What to wear to Your Fall photo-shoot

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

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.

Accessories

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!

 

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What to Wear to Your Newborn Shoot

What to wear to your newborn shoot:

with sartorial tips and editing courtesy of Medha Kudaisya
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Congratulations! The wait is over, and your sweet little bundle of joy is in your arms. Now it’s time to start thinking about the exciting newborn shoot! Let’s take a few minutes to think about what your family is going to wear for the photographs.

Clothing

Let’s start with mom’s outfit because that helps dad’s outfit come together faster. Neutrals, especially creams and whites tend to flatter and reflect a gorgeous light on your newborn’s face. Grays, light browns and blushes are also lovely. A white or ivory dress is classic and looks great, no matter the season. Empire style or any cut then ends below the breasts tends to hide tummies (see above). Romantic lacy styles photograph beautifully, but any style you like and feel comfortable in will look good.
A floaty chiffon dress in pastels or soft florals creates beautiful movement and hides that
postpartum tummy; these dresses are especially lovely for spring and summer sessions. Free People and Anthropologie are great for flowy outfits. Conversely, jersey knits tend to cling and show any bumps and bulges. Thicker jerseys are fine but please ensure your underwear or shapewear’s outline isn’t visible. Avoid clothes that are tight around the middle as mom’s tummy needs time to regain its shape.

Lace is an all-time classic and so feminine and sweet! A silk blouse in pink or blush for girl babies, baby blue for boy babies, or white with white, gray or black dress pants also look elegant. Banana Republic and Ann Taylor have gorgeous silk items.

Soft, fuzzy neutral or holiday colored sweaters look great for fall and winter. A long sweater or soft knit shawl thrown over a dress adds texture and sophistication. Earrings also add a classy, sophisticated touch, so do wear those studs, ladies!

Once you’ve picked out your outfit and accessories, mom, time to figure out what dad’s going to wear. Mom and dad don’t need to match but should wear complementary shades so that the colors don’t clash. Different shades of the same color are also great options if they stay within the general pastel theme. Dad, a white or blue dress shirt under a classic gray, pale blue or pale pink sweater with dress pants looks great. Banana Republic makes great fitting clothes for dad too!

If chill and casual is more your style, nothing beats the all-American look of white tank top, t-shirt or shirt with jeans or khakis. Mom, please ensure your bra straps aren’t visible as they cannot be photoshopped out. A strapless bra probably doesn’t sound great when you’re newly postpartum, but you can swap it out as soon as the family shots are done. Our style at Newport Babies is light and airy, and therefore we usually do not recommend wearing all-black. Mom and dad are also welcome to go bare for skin-to-skin looks. Mom can wear a nude tube top or belly band for a more modest version of this look. A classic white or vintage nightgown, or cute silk or cotton pajamas are great to
add intimacy to home lifestyle shoots.

Are you interested in wearing ethnic clothing to your shoot? The good news is – you can! If you choose to wear traditional clothing, everyone in the shoot should wear them. Flowy chiffon and georgette look graceful and elegant, and silk drapes like a dream. Mom can wear an elegant A-line anarkali or abaya, which will flatter postpartum curves, or a sari, with broad pleats at the shoulder to conceal her tummy. Avoid palazzo style pants with these designs. Sari blouses should be well fitting, without being transparent and your petticoat should not show through. Chose ethereal pastels or bold, saturated colors; avoid muddy or washed out colors. If someone in the family doesn’t have
traditional clothes they can wear black contemporary clothes which will photograph well. An ethnic-western fusion outfit can look great as well as symbolize your roots and your present. Wearing a traditional stole or shawl is a good way for mom or dad to add an ethnic touch to their outfit.

Most importantly, your outfits should reflect your personal style as well as be comfortable; especially for you, mom! If you like romantic, feminine clothing, more classic or more bohemian styles, your outfits should reflect this. New clothes tend to photograph better as do well-fitting clothes. Your outfits should be wrinkle-free, fit well and not have noticeable wear (no pilled sweaters please!). As mom’s shape may have changed, she may want to order new items or use clothing from her first or second trimester. Dad may want to do a quick shopping trip for mom, so she doesn’t need to brave the stores just yet; or online ordering can also be a good option. If you’re unsure of your changing size, order multiple sizes and return what doesn’t fit.

