Archive: ‘Families’

Wardrobe Wednesday {Families with teens}

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

I just LOVE this ensemble put together by Jennifer of Minor Impressions Photography for families with teens!! It can be a struggle to get those teens to wear what you suggest they wear, but Jennifer offers some great tips! Here’s what she has to say:

Here in Texas, the outrageous heat is gradually making its exit, and we are starting to see a little bit of fall-like weather. For me, this always means that clients start calling to schedule their family session before the holidays get near. While us Wardrobe Wednesday ladies have been giving everyone advice for almost two years now, it can still seem so overwhelming to put together your entire family’s wardrobe, and  you can’t help but tinker with the idea of just doing one solid color. Add in a few older kiddos who are already highly opinionated with what they want to wear, and I’m sure you’re already stressed just thinking about it. That is why I chose to put together an ensemble consisting of mom, dad, and the possibility of a few hard-headed kiddos.

My first piece of advice is to decide which kid will be the most challenging when choosing his/her outfit. (I highly recommend that you don’t tell him/her why you chose them first!)  Once you’ve got the most difficult selection out of the way, start building everyone else’s outfits to complement it. If the first outfit you choose has a pattern with different colors, then choose solids to balance it all out. If it is one solid color, then the next outfit you select should have a few more colors, one being complementary to the first selection.

When teenagers are involved, keep in mind that your biggest challenge might not be about the colors, but rather the comfort, specifically theirs. While one daughter might love being in a dress every day, the other may be all about her jeans. You will have a lot less resistance if they can relax in their attire and allow their personalities to show a little while still trying to keep with a similar theme.

In the example below, I started my collection with, the more reserved, Girl # 2’s shirt. After adding Girl # 1’s dress, I was able to piece together the remaining outfits.



Dress –

Boots –

Necklace –

Girl #1

Dress –

Denim Jacket –

Boots –

Girl #2

Shirt –

Jeans –

Boots –


Shirt –

Jeans –

Boy # 1

Red Shirt –

Jeans –

Boy # 2

Shirt –

Jeans –

Inspire {Fort Myers/Cape Coral Family Photographer}

Tuesday, September 27th, 2011

A month ago, I held a contest for a free session. Little did I know that holding this contest would not only make one really deserving family happy, but it would change my life as well. Meet the Lawreys. They are such a sweet, loving and caring family…you can see it for yourself in these images.





This is Gavin. He is an energetic, spunky and ADORABLE 4 year old. Gavin is like every other 4 year old. He likes to talk about gross boy things and run. However, Gavin was diagnosed with Paroxysmal Kinesigenic Dyskinesia (PKD), and nocturnal seizures in February 2010. This disorder causes Gavin to have episodes that cause him to “shake” and lose muscle control. This doesn’t get him down, though. He is SO happy and sweet despite all of this. I just love this kid.



Can you BELIEVE his eyelashes?


This is Makenzie, Gavin’s 7 year old sister. There is no other way to describe Makenzie than to say she is an angel. She is so in tune to Gavin and his symptoms. She knows the warning signs for an episode and tells his parents when one is going to happen. She also takes such special care of him. After our photo sessions (we had about 10 minutes the first time before the rain rolled in so we had to reschedule), Makenze made me a thank you card and picked out a bow for my daughter (made by her talented mom! check out her work on Facebook by clicking HERE).




Brandi and Jeff, Gavin and Makenzie’s parents, are such wonderful people. They say the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, and in this case it is 100% true. It’s no wonder Gavin and Makenzie are such special children; if you know Jeff and Brandi, you would see why. Jeff and Brandi have a lot on their plate on a daily basis, but this does not stop them from being truly selfless and kind. They inspire me to be a better person. At our proofing session, Brandi gave me a necklace she handmade. I was so touched. These were my FIRST client gifts ever. She told me she appreciated everything I had done for them thus far. I teared up.






The Lawreys have some monstrous medical bills that they have to pay every month. They have to go without things some months because of these medical bills that result from the multiple tests, doctors visits and medication Gavin needs daily due to his disorder.

