Welcome to the HR blog. I'm a Sydney photographer, podcaster and brand strategist from the Northern Beaches and I'm so glad you're here! Feel free to grab yourself a peppermint tea - my drink of choice! - and enjoy viewing my latest work, browsing our brand and portrait resources, and getting a little peek into my life!


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Families, What to wear

March 14, 2019

Family photoshoot outfit ideas for mums

Picking an outfit for your family photoshoot is such a fun part of the process. For some, I totally understand though that it can feel a little daunting as you navigate endless options about style, colour and of course, finding something you feel great in!

For most mums, when you book a family portrait session you’re looking to create photos that will last yourfamily a lifetime: Keepsakes that you’ll look back on fondly in 10, 20 and even 50 years time, so it’s a great idea to take the time to pick something you’re going to love looking back on. I love that clothes are a way to express yourself and your style, and you can have a lot of fun putting your outfit together for your session with these tips I’m about to share.

I’ve created this guide to help you get the most out of your photos, and by the time you’ve read through, you’ll have all your questions answered and feel more than ready and prepared for your session. Then I’ll take care of the rest! Your only job is to be yourself, laugh a lot and let me create photos you’ll love forever. I can’t wait to have you in front of my camera lens!

Don’t be afraid to dress it up!

Have you thought about rocking a romantic gown, tulle skirt or flower crown but just never had an occasion for it? This is your chance to do it! Remember: There is no such thing as “too dressed up” when it comes to your portrait session, so don’t be afraid to have some fun.

Many of my clients love to rent an outfit from Style Theory (or Mama Rentals for maternity – you can get 15% off your order when you mention I’m photographing you!) for their session because it’s such an affordable way to feel like a million dollars. Other clients love having a great excuse to bring a new permanent piece (or two!) into their wardrobe and there are so many beautiful shops to buy gorgeous dresses and skirts from – whether your style is classic, romantic or more of a laidback luxe!

To give you some ideas, my favourite shops to browse for gorgeous portrait session outfits include: Zimmerman, Morrison, Witchery, Seed, Gingham and Heels, Camilla, Forever New, Kmart (yep – great basics there!), Sheike, Aje – and of course, you’ ll always be spoilt for choice in DJ’s! The main thing is to wear an outfit that feels like your style and that you feel beautiful in!

Say yes to the dress

Dresses and skirts look most stunning because they really flatter every female body, especially on camera — which is probably why the red carpet is always full of so many dresses and not very many pantsuits! I recommend avoiding pants and shorts for your session, and saying yes to a dress or two instead.

Long, full-length, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. Especially when juxtaposed with nature, like the bush, countryside or beach. Consider softer fabrics like chiffon or tulle, which allow for beautiful movement in the images.

When considering the length of your dresses or skirts, it’s also a good idea to factor in whether or not there will be little ones in your photos. If you have smaller children, I’ll likely have you sitting or crouching on the ground to interact up-close with them. Cute, shorter cocktail-length dresses photograph beautifully, but if you have little ones in your photos, a floor-length dress or skirt, or perhaps a cute midi-skirt, will make moving around with your kids much easier, and look perfect on camera, too.

If you’re an expecting mother, I always recommend floor-length gowns or maxi dresses. These dresses create the best silhouettes to flatter your figure and really highlight your bump.

Choosing colours

When choosing colours for your outfits, I recommend selecting softer, lighter tones and more muted shades. By avoiding ultra-bright, bold colours and steering clear of black almost altogether, it will help bring all the attention to your faces and let the eye focus on the way you feel about each other. The camera loves shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like heather grey, creams, leather brown and white. That softer colour palette fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments – especially the beach!

Flattering your features

In my experience, almost every woman, regardless of her shape, has an area of her body that she’s self-conscious about, so recognising what area that is in advance is key. Choosing flattering silhouettes and colours that complement your natural features is the best way to ensure 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. You could also bring a cute jacket, blazer or cardigan along, too. Skinny straps or strapless dresses have the opposite effect on arms on camera, so we recommend avoiding those whenever possible if your goal is a set of slimmer-looking arms.

Heels elongate women’s legs making them look fabulous. Closed-toes heels in particular look great on camera because they carry out the line of your leg all the way down to your toe. If your toes are showing in a peep-toe heel, you might want to schedule a pedicure before your session so you don’t regret letting your feet show. These little tricks make all the difference!


Quick tip

Bring a pair of easy-to-kick-off flats to wear when moving from place to place in between photos. Your feet will thank you later!

Make a Statement

Pairing an accessory or two with your outfit can really help bring some extra dimension to your images, and be a nice tie-in when you’re coordinating with a group. Big statement necklaces bring a lot of pop to the photos, while the smaller, delicate ones are not as noticeable on camera.

Belts, bracelets and earrings bring great visual interest, so choose one or two that don’t compete for attention. Fresh florals in a crown can be a really romantic touch for you or your girls 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 the most beautifully and naturally.

I hope you found these tips helpful! Every client of mine gets all these tips and more sent to them in the post in a beautifully deisgned magazine, with plenty more tips on how to dress your man, how to coordinate the whole crew and ideas on picking the perfect location for your family! If you have any questions at all about outfit choices please feel free to reach out, I’m always happy to help!

Hayley xx

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