Shoes

Mom can wear heels if she is confident wearing them to give her upper body shape or bring her height closer to dads; there are also stools in the studio to do this. Shots do not need to include the shoes and unless requested are usually waist or knee up. Plastic sandals, sneakers, and colored socks are all distracting and should not be worn if shots including the shoes are intended. If you do want your shoes included in the shot, wear comfortable and clean shoes please! Dad can wear dress shoes like he’d normally wear for work. Mom can wear cute ballet flats or pretty sandals. You might want
to get a pedicure of your toes are visible!

Accessories

Earrings, especially diamond and pearl studs add a polished look to your pictures. A classic watch or tennis bracelet looks nice, but please avoid very busy or statement pieces. If wearing Indian clothes, ladies can wear bindis and traditional jewelry that matches or complements your outfit. Dad, a nice watch looks good. Apple watches don’t look great in photos as cool as they are. But do remember your newborn is your best accessory!

Hair &Makeup

Half updos look great on mom, but all looks should avoid having hair falling on your face. Bouncy curls look great as does wearing your hair down. There are several options to get a blowout, locally, including Blow-It-Out lounge in Hoboken, Drybar in Manhattan and Shampoo JC in Jersey City. You can use Glamsquad to come home and do your hair and makeup if you’re not feeling up to heading out just yet. A keratin treatment (available at most salons) looks gorgeous and natural.

Please ensure your hair is washed for this day! This is one reason why planned newborn shoots are superior to in hospital ones.

We have a makeup artist available whose services you can prebook. She will do your makeup in studio and will also provide optional lashes for $80. If you feel comfortable doing your own makeup make sure to do lashes. A nice peach blush or a little bronzer on the cheeks for a natural sun-kissed or glowy look is ideal for newborn shoots. A basic eye with mascara and false eyelashes photographs great. High drama looks should be avoided for classic images. Eyelash extensions are available at most salons across the area as well. If you do your own makeup, Nars Orgasm is the ideal peachy
blush that flatters all skin tones. Don’t forget concealer to hide those new parent under eye circles. Please note that your makeup should reflect your skin at its best, and that you are beautiful as you are!

Where to shop

Some places to shop for great deals are Jersey Gardens Outlets which has Century 21, Saks Off Fifth, and Nordstrom Rack. There is also a Carter’s there for kid’s clothes. Union Square in the city also has Nordstrom Rack as well as Zara, Anthropologie, Banana, J. Crew, Free People, Ann Taylor, and Ralph Lauren nearby. Diane Von Furstenberg in Chelsea sells the famed wrap dress that flatters any physique especially postpartum. World Trade Center’s Century 21 has one of the best selections with designer kids wear to match whatever outfit you choose for mom. Bloomingdale’s can be found uptown on the east side with a stunning selection of womenswear. Bloomingdale’s Outlet,
Century 21, Theory, Calvin Klein (both of which have modern, classic cuts), Reiss (with dresses popularized by the Duchess of Cambridge), and Intermix (for high end trendy looks) are great spots on the west side. In Newport Center Mall Zara can be found and some women have luck at Macy’s as well. Hoboken has an Anthropologie and the high-end but gorgeous matching mother-daughter bohemian wear from Alicia Bell. Thred Up, A Second Chance, and Rent the Runway offer consignment luxury clothes for purchase or rent at a fraction of the cost. Most of these stores have online shopping options as well.
We look forward to photographing you and your family!

Bohemian Floral Cakesmash in Jersey City

arents: the ones least photographed but most deserved of a captured legacy.
 
This definition spoke so true for this cakesmash! mom showed up not expecting to be photographed but her connection with her little was too charming not to capture! Her daughter smiled so much sitting on her lap and swinging in our floral swing. We captured this bohemian floral cakesmash in Van Vorst park close to Exchange Place in Jersey City. 

This girl also loved playing with our balloons and having our assistant tap her on the nose with one. Coming up with tricks to entice smiles out of littles is an everyday part of my job and one myself and my assistant delight in. Leave the work to us and enjoy your shoot without worrying about your little one smiling!

One month old newborn photoshoot

Photographing newborns in Jersey City in the Newport Babies Photography studio I meet families from many different traditions and origins. For this reason a lot of newborns I photograph come in at a month due to spiritual and cultural beliefs that compel moms to stay home for the first 30-45 days. Photographing one month olds takes a great deal of patience and skills I have built through years of photographing older babies. Often times they are easier to wake and take longer to rest and pose so these sessions run longer than typical newborn sessions.

