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Styling Resources & My Process

I completely embody that cliche of the camera-shy photographer, and I understand, first-hand, just how vulnerable the scrutiny of the other side of the lens can feel. 

Even so, I crave real, raw, beautiful photos that document my motherhood journey. I want there to be a visual record of just how much I love each of my children for generations to come. 

Regardless of your personal comfort level with being photographed, I want to assure you that before, during, and after your photoshoot, I am going to take care to make sure you feel amazing in your wardrobe, take my time to get to know you, so I can look for moments of truth in your interactions with your love ones, and will always flatter with my artful editing. 

A mother embraces her toddler son during a spring time garden Mother's Day photoshoot in good stay gardens in Wilmington Delaware.
A mother and daughter play at a motherhood photoshoot on Maryland's Eastern Shore.

My Process

What to expect the day of your photoshoot:

Your kids can do no wrong. Let me repeat: your kids can do no wrong.

When photographing families, motherhood, and newborns sessions, I let kids and babies take the lead. 

The best way to prepare young children for family photos is to talk about it beforehand-- maybe a read a book together where one of the characters is taking pictures, or watch a video together about what a photographer is. This is especially helpful with toddlers who may never have seen a large camera like mine before.

Let them know that taking pictures is going to be fun! 

While I do give posing suggestions and prompts, my main focus is capturing genuine emotion and connections. What does this mean?  The pressure is off to smile at my camera and say cheese. Prepare to tell stories and play games, reminisce, laugh, snuggle and love on each other. 

1. Connect with me via         my Contact Form

Don't be shy! the more you tell me, the better! Details help me understand the unique personalities and dynamics of your family.

2. Sign and Pay 

Simple Enough. Review your contract, sign, and pay your retainer. Your photoshoot is officially on my calendar!

3.  Styling Assistance,      if you need it.

I provide complementary style consults for all photoshoots. Don't hesitate to reach out.

4. The Big Day!

Take Pictures. Have fun!

A newborn baby clasps his mother's finger during an in-home lifestyle photoshoot in Middletown Delaware


Mama's hold center- in the household and in family photos!

My recommendation will always be for moms to decide what they are wearing first, then coordinate (not match!) everyone else to their outfit.

As mothers, we hold center-- in the household, and also in family photos! You deserve to feel radiant in what you are wearing-- so your love light can shine through in the images we create together. I've always loved that Donavan song that goes "Do you have a shirt that you really love, one that you feel so groovy in.... I love my shirt, I love my shirt, my shirt is so comfortably lovely... " I want you to feel so good in your outfit you could sing about it!

Because my style of shooting involves a lot of movement, I suggest mamas wear long, flowy dresses.  I have found that maxi dresses are universally flattering and photograph very well.

If dresses aren't your thing, consider a lightweight duster, swishy skirt, bell sleeves, or wide legged pants. The movement of flowy clothing will add to the emotion in the photograph. And that is what I aim to capture! 

Lastly, don't stress! Ultimately these photos will be your keepsakes and your memories to look back on, so you should wear clothing that you feel comfortable in and is true to you. 

Need some Inspiration for clothing that photographs well? Check out my Pinterest board!

fabric swatches with various textures

Variety and Texture

Special Details and Accessories Add Layers of Contrast

Another point to consider is layering contrasting textures. Think: denim next to corduroy, suede and velvet, rustic linen brushing against silk chiffon, chunky cable knit sweaters paired with faux fur, crinkle gauze with crochet detail, satin and leather etc.)

Special details like embroidery, eyelets, gathered fabric, pleats, smocking, ruching, raw edges, lace, ruffles, tassels and buttons are all going to add visual interest and texture.

Another option would be going vintage. I love the unique nostalgia and one-of-kind look vintage pieces give to a styled session. 

I suggest considering accessories, like flower crowns, hats and jewelry, and layers like shawls, sweaters, or light jackets. Accessories add variety and texture-- they are items that can be swapped in or out as needed-- and add fun and personality. 

A note on shoes: Be practical in your footwear choices (no stilettoes for creek sessions please-- your heels will sink into the mud, or trip you up in a vine, and I'm most likely not going to be taking pictures of our feet anyway). Many of my locations involve a little hike, so make sure you are wearing shoes that you can do some light walking in (or bring your dressier shoes with you in a backpack to put on once we reach our location). As a mom, I know that kids shoes can be hard to match. Often in warmer months, I will have your kids (and you) go barefoot.  In the cooler months try to stay clear of sneakers (unless they are basic/classic or part of the colour pallet-- think Chucks or Toms). As always, if you need any help, don't hesitate to reach out.

A family walks hand in hand during an outdoor family photoshoot in Hockessin Delaware.

Colour Pallets and Prints

Just like a painters pallet, a colour scheme can turn your family photos into art!

Whether we realize it or not, the colours we choose for our clothing convey mood... are you feeling soft and gentle vibes (pastels and earth tones), deep and rich (jewel tones and darks), or light and carefree (neutrals and lights)?

When deciding upon colour, here are some questions to ponder: What is your power colour?

What is your happy colour? What is the colour that best describes the way you feel when you hold your children? What is your most nostalgic colour? What is the colour of your heart song, aura, or of your soul? 

I know this is an exercise in imagination, but you could have a lot of fun incorporating colour that means something to you, or makes you feel a certain way, into the pallet you choose for your families photo styling. I promise that the final images will reflect the thoughtfulness of your choices.

To choose the colour pallet that best suits your family pick 3-5 colours you love and then work in complementary colours (complementary colours are those that are directly across each other on a colour wheel. Think: plum and ochre, turquoise and rust, olive and rose)…. Or start by considering the location we will be shooting at. A colour pallet that complements the environment (subdued neutrals for a beachy photoshoot, for example), the colours of sunrise or sunset (pinks and oranges), and seasonal colours or the hues of what's in bloom will all enhance your photos.

Need some inspiration for your own pallet? Here are some examples on Pinterest.

As far as prints go, I will always recommend solid pieces for dads, henley's are great because they are more relaxed than a button up, but a collared chambray or solid chamois shirts would be great too.

Clothing with small, subtle prints can be fun and say a lot about the personality of the individuals wearing it. If you wish to incorporate prints into your families styling, choose 2 at the most, with care for varying sizes and visuals that complement your family's overall styling, not compete with it. For instance, Gingham check and ditsy calico is a classic pairing.  When choosing prints, avoid large, loud prints that distract the eye. There are many examples of small scale prints that would look lovely on my Pinterest board here

Absolutely no graphic t-shirts or logos for anyone because they are a terrible distraction and date the image.... I have even been known to edit out Lacoste alligators and Ralph Lauren polo players because I find them distracting. 

A mother and daughter snuggle together during a maternity photoshoot at Petite Social Studio in Delaware City, Delaware.

Hair and Make Up

Your Portraits are an investment.
Why not invest in professional Hair and Makeup?

Personally, I am an moisturizer, under-eye concealer, and maybe mascara kind of gal. Occasionally I'll put on some lipstick for fun and my best hair days are when I've skipped a shower for couple! Nevertheless, I understand the value of professional hair and make up. I have had both for special occasions (and photoshoots of my own) and can say from personal experience that it does make a difference.

Professionals know how to enhance your features and are familiar with what looks work best on camera. Rather than trying that side swept fishtail braid yourself, and ripping your hair out in frustration, Professionals can help you achieve the exact style you want without the stress and time spent watching countless YouTube tutorials. 

Any eyebrows, hair cuts, or hair colouring should be done 2+ weeks before our shoot for best results.

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