took family portraits, we only took black and whites which left me a little perplexed as to what to wear.  Let's look at a couple of pictures and see some examples of what not to wear.

For some reason this year I thought matching striped sweaters would be just perfect for the girls and matching vests for the boys.  For the most part this is a decent family photo right?  And most people would think it's a cute enough picture, but to me, all I can focus on are those darned striped sweaters Taylor and I are wearing.  They just blare out to me and I have to look at this portrait hanging on the wall every time I walk down the hall and all I think is "why did I think matching striped sweaters were a good idea?"

Lesson learned here, wear outfits that you can bare to stare at for the next 10 years and that you'll get use out of after your portraits.  Something too bold, too matchy-matchy, or too busy will just distract you for years to come.  And by the way, none of us ever wore those sweaters or vests again, which was sadly such a waste.

So the next year I decided to tone it down a bit and since we were doing black and whites again, of course I thought it would be a great idea to dress us in black and white.  I remember this year thinking how simple it would be to find just black and white dresses/shirts for all of us.  Instead of making us stand out instead of our clothes, all I did was have us look like blocks of black and white.  The steep contrast between the 2 white shirts my husband and son are wearing, flanked by me and my daughter in black on the outside does nothing but draw attention to our clothes.  Now I know I'm being a bit hyper critical here, but I think we all tend to over-analyze something as important as a family portrait.  No one else may really notice these things, but I certainly do and you probably will too.
Lesson learned here, wear colors, even for black and white portraits, that will blend together seamlessly and aren't on polar opposite ends of the color spectrum.  We would have been much better served here wearing shades of gray, black and white as opposed to just black and white.

So last year we started experimenting with color and I don't think I'll ever go back now.  Color portraits and lots of color and/or patterns in our outfits.  What I did when planning for this shoot was work everything off of my blouse that I already owned and I loved so much.  We chose a plaid shirt for my husband in a similar shade of orange, and he's gotten a lot of use out of that shirt too.  Next I chose simple thermal shirts for the kids in pops of orange and aqua and paired all our tops back to denim of some sort.  The orange leggings my daughter wore under her dress add a fun tie-in as well.

Lesson learned here, don't be afraid to mix prints, patterns and have fun with colors.  When choosing colors, pick 2-3 colors to mix up; anymore than that gets too distracting.

Last year Miranda took another set of photos for us set against a simple white background for a look we'd never done before.  I wanted the photos to reflect the warmth and cozyness of winter so my son and I both wore super cozy, complimentary (not matching!) knit sweaters.  I paired mine with a plaid shirt underneath, which complimented my husband's.  And my daughter wore a sparkly fox shirt in a shade of taupe, which blended in with the color palette, but didn't clash or look too matchy-matchy.  The only thing I might have done differently if I were to re-shoot this is for my son and I to not wear the same color of sweater.  Perhaps dressed him in chocolate brown or gray even.

Lesson learned here, have everyone dress in the similar fabrics, styles and colors of the season.  It's okay to mix and match different textures and fabrics as long as they all blend in together and reflect the same mood or season.  The knit and cotton work together here because they all reflect fall or winter.  Had my husband been wearing for example a linen shirt, the whole balance of the textures would have been thrown off because linen is typically a summer weight fabric.  In addition, had my daughter been wearing a short sleeve or tank top, it would have looked strange since my son and I were wearing heavy knit sweaters.  You would look at this picture and question whether it's winter or spring time.

I hope you've found these tips helpful and useful for planning your family's wardrobe for your next portrait session.  If you have any questions, please leave them in the comments and I'll do my best to answer them.  Thanks Miranda for having me!

The Outtens

This was the first of 3 photo sessions for me this weekend, the beginning of the busy season - FUN! What a difference a year makes, last year we had a hard time getting the kiddos to look the same way and sit still. This year we got some great shots with everyone looking and even smiling.

Holiday Photos

Hi friends it is time to schedule your photo shoots for your holiday cards. If you would like to schedule a full session (1 hour) please email me: or call me 310.308.5575 to schedule your shoot at a location of your choice. I am getting booked up already so lets get something on the calendar fast! If you are interested in mini shoots the details are below.

Mini shoots are 25 min. sessions and I generally book several back to back so timeliness is kindly appreciated!

