Styled Mommy + Me Prep Guide

What do I wear?

First and foremost – I want you to wear what YOU feel comfortable and beautiful in. I can definitely help with some tips on what PHOTOGRAPHS well – but keep in mind, I want you to feel confident and special for your session.

Neutrals are always a win as they will allow the photos to be less “busy” and over crowded by too many colors. They’ll match the set instead of complicate it. For this boho themed setup, I recommend a flowy (think maxi) white, cream or light colored dress. Not a dress person? No problem! A cute tunic or blouse with leggings or jeans could work well too. 

Whether it’s a necklace, belt, bracelet, earrings, hat, or scarf, incorporating an accessory or two can bring great visual interest to your photos, so choose one or two that don’t compete for attention when paired together. For example, if you go with bolder earnings, you might want to choose a more humble necklace, or maybe even no necklace at all. Fresh florals in a crown or bouquet can be a really romantic touch as well! 

Although it might seem counter-intuitive, I recommend that you do not get a spray tan before your session (even a few days prior) because it tends to photograph orange even when it’s applied subtly and by a professional. Your actual skin tone will photograph most beautifully.

Flattering your features:

In my experience, every woman (regardless of her size or shape) has an area of her body that she’s self conscious about. Recognizing the areas that you are self conscious about when selecting your outfits is key. Choosing flattering silhouettes and colors that complement your natural features is the best way to ensure that you’ll love the way you look in your photos. Three-quarter length sleeves create an awesome slimming effect on all arms, so be on the lookout for an option with a longer length sleeve. If your dress has shorter sleeves (or no sleeves) consider bringing a cute jacket, blazer, cardigan etc to incorporate into your look. Skinny straps or strapless dresses have the opposite effect on arms on camera. For most women, skinny straps actually make arms look BIGGER. So I recommend avoiding those whenever possible if your goal is slimmer-looking arms.


Dressing your kiddos:

As you’re coordinating your outfit with your child(ren), keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palette and wardrobe pieces coordinate, but don’t actually “match.” In fact, I recommend that you avoid thinking about “matching,” and instead think about what “fits” together. This will create more visual interest, and allow each personality to shine through.

If you have multiple children, don’t feel like you need to put them all in the same type of outfit. For example, if one of your daughters wears a dress, the other can wear a skirt or leggings, if that’s more of her style. If one of your sons wears a bowtie, the other can wear suspenders. Mixing up the wardrobe pieces will bring even more visual interest to the photos.

Plan your time:

When you’re planning “getting ready” time before your session (scheduling your hair, makeup, etc.) please give yourself a lot more time than you think you’ll need. Make sure to account for things like traffic, getting lost and parking, so you can prevent unnecessary stress, arrive a few minutes early on your session day and be ready to start on time. Due to the quick-paced nature of the day, I cannot accommodate schedule changes or added time to your scheduled time slot. Please be early rather than late!

Prepping your kiddos:

SETTING EXPECTATIONS BEFORE THE SESSION IS THE KEY TO GREAT PHOTOS AND HAPPY KIDS. 

Before your session, pack a bag with anything you might need for the car ride, session, and back home. If your kiddos is too young to follow directions, bring any objects that you think might help me get their attention (like small toys or stuffed animals) when it’s time for them to look at the camera. 

If your little ones are old enough to understand you, it’s a good idea to prepare them for what’s to come before the session starts. Explain how much the photos mean to you so they know to be on their best behavior. A lot of families pick something fun to do –– as a treat after the session –– if their kiddos are good listeners. Like lunch or dinner at their favorite pizza place or an ice cream cone! 

It also helps if your kids’ bellies are full and they’ve had some good rest before the session. After you do your best to prepare them, give yourself (and them) some grace! I have a lot of experience working with kids, so if they’re “in a mood” or aren’t cooperating perfectly for some reason, rest assured that we’re not judging you (or them). I’ve seen it all and know how to get great photos no matter what! My goal is to make this as fun and stress-free as it possibly can be for you! This season of life feels long right now, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s short. So even if things don’t go exactly as planned or as you’d hoped in terms of your kids’ behavior, one day, you’ll be so glad you took these photos. 


Location:

My studio is located at 1320 Vermillion Street in Hastings MN. Once you are in the parking lot (located on 14th street) you can enter through the side door. If you need stroller access, you can follow the sidewalk to the door on Vermillion Street.

Final thought:

I know I just gave you A LOT to think about! Don’t panic 🙂 Just take it one step at a time. If you have any questions at any point, please know I’m here for you! If you’re deciding between two dresses and can’t commit, no problem! I’m here. If you need a recommendation of any kind, I’m on it! Remember, I’m just one email away. You don’t need to have prior experience in front of the camera. Just show up with a smile and I’ll take care of the rest 🙂

I’m so excited! See you soon!

-Kristen