Senior photos are a rite of passage that so many emerging young adults look forward to, and you want your photos to be as beautiful as you are! One important factor to plan for is your wardrobe. What should you wear for your Harrisburg senior photos? I’ll chat with you about specifics during your pre-consultation, but in the meantime, check out these tips.
All my senior photo sessions include multiple outfit changes, and you want your outfits to be different enough to capture all the looks you want. Consider bringing one casual outfit, one outfit that’s more formal, and one that reflects your personality or hobbies like your jersey for a sport you play, an outfit with a rocker aesthetic, or your culture’s traditional dress. It’s a good idea to have a few extra outfits too in case you change your mind or have a last-minute stain or broken zipper.
Don’t Forget the Details
When planning your outfits, the clothes are just the starting point. Plan which accessories, shoes, and jewelry you plan to wear with each outfit too and try it all on together. This way, you can make sure it looks the way you want and that you have everything you need.
Have Layering Options for Your Harrisburg Senior Photos
Layers are magic in a photo session! They give you more visual variety without a full outfit change and they add some depth and texture to your photos. Bring a denim jacket to go over your dress or a flannel shirt to layer onto a t-shirt and jeans.
Avoid Going Overboard with Patterns
A good rule of thumb for photo shoots is to choose solid colors rather than complex patterns. Avoid anything with words or with a prominent logo too. The exceptions may be outfits that signify a particular hobby or interest you have.
Harrisburg fall family photos are some of my favorite client portraits. They have a quaint and cozy feel that will warm anyone’s heart, and they take advantage of the stunning autumn colors we have here in Pennsylvania. For families, a fall photo session is a fabulous way to get beautiful custom artwork that preserves the memories of this chapter in their lives. How can you make sure your fall family portraits turn out the best that they can? Follow these tips to prep for your session like a pro.
Plan Your Wardrobe Strategically
As a mom, I know that planning your family’s wardrobe for a photo shoot can be a daunting task. I recommend that you start with your own outfit and then just go one person at a time. Choose one or two core colors that are fall-appropriate, like rust orange or navy blue, and then complement them with neutrals. Here are a few other tips that can help:
Avoid any items with prominent logos or words (something subtle like a small logo on a shirt pocket is fine).
Stick to solid colors and simple patterns, avoiding patterns that are too bold or busy. If you aren’t sure about an item, take a full-body picture of someone wearing it and look at whether it takes attention away from the person’s face.
Choose earthy neutrals like tan, gray, and ivory as opposed to more stark neutrals like white and black (white and black can be excellent for some other seasons, but more natural shades look better with fall colors).
Bring fall-appropriate layers, like scarves, jackets, and wraps, that look nice with your wardrobe. These add texture and will come in handy on a chilly fall day.
Keep Your Kids in the Loop
Have a chat with your kids in advance to let them know that the photo shoot is happening. When you do, present it as a fun family outing rather than as something unpleasant the kids will have to do. If you lead with a positive attitude, they’re more likely to follow suit and come to the photo session with a smile on their face.
Set Your Deadline as the Day Before Your Harrisburg Fall Family Photos
This is one of those little mind tricks that works wonders! When you’re preparing everything for your session, set your mental “deadline” as not the photo shoot day but the day before your photo shoot. Plan to have all the outfits laundered, pressed, and hanging together, have a bag of snacks and drinks packed in the fridge, etc. Last-minute issues can arise on the day of, so if all those details are already done, you have room in your schedule to accommodate those issues.
Keep in Touch with Your Photographer
You and your photographer are a team with the same goal: to create amazing fall family photos for your family. Make sure you communicate with them like a teammate. If you change your mind about anything, from the color scheme of your wardrobe to deciding to include grandparents in the photos, speak with your photographer so they can plan accordingly.
Make Sure No One Arrives Hungry for Your Harrisburg Fall Family Photos
Fall family photo sessions often take place around dinner time because that hour just before sunset creates beautiful natural lighting. But it’s best to have your dinner before the session rather than after, particularly if your kids are little. We want your kids to be having fun and flashing plenty of happy smiles, and that’s more likely to happen with a full belly. If you want to give the kids something to look forward to, you can take them out for dessert after the session.
