What to wear for family photos

Here is my video on my Facebook page that talks about much of the below.
#1: Choose a Color Palette. Pick 3 or 4 colors that look good together & start from there.

How do I do that? Typically I choose colors that I know look good on the people we are photographing.  If I were choosing outfits for my family, I know my boys looks good in blues, so I might start there.

Or I choose a first piece of clothing I like and I base the rest of the outfits on that piece of clothing. A good idea is to work from a main piece and base your color palette off that.

For example my main piece below is the plaid shirt on the right.  These a family with two boys. (note Dad’s pants are navy slacks, but appear black in the image. I avoid black typically. see #6).

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 2.34.35 PM

Side note, I’m specifically talking about what to wear for photos that are shot on location, in California, in the San Francisco Bay area. I’m going to refine this further, to a green or brown grassy area. Outfits needs to work with your location background. For example, if I were shooting images on a beach in the sand the colors we’d need for that location would be slightly different. Also much of this does not apply for in studio.

#2: Stay away from what I like to call “matchy matchy”. So that would be everyone wearing white shirts and jeans, or khaki’s and a blue shirt. I know this seems easy, but it leads to boring portraits, that look uninteresting.

#3: Try to limit patterns. One pattern as your main piece that you are basing your outfits off of is great. But try to keep it to that. You don’t want more than 2 people in patterns, this can distract the viewer from the people in the portrait to what they are wearing which isn’t the goal. If you do have two patterns, ensure the second is very understated.

When choosing a pattern, stay away from horizontal strips, as they tend to make people look larger, and can also be distracting. Also large floral patterns can be overly distracting. Stick to smaller simple florals, checks etc.

Below is another sample outfit.

Screen Shot 2018-09-11 at 2.37.16 PM

#4:  Even though you are limiting color patterns does not mean you need to limit textures and layers. Texture and layers in photos is a great thing. So you could have a blue dress shirt for mom, and has a lace detail – excellent! Or different fabric textures. This will add depth to your image without distracting from the subjects.  Examples: jean jackets, lace details, wool sweaters, different fabrics, pockets on cargo pants.

On the same note, stay away from any lettering, schwag t-shirts, Disney characters on outfits. I feel this can just look cheap, and we are going for a timeless family portrait, which this does not lend itself to.

#5: Feel free to add accessories that tie in your outfits. A a large chunky necklace for mom, or a bold scarf that has all your colors in it is fabulous. You don’t want to overdo it, but this will allow you to still express who you are. We still want to see your personality in the image, after all they are about you.

#6: Stay away from all white and all black clothing. This is the first color, (ahem tones) actually they aren’t colors they are tones. That are lost in an image as they are at the very end of spectrum. You want details in your images. White will be the brightest part of any image, if you are wearing a white shirt, the viewer’s eye will be drawn to your shirt and not the subject’s faces. Instead of white, how about an off white that is textured. Instead of black, how about a grey that is perhaps a sweater. Don’t put your entire family in grey or off white, for an either family it can be rather dull, but one person is fine. Please please don’t wear white to my session.

#7: Don’t be afraid of some COLOR. This will add some subtle pop to your images when still being pleasing to the eye. Now when I say color, I’m not saying bright red or neon yellow. (please no neon colors!). But what about mustard instead of bright yellow for example. We are seeking harmony with all the colors that you choose.

#8: Footwear! Don’t forget your feet. Ensure that they go well with your outfit. Don’t put beautiful outfits together and then put your old dirty sneakers on. They will stick out like a sore thumb.

#9: FIT! Items of clothing should be not too tight and not too baggy. Baggy, untailored, and unfitted clothing will add weight to your frame, no matter what your size. Love that baggy sweater? Through a chunky belt on it so we can see your waist. Baggy and loose fitting might be the style, but it doesn’t lead to flattering photos They still need to fit.

Below are some great looking families I have photographed, with color palettes attached.

Please consult me if you are having any questions about what to wear, it would be my pleasure to help. Feel free to text me your sample outfits.

This family chose a subdued color palette with grey, pink and blue, but there is still COLOR! they did not choose all grey, or all blues.



See how the below family chose grey, but they got that PUNCH of color in there with maroon! #goodchoice!


Updated this post with a couple more images from last year.

Even tho I think this might have too many patterns, it still can work. And I especially love the COLOR palette in this image. Also see how the bottoms of the family are all not in jeans or the same = YES! winning.



The below color palette I love too:


If you are being photographed in the cooler months, like November and December, please look at this video… LAYERS are SO important. Littles get SO cold SO quickly. This video is also just another good example of HOW to put outfits together 😉

Here is another video that I made when I was going location scouting with just myself and my kiddos.