Saturday October 15th Location TBD AM sessions 8:00 - 10:00 on the half hour start times

Saturday October 15th @ Gum Grove park in Seal beach PM Sessions 4:00-6:00 on the half hour start times

                          Sunday November 20th Outdoor location in LBC with gates, doors, interesting background choices

PM Session 3:00-4:30

Saturday December 3 Park location

AM session 9:30-11:00

Mini shoot investment:

$50 for the session which will include 6 images on a CD and you can buy the CD of the whole session for $25. If you refer 3 friends who book a mini or full session you can get the CD for free.

If you have questions please don't hesitate to email, call or facebook me. By the way have you liked my facebook page?

Things to start thinking about What oh What to wear, don't just think of outfits for the kids, if you don't like the way YOU look you won't like the photos. Need help? Stay tuned to my blog for ideas from my fashionista friend Andrea of Four Flights of Fancy

PROPS! Sometimes props can make for a fun photo, an old chair, a big funky ornament, a sign that says Be Merry. Get creative as these can make for great additions for more unique photos.

The Jones Family

You met Liam earlier this week and now I have their family photos to share. We did two locations complete with outfit changes down to the shoes and glasses - love it! We got some really nice variety using a couple of spots and the break for the little toddler and change in location seemed to help as well.

Here are some of my favorites:

This shot above is so perfect! The lighting is great, mom and dad smiling and looking fab and the perfect pose for a two year old, looking up at something way more interesting than me. I often photograph families with small kids and there is nothing harder than trying to get that staged family photo with toddlers. This family and many others I work with let their kids be kids and I am lucky enough to spend some time with them to capture their family moments.

Liam is going to be a big brother in a couple of months and I can't wait to meet the new addition to the Jones family!

On to our second location which was a new one for me, and I am very pleased!

Thank you for stopping by to check out my work, please contact me sooner rather than later for holiday sessions - time to send out those cards will be here in a blink.

Miranda 310.308.5575


I haven't yet edited all the Jones family photos, but I have to share this little series of Liam - isn't he the cutest!

These were taken in sequence; I don't know if we even discovered what he was so interested in but I love the expression. Not to mention the little vest!

I love this location we tried out, more urban with lots of interesting doors, plants, fences, and building facades that look great in the photos. I had such fun with this adorable family and will share some more later this week. Thanks for stopping by!


A lovely family

Well I've returned from a fabulous trip to Idaho and got back to work last weekend taking some photos with a great family. We met at Terrenea up in Palos Verdes and took these down on the little public beach.

Libby is just the cutest, such personality!

They even look adorable upside down!

I may be biased since I too have girls, but really is there nothing sweeter than a Dad and his adoring daughter? Omar, Molly and Libby I had such fun capturing the love in your family.

Baby Knox

I had so much fun taking photos of Mr. Knox, not only is he the son of some of our closest friends, he is such a cute smiley guy! What a little champ he was letting me snap away without any fuss. He is 5 months now, but here are some photos I snapped when he was just a couple of weeks old - my how he's grown!

And now so big, alert and happy!

Knox is half Texan, so we of course had to get some photos of him on his longhorn rocker!

And in his cowboy hat.

Knox is lucky enough to have a phat nursery designed by Andrika King of Nursery Notations.

Taking baby photos in the nursery is great so when you frame them and put them up they coordinate perfectly.

Lots of Love to you Knox, I look forward to watching you grow.

Catching up

I took these several weeks ago of our good friends, you know the kinds of friends where you were in each others weddings. My husband Greg and Mike grew up together and I loved taking their photos. Little Michael Jr. stole the show even though his big sis is a little star in her own right.

Happy Fourth of July everyone, I hope you have a fabulous holiday with your family and friends!

I'm Going to Blog Sugar

Hi friends I don't usually share photos of my family since I have a family blog for all that lovliness, but today I will share a few of my girls. The purpose of this post is the get to know some of the other attendees for an event coming up in September. I went to Blog Sugar last year and met some great people and this year it will be an even bigger event with fancy panels and such. I'm hoping to kick things up a notch here and learn some great ways to grow by business through my blog.



Thanks for stopping by and I look forward to meeting and reconnecting at Blog Sugar!

Oh and I'm thinking of doing some mini shoots with these and other fun, colorful, summery backdrops - what do you think?


