Family Photo Shoot

It’s been a few years since we’ve had professional family pictures taken, and I wasn’t very happy with last year’s Christmas photo cards (the photo -not the cards) so I decided to bite the bullet and find someone to do it right.

Kate Giovinco is a local photographer who shoots only on location, and that’s what I wanted. I love outdoor shots. They just seem so much more casual and comfortable than the ones done in the studio, although there’s certainly a place for each. It also helped that Kate offered me a marketing credit on my order in exchange for sharing about our experience, although I ended up far exceeding that allotment when it came time to order! (I have a way of doing that!)

We met up one day last month at a local park just before the sun began to set, and she spent almost an hour with us, taking pictures of us in various formations in different locations around the park. I just got my proofs back and I can’t wait to share them with you!!

Of course the biggest decision of the whole process was what we should wear.

Gone are the days when everyone would wear khaki pants and chambray shirts. Nowadays it is more common to choose clothes that coordinate but don’t necessarily match. I’ve seen some outfit combinations lately in family photos that I really adore. Some people do a great job using various colors and getting them to work together, but when it came time to choosing ours, I was stumped.

One thing I love about working with Kate is that she schedules a pre-session meeting in which she comes to your house, helps you look at your clothing options and decide what to wear. She also helps you decide where you want your portrait(s) to go in your home so she has that in mind when she’s taking the pictures.

As far as choosing our outfits, Kate’s advice was to choose one piece that I really loved and work around that. Her other bit of advice, that I appreciated, as I was laying out clothes and hemming and hawing about what to wear, was to make sure MY outfit is one that I loved and felt great in. Then choose the other clothes and color scheme based on that. Because, she pointed out, if momma don’t like her photo, momma ain’t gonna wanna buy the photos. (Smart photographer, right?)

I’m also a fan of wearing clothes you would typically wear, rather than running out and buying new stuff. For one thing, it gets expensive, but mostly I want to be sure we look like us. The picture should capture us as we are, not who we are trying to be. So everything we wore was from our closets. I didn’t buy a thing.

We ended up going with a gray/black/plum/lavender color scheme.

We basically used my daughter’s heart sweater for inspiration.

Then I selected my husband’s outfit. I always love the lavender button-down on him, and jeans seemed like the obvious choice. I had originally intended for us all to wear jeans, but it didn’t quite work out that way.

My older daughter didn’t really have a top that worked with the color scheme, and I figured if she wore the gray dress, I could wear the gray cords. I always feel good in that purple sweater/black tank and gray cords combo, and the colors worked really well with the heart sweater. I hesitated at first because the outfit is about five years old, but as it turns out, my daughter’s sweater was bought at a consignment sale AND my other daughter’s dress is a hand-me-down from a neighbor!

I had to laugh at that. The way I shop for new clothes, the fact that most everything we were wearing was old or pre-owned kind of cracks me up. Even my son’s shirt is an old one that he rarely wears, but it was the only thing in his closet that remotely worked with the color scheme.

At first I wasn’t sure about putting my one daughter in a dress and the rest of us in jeans and cords, but Kate pointed out that if she likes to wear dresses (she does) that it was fine that we weren’t all wearing pants. She thinks it makes it more interesting, and now that I see it all said and done, I think I agree.

Of course Savannah had to be a part of it!

A couple weeks after the photo session, Kate comes back to your house to show you the proofs and help you decide what to order and where to place them in your home. She also designed our Christmas cards, which she delivered this week.

I can’t wait to get our wall portrait. After debating about a grouping, we decided on a single 20×24-inch canvas print. It should arrive in a couple more weeks!! Can you guess which photo we chose?? Which would you choose??