Plan Extra Travel Time
I can’t emphasize the importance of this enough! First, your session is scheduled for a specific time based on the sunset time. If you get stuck in traffic and arrive 15 minutes late, the sun won’t wait for us, so we won’t have time to get all the portraits we want. Plus, when you’re running late, it adds stress to the whole family and that won’t start off your session on the right foot.
One of my favorite aspects of Harrisburg family photography is the fact that we have so many gorgeous locations in the area for outdoor portraits. No matter what style or look you want, chances are that there’s a spot nearby that’s perfect for your family photos. Many of my clients ask me for location recommendations, and it’s true that I’ve been able to scout out plenty of favorites in the area, but you’re welcome to choose a location of your own too!
If you’re looking for the perfect spot for your next family photo session, follow these top tips.
Consider the Look and Style You Want
Your photo shoot location will literally set the stage for your portraits, so the location you choose can immediately create the style and look you want for your photos. You want a location that suits the style you want, whether that style is rustic, natural, urban and chic, cozy, light and airy, or whatever it may be.
Look for Textures for Your Harrisburg Family Photography
You may be surprised by how much it can enhance a photo when you incorporate some complementing textures, and your photo shoot location is a great way to get those textures. Elements like a brick wall, a wooden structure, or an array of flowers can add a touch more visual interest and balance to your family portraits.
Envision Your Color Scheme
One of the first things many parents do when planning their Harrisburg family photography session is to choose a color scheme based on where they want to display their portraits. Make sure you take that color scheme into account when choosing your photo location, finding a spot with background colors that fit or complement your color scheme.
Be Mindful of Property Laws and Privacy
This is less of an aesthetic consideration and more of a logistical one, but it still matters. It’s critical to make sure you can legally and easily access the photo shoot location of your choice. If it’s private property, get permission in writing to take pictures there. If it’s public property like a public park, try to find an event schedule to make sure the area won’t be occupied by a festival or other event on your photo shoot day.
Find Space for Kids to Play During Your Harrisburg Family Photography
Posed portraits of your family sitting or standing together neatly are quaint and traditional, and all my Harrisburg family photography shoots will include these types of photos. But every family also loves some candid action shots taken while you and your family enjoy your time together, highlighting the authentic joy you have with your family.
To make it easier to create these types of images, it helps to have a photo location where kids can play and adventure a bit. It doesn’t have to be anything too complex, just some space for kids to explore safely.
Look for Plenty of Light
One of the most instrumental factors to consider for any photo session is the lighting. Depending on the time of day, if there are too many big structures in your photo shoot location, there might be too many shadows for me to fully showcase your beautiful family. Look for a location that is open enough that it will get plenty of light rather than an area that is overly shaded.
Consider a Space with Variety
It can be helpful to have a location that has several different spots that have their own looks and accents. For example, you might go to a family member’s farm that has a lovely old barn for some rustic looks, an open grassy area for more natural and minimalist portraits, and a flower garden to add some color. This lets us easily move from spot to spot so you have plenty of styles to choose from in your finished photo gallery.
Booking Your Harrisburg Family Photography
Whether or not you already have a vision and a location in mind for your family portraits, I can create a stunning family photo shoot that will produce portraits you’ll cherish for decades to come. Ready to start planning? Contact Karissa Zimmer Photography today.
Some families enjoy a family portrait session every year while others only have the chance every several years. Either way, it’s not something you do every day. As a professional photographer, I aim to not only create beautiful works of personal art for my clients but to guide you through the process too and make it as simple and stress-free for you as possible. To help you manage your photo session planning process, I’ve put together a straightforward to-do list for any parent before outdoor family photography in Harrisburg PA.
#1. Choose Your Photographer
The first step in any photo session is to select your photographer, and frankly, that can be the hardest step too. You want a photographer you can work with well and someone whose work you love because every photographer has their own style. Keep in mind that each photographer has a different level of service too, so find a photographer who has the aesthetic and the service you’re looking for.