Mini shoots for Father's Day

You met their older sister here and this time I had a chance to capture the cuteness of Henry and Hillary.

Above: I am working on my photoshop skills, its been a long time coming, so if you have an idea for a little montage that you would like me to play with of some photos I have taken for you please let me know.

I love this next one - the essence of summer.

And a few with mom:

I've been working on making my black and whites more crisp...

It's my blog, and I love this one so I'm posting it again in B&W

Enjoy the beach this summer friends.

Family Fun

I had the pleasure of taking photos of this adorable family a couple of weeks ago. We started in their backyard - which was great and then moved down to the beach, a bit windy but we made it work. We used to have a playgroup when our girls were little and although we don't get to see each other as often anymore it was such a joy to take pictures of the Simmons fam.

I LOVE this look that Evan is giving his mom - so sweet!

Claire's Fam

I showed you a little sneak peak of Claire.Now it's time to share the rest of the family. I love the bright colors they wore, makes for some fun vibrant photos. Little sis can strike a pretty good pose too! Look at all these fabulous curls!

More minis

Here is another sweet family I got to capture this past weekend. I also met this mom and daughter through a Long Beach Parks and Rec baby dance class and have stayed connected through a really great local moms group. As big as our city is I have to say it is a pretty cool place for families and we have been lucky to meet so many great ones.

I think this was our second shot - not too bad!

Good friends...

More with a little different look:


As most of you know I'm learning more about photography as I go and editing too for that matter! I thank you all of you who have given me a chance to learn as I take photos of your family. With each shoot I hopefully improve and will be better for the next time we meet.

Thanks for checking in.


Family Mini Shoot

I first met Meghan and Jack in baby dance class when our "big kids" were only 3 months old - my how they've grown!  I'm loving this Spring look in the editing of these photos. Just a note when I edit your images I always give you the traditional color photo and for the best images I will often give you a couple of versions with different variations in color or black and white.




The curled hair, the outfits!, the boots, the lollipops, the hats; there is way too much cuteness going on in these photos.

Sometimes it is impossible to get that prim and proper smiling all sitting nicely photo, but often times the results of a little cheers of a lolli and sweetness with your cousins is better.


Love it!

Stay tuned friends, I have lots of photos to share this week.



Miss Claire

She knows how to work the camera! I think she hit at least 150 poses in a quick 30 minute shoot, this is my favorite....

just a sneak peek into my weekends mini shoots

Mini Shoots

Hi Friends! I will be offering a few mini sessions in preparation for Mother's Day and Father's Day.

I have one time slot at 5:00 open for April 23rd at Gum Grove Park in Seal Beach. And for Father's Day images I will be at the Seal Beach Pier on May 28th. I have time slots of 3:00, 3:30, 4:00, & 4:30 available on May 28th.

Mini Shoot Details:

Cost $45

You get a minimum of 15 edited images on a CD for you to make prints, scrapbook with etc.

Time Slots Will be on the half hour for a 20- 25 minute shoot. (PLEASE BE ON TIME)

I will get the CDs to you a few days after the shoot.

Please email me or leave a comment here on the blog with your choice of day and time and I will confirm via email. I will send you detailed directions as well.

Here are a couple of examples of photos taken at Gum Grove in Seal Beach:




Here are some examples of photos taken at the Seal Beach Peir:


We tried to get all 6 cousins in one great photo. Sometimes kids are not on our agenda, which is just fine. We ended up with lots of great photos to make a nice montage for Grandma.

A kiss and a little hand on the neck from big brother - yeah that's about right!

Five out of six - not too bad!







Party party party!

Hi friends I wanted to let you in on a new service I am offering .... PARTIES! You know I love to attend them, I love to throw them, and I also LOVE to photograph them. I have learned all too well that as the party hostess picking up the camera and snapping great photos at your own party is just downright hard. Or impossible in my case as my youngest does not like my attention directed away from her - sound familiar? Well, I can help you capture all the great details, guests and fun of your party for you. Below are some photos I took at a recent Tinkerbell themed party - such fun!

The Birthday girl getting her face painted by Tink

Favorite photo of the day - SO CLAIRE!

Fairy decorations from Paper and Cake

Tinkerbell from Tiara Parties

Please contact me if you are interested in having a party photographed. 310.308.5575