The second annual Friends of Gavin Lawrey Fall Golf Scramble will be held on Oct. 8, 2011 in Cape Coral to help raise funds for these medical bills.

The registration is $75 for single golfers and $300 for a team of four, which can be done before or on the day of the event. The fee includes a complimentary breakfast, luncheon and goodie bag.

Registration can be done by calling Bob Bravard at 239-458-0626, email him at or stop by Palmetto Pines Country Club, where the tournament will be held.

Also, if you are on Facebook, check out The Gavin Lawrey Trust Fund page for more info!



I Heart Faces {People’s Choice}

Monday, September 26th, 2011

This week’s challenge at I Heart Faces is People’s Choice for best face photo from summer 2011. While in MI this summer for a little R&R, I photographed THIS fabulous family (you may just recognize them…they are the awesomely talented Jean and Travis Smith). It is by far, probably the most favorite family session I’ve ever shot. I’ve only spent a few hours with them and I just love them. Here is my entry for this week.

Make sure you check out the ridiculous amount of talent over at!


Wardrobe Wednesday-What to Wear {Chic Country Couples}

Wednesday, September 21st, 2011

I just love following up on requests on our fan page! Erica May with Erica May Photography did a great job with this tough request! Love the ideas!

We recently had someone post on our Wardrobe Wednesday facebook page requesting a couples session that features cowboy boots. Being from Texas, I was all over that =P. I wanted to put together something that was country but not over-the-top. The thing I LOVE about these outfits it all the layers. The warm tones, mix of textures, and small pop of color will add a lot of depth and interesting features to your images. I love the option to take off and on jackets, vests, hats, and jewelry so make sure to any or all of those items along. The more layers you have the more posing options your photographer will have.  I tried to make it an easy shopping trip with the majority of this ensemble being from one of my favorite stores Eddie Bauer. I could just live in their catalog and they have a great outlet section! =) Don’t forgot to bring a few things that are special to y’all (maybe a few books, a bottle of wine, etc..) and a quilt or sherpa blanket to snuggle up on. Enjoy!




Trailhead Plaid Field Shirt – Eddie Bauer

Classic Fit Barely Boot Cut Jeans – Eddie Bauer

Legend Wash Blazer – Eddie Bauer

Justin Stampede Western Cowboy Boots  – Sheplers


Classic Fit Solid Washed Chambray Workshirt – Eddie Bauer

Carpenter Jeans - Eddie Bauer

Yukon Model Waxed Cotton Down Vest – Eddie Bauer

Mens Cowboy Boots – Sheplers

I have 2 awesome sessions in the blog queue…stay tuned readers!


Wardrobe Wednesday {Fall Families}

Tuesday, September 13th, 2011

That fall chill is in the air…or so I hear. Here in southwest Florida, it doesn’t cool off until at least mid-October. However, my clients still prefer to dress for the season and I don’t blame them! I know when I have my family portraits taken later this fall, we’ll be dressing the part, whether it’s 90 degrees or not! ;) Last week, I asked our awesome Wardrobe Wednesday fans what they’d like to see this week. The majority of you said you’d like to see more boy ideas and fall suggestions. So guess what? I combined the two. ;) And because I am the queen of one stop shopping, I am featuring clothing from Tea Collection. LOVE.THEM.SO.MUCH!  We have featured them once before. Click here to view that post.

As soon as I went to Tea Collection’s website, the warm fall colors were very apparent. Tea Collection always has a globally inspired collection, and this season it’s Modern Mexico. Let me tell you, it is CUTE. What I really love about Tea Collection, is that their pieces coordinate with one another, which makes layering (and putting together compilations for photo shoots!) pretty simple. Another feature I love, is that they have different features such as outfits, new arrivals and wardrobe sets. If you want an outfit already put together for you, just click on outfits and voila! There are so many things I love about Tea Collection; I could go on and on, but the number one feature is that their clothing is made to last. It does not fade easily, wrinkle much or fall apart. This is important to me because my kids are hard on clothing!