#2. Decide on a Location for Your Outdoor Family Photography in Harrisburg PA
After you’ve booked a session with the photographer of your choice (or during the booking process), you’ll coordinate with your photographer to choose a location for your photo session. The season, the look you want, and other factors will impact your location of choice. The beauty is, though, that you have an expert photographer in your corner, and we know all the best spots in town! I always chat with my clients about what they want for their session and recommend the best locations for them.
#3. Tell Your Family the Good News
Once you’ve worked out the major details, it’s time to bring your kids in on the plan. The rule of thumb is to be excited and position the photo session as a fun family experience. It’s contagious – if you’re excited about something, your kids will be too!
#4. Design the Family’s Wardrobe for Your Outdoor Family Photography in Harrisburg PA
Wardrobe planning is another item on your to-do list that I can help you with directly. As a full-service photographer, I gladly offer tips and help in planning your family’s wardrobe, including pointers about what does (and doesn’t) look good on camera, advice on what colors might best flatter you and your family, and more. I also advise having a backup outfit planned for each person in case an issue arises.
#5. Plan the Day of Your Photoshoot
Logistics can make a world of difference in your photo session, so make a plan for the day of the photo shoot. Based on when your session will be, plan a schedule that ensures everyone will be fed and rested during the photo shoot. Plan when you need to start getting everyone ready, how much time you’ll need to do your hair and makeup, and so on. Give yourself an earlier out-the-door time than you need in case there’s traffic or you’re running late.
#6. Make a List of Items to Bring
The last thing you want is to arrive at your photo session and realize you’ve forgotten something important. Give yourself more time to think of all the essentials by making a to-bring list. Include things like all the individual pieces for everyone’s backup outfits, snacks, drinks, diapers, wipes, and so on.
#7. Prep and Pack Your Items for the Photo Shoot
The day before your photo shoot, get everything packed and ready so that, when it’s time to leave, you just need to grab everything and go. Get everyone’s wardrobe and backup outfit items laundered and pressed if necessary. Put snacks and other items in a cooler or bag in the fridge. The goal is to make your life as easy as possible.
#8. Don’t Lose Sight of the Goal: To Have Fun!
This might not seem that important but it really is a biggie – remember to have fun! The best portraits happen when you and your family are genuinely enjoying your time together. Try not to stress about the little details. Spots on someone’s clothes can be edited out, but I can’t edit in a carefree smile.
Getting Started with Outdoor Family Photography in Harrisburg PA
When you have a beautiful baby at home, calling it “love” doesn’t feel descriptive enough. You’re *obsessed* with your new little one and you absolutely adore watching them grow and discover the world around them. If you want to preserve the memories of this exciting time of life, Harrisburg sitter session photography is a great way to do that.
What Is Sitter Session Photography?
Sitter session photography is a photo session that occurs while your baby is confidently sitting up on their own but isn’t yet crawling confidently. This generally happens around 6-9 months of age.
Benefits of Sitter Session Photography
Why do we choose this particular time in a baby’s first year to take portraits? There are several benefits, actually.
Preserve a Beautiful Developmental Stage
Your baby’s sitter stage is such a fun time in their infancy! With sitting up, they can be more engaged with you and with everything around them, and it’s such a joy to watch their little eyes take it all in.
Flexible Posing Options
A large part of why sitter session photography is so popular is its practicality. We can get a much better variety of poses and portrait options because your baby can sit up on their own and look at the camera. However, they haven’t yet hit the point when they’re mobile and wanting to explore. The sitter stage is a perfect opportunity to get precious baby photos you’ll love for decades without having to chase your baby around the studio.
Capture the First Hints of Baby’s Personality
Compared to their newborn days, your baby is showing so much more personality in their sitter stage! You’re starting to see some of their little mannerisms, expressions, and quirks. Now is a great time to capture those on camera so you can look back on them when your child is older and see when that sweet personality started.
What’s the verdict? Every family has to answer that for themselves, but for many, the answer is a resounding “yes,” sitter session photography is worth it! To get the ball rolling, contact my Harrisburg photo studio today and let’s chat!