Need help? Please text me photos. I include this in my pricing because it REFLECTS in my images.

YES I have updated this for 2018 🙂




#familyphotos · #newbornphotography · catching up · nofilterplease · photography

Please do not put “filters” on my images.

What I mean is, when you are re-posting my images, to Instagram, Facebook and the like, a photographer has given you, myself included, please refrain from putting a filter on it before posting it. Leave it filter free. Because it’s copyright infringement. Yep even putting a black and white filter on my color photo – no good.

See how these are COMPLETELY different images?


Don’t get me wrong I LOVE ❤ it when you re-post our images. At least I do. I particularly love it when you re-post and tag me and tell me how much you love the photos. Thank you for those that have done this. Thank you, thank you, thank you! You are the best!

Why is it important not to put a filter on it? As a photographer I have worked very hard to create a style of photography. I have also edited my images to look similar. When you put a filter on my images you are erasing all this hard work.

Why else? It’s not your work. It changes the images, it makes them something else that I didn’t want them to be, otherwise I would have made them so in the first place. Also you don’t have permission to change my work and still associate my name with it.

I am not trying to offend anyone by writing this. It is extremely hard to put the above eloquently and in laymen’s terms. Let me try to put this another way, it would almost be like a writer publishing a book. Then someone else republishing the book with a bunch of edits without the writers permission and leaving the writers name on the book. Does that make sense?

I am trying to make a kind request. I work hard to please you, the person I am giving these images to. I sincerely hope you like the images, no love them. I hope you love them enough not to want to change them and put a filter on them.

Here is my example. See how these are COMPLETELY different. Can you see how if changes the image?
(and NO I did not create this post for you to choose which filter)


I wrote this post after reading this one.  Also a friend of mine, a fellow photographer in Canada has written this into her contract with her clients. I have also written this into my contract. If you’ve signed my contract you have agreed not to change or add any type of filters to my images.

Need or want a black and white conversion? Not all images “work” in black and white. But do let me know so we can work together instead of doing it and are under contract infringement.

Please be understanding, kind and respectful of your photographers work.

If you have done this in the past, not to worry, you didn’t know. But now you do 🙂

SMALL NOTE: If you FEEL you need them in black and white – email me. Happy to chat. Not all images are conducive to black and white conversion, as there needs to be enough contrast. (very small cost for BW conversion, as I don’t just “filter”, it’s MUCH more complicated than that. I hand edit).


Loving newborn photography

It’s been a little while since I’ve blogged! I’ve been busy.

I now have a new Instagram account for my photos only so I’ve been using that like a blog. Here it is: https://www.instagram.com/juliachristinaportraitphoto/

I’ve been working on my newborn photography A LOT! I went to Calgary, Alberta this past spring to visit my brother’s family. I also had to chance to take a one-on-one mentoring session with Brianna Payne Photography. I very much recommend her, for images or mentoring! She is not only talented but such a lovely person.

I am also looking forward to the fall months for family photos again, in August I will shout out to families I photographed last year to get you on my schedule for this year.

This summer I will continue with my second to last MFA class, thesis writing, and practicing my photography craft of course!

I will be continuing my efforts to get the word out about my newborn photography. Here is a small sampling of some images, so much more on Instagram. Stay tuned on Instagram for more! Ping me if you know a friend who’s pregnant  😉  Or send them my info!



#familyphotos · #newbornphotography

Growing with families

I have photographed both this family’s newborn babes and now I am doing their family photos. This is what I want to do guys! I want a studio business in maternity and newborns and follow families as they grow

Don’t these guys make the cutest kids? Like seriously!newbornnoah-0144newbornnoah-0760



A reminder I am creating a studio in my home to create photos like this of past blog post of baby Theo, and offering right now the session fee is free, message me for deets!


First newborn model with new set up!

Finally sharing this sweet image I created with the help of Brianna Payne. Even though I have many newborn sessions under my belt, I do them a bit differently and learned a ton creating this image. I am looking to create more images in my studio similar to Brianna’s newborn work.

I want to add many more newborns and maternity sessions! If possible I would like to do it exclusively once I finish my MFA. I finish my MFA this summer. THIS summer… finally!

I have an all new set up at my home and I am looking for models like this little bean. Newborn models between 5-12 days old, moms contact me when they are pregnant. I will gift you one retouched, digital image I choose for you, and no session cost. Pass on the good word peeps!

Isn’t this little man positively edible? ❤