Check out their website for yourself. They often have SUPER sales, which is a nice bonus.

This week’s compilation was a cinch because of Tea Collection’s awesome coordinating items and themes. I chose to do a lot of layering, because it adds dimension and color to photos. The first boy’s outfit was already put together by Tea Collection. I LOVED how the henley was placed over the hoodie. The hoodie added just enough color to POP the outfit. I decided to show the items separately on the compilation board, but I added the picture of the outfit separately to show the look I am trying to depict. The second boy’s outfit was coordinated by me, myself and I. I saw the Ticking Stripe Pant (and had to have them for my son!) and went from there. I decided to coordinate another shirt over hoodie outfit to go w/ the pants. Fun to coordinate with the other boy but not too “matchy matchy”. For the mom, I found the scarf paired with the red v neck shirt and fell in LOVE. I just read recently that red is THE COLOR this season. And I don’t know many people who don’t look great in it!  Unfortunately, Tea Collection does not offer a men’s collection, so I kept it simple and left the father figure out.

Here are some images from a family I photographed in Ohio last year. This mom had the wardrobe DOWN! Layers, colors, and textures…oh my!

So there ya have it. I hope this post inspires many readers to check out the very awesome Tea Collection line and to layer for their fall portrait sessions!


BOY: Outfit 1

Hombres Stripe Henley–Cloud–$22.50

Happy Hoodie–Salsa Red–$30.00

Daytripper Jeans–Bio-Stone Wash–$49.00

Simple Satire Sneaker–Nine Iron–$42.00

BOY: Outfit 2
Ticking Stripe Pant–Mushroom–$32.00

Mariachis En Barco Tee–Ochre–$26.50

Happy Hoodie–Cinnabar–$30.00

Frida Wide Leg Demin Pants–$88.50

Dia De Sol Scarf–$61.50

Velas V-Neck Tee–$31.50

And to all of my faithful SJD Photography blogstalkers, I am nearly booked for the season. If you would like to book, please do so ASAP. I only have a limited number of sessions left!


Wardrobe Wednesday {Vendor Spotlight}

Wednesday, September 7th, 2011

CUTE CLOTHING ALERT!!! This week’s post by Rebecca of Rebecca Keeling Studios is just what Wardrobe Wednesday needed this week! I LOVE new suggestions for clothing. Especially when said clothing is extra cute and fun. Read ahead for more info!

I came home today to find one of my MOST favorite catalogs waiting for me in the mailbox.  I love it so much that I felt compelled to share it with you for this week’s Wardrobe Wednesday post.  Those of you with boys know how difficult it is to find really cute, original, and unique clothing for them.  While living in England, I was overly excited during an early shopping outing when I came across Next in a little town near our home.  There wasn’t a time that I went into that store and didn’t come out with an armful of bags for the whole family, especially Kade, who was about a year old at that time.  Not only were the clothes super cute and stylish, the prices were very reasonable {which is really hard to find in the UK} and extremely well made.  Much to my dismay, when I moved back to the US, I realized that they didn’t ship to the States.  And thus ended my love affair with Next.  You can imagine how over-the-moon I was when, just a few short months ago, I received a Next catalog in the mail and realized that they have changed their shipping policy and now even list their clothing in US sizes!!  Holy shopping spree, y’all!!  One of the many amazing things about being able to shop online with Next is that they are truly a one-stop-shop when it comes to all things apparel.  Babies, boys, girls, mom, dad…shoes, accessories, outerwear, special occasion, casual, dressy, sportswear…even maternity AND homeware…all with a fabulous British flair!!  They even offer $5 shipping.  Seriously.  Here are a few of my favorite collections found in their brand new fall catalog.  With holiday portraits and fall sessions just around the corner, you’ll be glad you now know all about Next.  Enjoy…and happy shopping!!


colorful energy {Fort Myers Family Photographer}

Thursday, September 1st, 2011

This blog post is WAY overdue. This is a session from LAST year, but still remains one of my favorites ever. This family is SO wonderful. Loving, fun, sweet and then some. The kids were so well behaved and well mannered and they were up for anything!