I had the pleasure of meeting this one month old from a part-Jamaican family here in the Newport area of Jersey City. This sweetheart photographed so well in many different colors, it was a pleasure creating setups in yellow, purple, pink, and blue. What is your favorite color for newborn girls? Comment below!

 

Maternity Shoot at Brooklyn Bridge Park

Join Newport Babies Photography for another maternity shoot at Brooklyn Bridge Park, the last of summer! We enjoyed ice cream and cold drinks as the temperature was in the 90’s. However, a nice breeze and the cool of approaching night gave our pregnant mom a nice respite during her shoot. She looked stunning in coral and lavender and nothing was so heartwarming as the beautiful bond she shared with her husband. I could tell by their shared laughter that they would be fun parents! Cannot wait to see the next half of their journey. Gown by Mii Estilo and makeup by our in house artist Donna Shaw.

Sunset Maternity Shoot at Belmar Beach

One of the best times to photograph pregnant couples is the hour or two before sunset, known as the “golden hour”. I recommend my clients use this time for their photos because they can enjoy the beautiful colors as the sun sets and the golden halo it creates. This couple just looked so beautiful as the pink colors of sunset matched the mom’s pink dress and the pink dress from my studio made by Sew Trendy Accessories. This shoot was taken at Belmar beach, one of several different beaches I use. The advantage of this beach is the gorgeous light sand as well as the pier which is fun to use for playing around and posing. Inquire at info@newportbabiesphotography.com or newportbabiesphotography.com to find out about locations near you, we have locations near Short Hills, Millburn, Jersey City, Hoboken, and New York City that are just as stupendous!

Natural Newborn Photography

Natural newborn photography to me means a lot of naked babies! However, just because babies are naked does not mean they are easy to photograph- that’s where my expertise comes in as lead photographer at Newport Babies Photography.

Newborn skin is so buttery soft and glowy, yet often it has a lot of issues like jaundice and pimples that are concerning to parents who come in to have their babies photographed. I tell parents not to worry- we will celebrate birthmarks and anything that doesn’t stay with their baby they can choose to have removed. I have the skill to remove blemishes, flakes, mottled skin, and jaundice. However, I always give parents the choice because sometimes those details are what makes this time special! Flaky skin in particular is a hallmark of newborn-ness and someday moms will forget how fragile that sweet baby skin was, which is why I love to capture it for them! Newborns who come to my Jersey City studio can enjoy all these looks and many more, including composites like the beautiful log photo below.

booking for October and November newborns now at http://newportbabies.as.me

portfolio at http://www.newportbabiesphotography.com

Classic ONE photoshoot

Turning one is a momentous occasion. While I love celebrating it with creative cakesmashes, classic ONE shoots can also be equally amazing and fun! This little guy had such a great personality and loved smiling for the camera. He had fun playing with number blocks, our vintage truck, balloons, and confetti on the barnwood backdrops in studio. He was especially delighted to sit in his parents’ laps, making us all giggle! This little man hailed from Hoboken, one of my favorite places on the planet. So excited to see him in studio!

One year old having a whale of a time!

This one your old had a whale of a time smashing his cake in this whale-themed cakesmash! The cake was provided by Sweet Hoboken emulating a photo the client provided. This baby looked so good in the nautical set with all his charming pudgy-cheek smiles.  While he wasn’t too keen on cake (he is a healthy eater!) his brother was eager to help out and feed him (and himself!). This family came to my studio in Jersey City and wanted not only smashcake photos but their first ever family pics to commemorate the big milestone. Families from Millburn, Short Hills, and Edgewater come to my studio for these special occasions so that we can custom create an amazing set and give them not only photos but memories to cherish. Many thanks to this family for choosing me for this momentous (and momentously messy) occasion!

 

 

 

Newborn Session in a New Home

One of the greatest joys in life is welcoming your newborn home. Another great joy is making a home with your spouse. This brave couple took both leaps in their life at the same time- welcoming their baby home within a month of moving in. It was an absolute pleasure to photograph some of their first ever memories in their new home and with their new baby to capture these special times! I traveled to Piscataway from my Jersey City studio as I often go on the road for shoots so my clients have an option of the studio or the comfort of their own home.

This baby’s nursery was lion and safari themed- so we dressed the baby up to suit! Roar little lion!