Wardrobe Wednesday {Less is More}

I am all about color or props in photographs. Bright colorful patterns on children OR coordinating with bright and colorful props can be wonderful. But sometimes I like things toned down a tad. It may boil down to preference or a matter of taste, but sometimes…less is more. As a lifestyle portrait photographer, I tend not to use too many props. I like to focus on the soul and emotion/interaction between my clients, rather than force a situation. Which brings me to this week’s post: whether you are photographing a baby, child or family, sometimes it’s best to leave most of the props behind, tone down the clothing, and focus on the individuals instead.

Some of my most favorite sessions recently have been those where the individuals i’ve photographed were just being themselves. I recently had the privilege of photographing the SUPER talented Jean and Travis Smith and their GORGEOUS boys. Jean told me ahead of time the vision she had for her session. She wanted lots of warm evening light, and photos of her family just being together. She decided she’d like some images in a grassy area with everybody dressed and then some by the water with her boys shirtless. All of her boys wore khakis and were barefoot. Jean wore a neutral colored maxi dress. The result? Pure joy and delightful images. Her boys were naturally comfortable and more likely to relax around me as a result.


Pssst…let me tell you a little secret. Sometimes the little ones need their comfort items with them–blanket, stuffed animal, doll. And you know what? Capturing them with their “lovies” is PRICELSS and clients LOVE IT!

I photographed this beautiful little guy last year. His mom wanted some of him tastefully naked. I love the result with this adorable crocheted hat!

His bedroom had the perfect white room with just the right amount of light. We placed him in his crib and voila. With gorgeous blue eyes like that, who needs anything else?


Here’s another example. Just a few weekends ago, I went to a client’s home to do a photoshoot with her children. I told her with the heat, humidity and bugs, that her children would most likely be most comfortable in their own home. I was in heaven when I arrived to their large and open home FULL of natural light. The kids were naturally active, as one and three year olds are, but I was able to relax them and get natural expressions by letting them do the things they like to do. The little girl wanted to read and hang out in her bedroom, so we did just that. I brought along some inexpensive blocks for the baby to play with, and he was very happy! It’s amazing what a book and some blocks can do. Keep that in mind when using props. In this case, less was more! :)

And one last example. This little girl loves dress up, so I knew this beautiful flower wreath would work perfectly for her. I was able to focus on JUST her and add a little bit of color and whimsy.

These are just some subtle ways to have fun and focus on the inner soul and personality of your clients. The compilation I put together is very simple and easy. All of the clothing items are from the Gap (keeping in line with my usual “one stop shopping”!). I am picturing the Dad’s jeans rolled up and everybody barefoot. Of course this would have to be a session shot in a warm climate, so it’s perfect for summertime! The props do not go along with the outfits I put together. They are just some ideas to add something a little extra special to your photoshoots. Take some time to relax and relax your client’s by letting them play and just “be”. You might be surprised at the results!



Men’s Jeans–The Gap $59.95

Men’s Shirt–The Gap $39.95


Women’s Dress–The Gap $59.95


Boy’s Shirt–The Gap $12.99

Boy’s Shorts–The Gap $24.99


Girls Dress–The Gap $29.95

Props and Accorsories:

Crocheted Hat-Etsy–Modiste Bee

Blocks–Wal Mart $23.99

Orange Blossom Wreath-Bloom Design Studio- Etsy $20.00



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One Response to “Wardrobe Wednesday {Less is More}”

  1. Jean Smith says:

    YAY!!! We made Wardrobe Wednesday!!! I love these posts Shannon!!!


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