And to top it off…they are such a gorgeous family!







Until next time…


Wardrobe Wednesday {Putting it all together}

Wednesday, August 10th, 2011

Need some visuals regarding how to put the family’s wardrobe together? Then this post is for you! Kelly of Kelly V. Photography explains and shows you just how to do it!

One of the things we always talk about is how to adapt these Wardrobe Wednesday posts to fit your own portrait session. Particularly with the family outfit suggestions, we try to illustrate that when done correctly, your outfits should work together as a group, but also well in pairs and individually.

It’s one thing to say “You can put this together, subtract this, or add this,” but I’m a visual girl, so I thought I’d show you!

I recently had a portrait session where my client e-mailed me photos she took of her own clothes to get my feedback as part of her pre-session consultation. Most of these items are basic wardrobe staples that you can find at your favorite clothing retailer, if not in your closet already. For these reasons I’m not going to concentrate on where to shop as much as illustrate how well the pairings work and why.

Michele sent me the image of her daughter’s dress on the right, which she said was purchased at Forever 21, and the following four photos:

She had checked out previous Wardrobe Wednesday posts and knew to pull colors from the dress for the rest of the family, so she was off to a great start! I suggested the outfit on the left for her son because the light blue vest in the outfit on the right was too close a shade to Dad’s button down.

The only problem it posed was that three people would be in khakis, which would be a little too similar, so I suggested she wear a white skirt. She worried it would get it dirty while sitting on the ground — definitely a valid point — and asked if her husband could wear jean shorts. That would be a little too casual in my opinion, so we settled on a denim skirt for her, and that was the missing piece! They looked incredible!

Okay, so because they did such a great job, lets pull them into smaller groupings and you can see how all of the outfits still work even in pairs or individually.

And, even better? Look at how great the different images look together, too! Which makes for an awesome wall display. And isn’t that the whole point of a portrait session? So you can warm up your home with incredible images and even better memories!



Thursday, July 21st, 2011

Somehow I got lucky enough to photograph two of the most talented photographers I know. Jean and Travis Smith and their boys are truly awesome. If you know Jean and Travis, you know that they are not only talented, but really down to earth and FUN.  Last year, Jean photographed me and my family.  We decided to swap sessions, but her kiddos were sick last year while we were visiting MI, so, we rescheduled for this year. Before we scheduled, Jean had a definite vision in mind. She wanted hills, grass, and beach with warm lighting. But most of all, she wanted her family together, loving and having fun. I hope I delivered. :)

Jean and Travis, I hope you enjoy these images half as much as I do. I genuinely enjoyed photographing your beautiful family and I smile every time I look at these images!

Jean and Travis have FOUR boys. And each and everyone of them is C U T E.


This is their baby. And his monkey. I just want to SQUEEZE his little cheeks!

He really loves his monkey, but I think he loves his Daddy more.

Of course he loves his Mommy, too. :)

But this little guy is a Mama’s boy. If you have a son, you know what I mean. There’s nothing better!

Jean is lucky enough to have cuddles from four boys. Sigh.

And from her husband, too. How lucky is she?  Aren’t they gorgeous? I told Jean when I sent her the proofs that it’s not fair how pretty she is…

Of course Travis is handsome, which explains the cuteness of their kids.

I absolutely adore this image…

Sometimes life can be hectic with four boys…

But Jean and Travis handle it gracefully. I was amazed at just how calm and easy going they both were! I need some lessons in patience I guess.

See how much fun we had?

I’m not sure where her boys get it from…

Certainly not their Mom…naaaahhh.

Disclaimer: no babies were injured during this shoot.

This is one of my all time favorite shots. Ever.

Jean and Travis, thank you for sharing your lovely family with me!  You guys are the best.


Wardrobe Wednesday {Less is More}

Wednesday, July 20th, 2011

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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