sartorial advice and writing by Medha Kudaisya
allowing us to photograph her getting dressed is our client the former Miss Korea, pictured in Ralph Lauren, Theory, and Calvin Klein
The poet Keats called fall the season of “mellow fruitfulness”. The leaves are turning, the air is crisp, and pumpkins and apples abound. Fall is an inspiring time for a photoshoot with Newport Babies Photography. With all the changing colors and the cooler temperature here in New Jersey and New York City, there are endless possibilities for outfit combinations for your family.
Before selecting outfits for your family, it is always best to start with a color scheme. Deep reds, mustard yellow and gold tones look gorgeous against an autumn landscape, as do navy, dark purples and more classic shades of brown and gray. Pick a color that flatters your entire family and have fun playing mix and match! Complementary colors and tonal variations look great as do ginghams and plaids.
For a visual guide to the color schemes and outfit inspiration, please refer to our fall inspiration pinterest board: https://pin.it/cgi42rxgy4kfh6
Texture is a good way of communicating feeling and atmosphere in a photoshoot. Chunky sweaters, such as cable knits, are a good option to add dimension and texture. Fuzzy sweaters are also recommended and add a softness to images. Patterns can add to your photoshoot, but it is recommended to keep the patterns simple with the exception of fall florals and plaids.
When picking an outfit, try to stay simple, classic and elegant. As trends come and go in fashion, it is best to stick to timeless articles. Think about whether those stylish ripped jeans or slouchy boots will make you cringe five years down the line. If you think they will, they’re probably not a great choice for a photoshoot.
With cooler weather, some good outfit ideas would be pants and a sweater or turtleneck, nice jeans with a long-sleeved blouse and wool or alpaca jacket, a long dress and a sweater or jacket. If you decide to wear jeans, a darker blue is best as it will look nicer in the photos. Seven brand is popular and many designer jeans can be found at Nordstrom Rack. Jackets should not be made of shiny material or be puffer jackets. Classic fits and especially waisted jackets look great. JCrew has an excellent selection as does Bloomingdale’s for a higher end look. Ralph Lauren is the king of cable knits and riding boots if you are looking for a classic fall look. Land’s End also has more affordable fall looks.
Men can wear dark blue jeans with a shirt and a well-fitted sweater or coat on top. A polo shirt underneath a pullover looks great as well. Pea coats and trenches are great. Remember texture looks great on guys too. Again, avoid trends that might look dated down the line.
Boys can wear mini versions of what dad is wearing. This looks really sweet! Janie and Jack have great mini-man outfits. There are so many option for girls, dresses with tights or leggings, jeans and shirt with a sweater or cardigan like mom and plenty of accessories. Avoid clothing with logos or brand names for kids and adults alike. Clothing for babies should also fit and be warm enough for suddenly chilly days. Tiny jeans and a wooly jacket will keep your little lovebug comfortable and warm and also photograph well.
In general, clothing should fit well, and not hang off the frame or be very revealing (the exception is maternity shoots where mom’s bump is the focus). New clothes photograph better than very worn ones. We love texture here at Newport Babies, but pilled sweaters, frayed hems and visible panty or bra lines don’t photograph well. Mom and dad’s tops should be long enough to keep the abdomen covered when swinging the kids. Avoid an all-black or all-white palette. Black absorbs light while white reflects it; thus, a little of each goes a long way. Please ensure clothing is wrinkle free and steamed or ironed!
Shoes should fit well. The terrain for outdoor shoots can be somewhat uneven, so shoes with grippy soles, such as boots are preferable. Riding boots look great on everyone and can help elongate your legs. Ankle boots look great on mom and girls, especially if pants end an inch above the boot. Dads and sons can wear oxfords or brogues. Sneakers do not photograph well, in general. Boots that hit and the knee or ankle are the best as thigh highs can look dated. Outdoor shoots are not the best place for high heels although ballet flats are acceptable. Shoes should be polished and free of scuffs and stains. In general, socks should not be visible unless they are of the boot liner variety that are meant to be seen.
Fall is a great season for accessories! Scarves and mittens make great accessories and, if made for a luxury fiber liker merino or cashmere can add a touch of class to an outfit. Zara and Anthropologie have tons of fun and stylish fall accessories for adults. They are also a fun prop for kids to snuggle into and play with. Remember to keep the color scheme in mind when picking your accessories! Leather (or vegan leather) belts look nice and can pull an outfit together. However, avoid belts if you feel like they’ll give you a muffin top. Ladies can add gold or rose gold jewelry to their outfits, such as earrings and stacked bracelets. Geometric and natural shapes such as hoops and leaves look great. Felt hats and fedoras look classy and chic and can be very sweet on little girls. A hat on a boy can add just the right touch of charm and is highly recommended. Girls can also accessorize with sparkly headbands. Crewcuts, Zara, Janie and Jack, and Claire’s all have great acessories for kids.
Hair & Makeup
Family shoots are all about fun. Think touchable texture over formal updos. Dads and sons could get a fresh trim to keep their hair from looking too shaggy (unless shaggy is your usual thing, in which case rock it!) Loose curls and piecey, textured braids look good on both mom and little girl. Hats pair best with loose hair that has plenty of movement.
Sephora is always a go-to destination for hair and makeup, but the ladies at the Macy’s beauty counters are very helpful too and will do free makeovers scheduled in advance (say at the MAC counter) if you purchase a minimum amount usually the same you would spend on booking makeup. Our artist is available in studio for $80 prior to your shoot and sometimes does makeup on location. If you’d like a blowout, there are several salons in the area.
Moms, you already likely have a soft post-summer glow. To enhance this glow and make your skin look refreshed and plump, moisturize well and add a touch of bronzer. A red or burgundy lip looks great with a fall palette, as do nude shades with hints of shine. A bronze or gold highlighter or eye also reflects the season. Lash extensions or false lashes will draw attention to your eyes. Brands we like are Nars orgasm for blush, Benefit cosmetics hoola bronzer and Becca highlighter. The Too Faced Natural Eyes eyeshadow palette features shades that suit every skin tone as do some of Urban Decay’s Naked palettes. We like MAC’s Ruby Woo- the perfect red for every lady! There are several brands that make the perfect nude lipstick, pick your favorite or go to your local Sephora or department store for help.
Where to shop
Where to shop depends on your budget, and remember well-fitting clothes photograph better than expensive but poorly fitted ones. Century 21, Nordstrom Rack and Lord & Taylor are good options to locate quality items at a good price. Bloomingdales sometimes has good deals on off-season merchandise as well. Zara has good quality non-logo children’s wear as well. Anthropologie, Urban Outfitters and the little boutiques on Hoboken’s Washington Streer are options as well. Clarks and Frye make great quality boots and shoes. Uggs are polarizing; either you love them or hate them, either way they are not a great choice for a photoshoot. Exceptions would be their leather boots which look elegant and classy. Cole Haan makes amazing men’s shoes. Clarks has a great range of children’s shoes too.
Ultimately, your outfits should reflect who you are as a family. You should feel comfortable and confident in your clothing as this will show in your pictures. Scratchy and uncomfortable clothing will make you feel unhappy and also impact your photos. Your outfits should allow you to move and have fun enjoying the season.
Can’t wait to see you at your shoot!