Issue 6: It Happened, What to Wear for Family Photos, and Medieval Peasant Influencers
Happy Friday my darlings!
Raleigh is finally cooperating with my deep longing to not sweat within 8 seconds of being outside, and the temperature broke last night! It was 57 degrees this morning. The windows are open. I drank my tea under a fuzzy blanket. And I must say that I feel more optimistic about everything in my life when I’m not sweating.
Before we continue much further, I have something we all need to be aware of. I am writing under the inspirational cloak of cold medicine today. After two and a half years of dodging it, ‘Rona finally got me at the wedding I was shooting over the weekend. I’m feeling back to normal for the most part and I am emerging from isolation today - glory hallelujah. But I must say that the combination of being in the same tiny room in my house all week long, the Dayquil I took an hour ago, and the power nap I just woke up from may inspire a slightly different, less straightforward creative bent today.
What a joy! Let’s dive in.
Style Question - It’s All About Family Photos
There is no topic that has been more in my text messages, DM’s, or submitted in a question box more the last month than ‘what do I wear and what do I put my family in for family photos.’ And I have a few suggestions for you:
First option: Take the personality route. Let everyone wear what they want. At this point, we are all craving a little joy and there’s nothing more delightful than receiving a hot mess Christmas card with Elsa dresses and T. Rex hats. I absolutely love to see it and your tiny humans will probably need just a little bit less bribery. Maybe.
But if you have your heart set on a beautifully styled, candid, miracle of a family portrait this year, there are a few things that, as a photographer and a quasi-stylist, I would love for you to consider:
Look around your home. This is where we want your photos to live - on your walls. So think about your outfits as an extension of your home design. Notice the primary color in your home. For most of us, a white or light beige or grey will be the prominent color. Whatever your prominent color is in your home, make sure it is also a main, grounding color in what you and your family are wearing.
Next, look beyond your main color and start noticing some of the features that make up your interior design taste. Do you love bright colors and patterns? Is there a lot of high contrast? Or is everything somewhat tonal and peaceful? You are going to want your outfits to be similar to the heart of your home design style. If there is a lot of contrast in your home, photos on the wall that also have more contrast in your outfits (light and dark colors for your outfits) will fit in seamlessly. If you love patterns, bold outfits will look right at home on your walls. For me, my home is white, beige, and has soft green and blue accents with pops of navy in small doses of contrast. So when I style for our family photos, I will choose things very similar in tones with lots of whites, tans, light blue, and a pop or two of a darker color - black or navy. And if I do introduce a pattern, it’s going to be a soft and not very busy pattern. That way, when they’re hanging on my wall they fit in with my home design and don’t look out of place.
What are your accent colors in your home - or in the area where you plan to hang your photos? Your home will feel much more cohesive with your images if you are able to pull in these accent colors. As I mentioned, I mainly have blue and green as my accent colors, so I’ll also use these as the accent colors for our outfits in family photos.
The best styling for families is when you pull from a color palette and everyone is not matchy-matchy. I’d suggest avoiding having any two people wearing the same thing on top and bottom. And always start with styling for the adults - let your adult outfits cover all of the above points (grounding neutral, pop of color, pattern if it is in line with your home design, contrast element) and supplement those with the kiddos. And if you’re able to introduce any layers like a dress with a sweater over the shoulder or Dad in a button-down with a heavyweight overshirt then you will be looking like a million bucks and everyone is going to want to know how you got your family looking so great!
So let’s look at that formula again that we are pulling from our homes:
Grounding neutral (usually white) + accent color (1 or 2 colors to pull from your home design) + pop of contrast (navy, black, and brown all work great. If you have a high contrast home you’ll feature these in clothes. If you have a low contrast home, you might feature these in shoes or accessories.)
Bonus: If you have lots of patterns in your home, don’t be afraid to play with patterns in your outfits. But also don’t go crazy - 1-2 people in patterns is plenty. If you don’t have a lot of patterns, steer clear of anything bold and put just one person in a soft, fairly neutral pattern.
After a few very busy weeks with photography, I cannot lie - my Covid-induced break this week was very welcome. And it gave me a chance to catch up on lots of the early fall pieces that are just starting to show up in shops!
This Week’s Links:
If you’ve ever found yourself wondering what a medieval peasant influencer would be like, you don’t have to wonder anymore. There are very few Instagram accounts that I find as delightful as @greedy.peasant.
I was reminded this week how much I love these leggings. They are squat-proof with a great amount of compression, but not so much that you’re wanting to change out of them to get cozy. They are the cozy. I am a medium in most pants, but like these in a small.
It’s not new, but if you have not yet watched the Shania Twain documentary, run to Trader Joe’s for a basketful of snacks, snuggle up under your plushest blanket, and prepare yourself to be humming along to all of the best from her for the next few months. (Speaking from experience. We love Shania in this household.)
After overdoing it in the World Wars historical fiction genre last year and taking a hiatus, I’m dipping my toe back in with Kate Quinn’s latest release. And it is quite good. If you haven’t read her other books, The Rose Code, The Huntress, and The Alice Network are all excellent reads. And perfect for the fall. I always think historical fiction is best in the fall and winter.
And that will wrap us up for this issue! If you’re enjoying the newsletter, would you share it with someone this week? Your support means the absolute world to me and truly makes such a difference.
Have a wonderful weekend!
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