What to wear & Where to shop | Cozy outfit ideas for your family portraits this fall

It’s not easy planning for family portraits. You worry about finding the right photographer, choosing the perfect date and a beautiful location. Then you stress about finding something to wear, and you cross your fingers and hope for the best when it comes to your baby’s mood and the weather.

From our very first phone call, I reassure families and I let them know that I will take care of every single one of those worries. We’ll choose a date & time together, and a rain date (just in case!). I’ll share a few of my favorite locations with you that I know are perfect at the time of day we’ve selected, and I’ll also help you find outfits for every single person in your family. You’re even able to wear outfits available at the studio for mamas and babies!

Then during your session I will use every trick up my sleeve to keep everyone in a happy, playful, and relaxed mood. In the end, the whole thing is a piece of cake and you don’t have to worry about a single thing — leave it all to me, and you just relax and enjoy a fun hour with your family!

But of course, the most frequently asked question I always get from families is “What do we all wear?” Read on for tips for cozy outfits for your family’s portrait session this fall.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience

8 things to look for when planning your family’s outfits for a fall photo session


Layers

Layers add dimension and personality to any portrait, and they also help keep you warm in the fall when the temperature starts to drop! Cardigans, rolled cuffs peeking out from under a sweater, lightweight jackets, boots layered over leggings or jeans, a lightweight infinity scarf. These are all great ideas to add depth and color to your photos.

PRO TIP: Start with a base layer on the kids for warmth — this can be a onesie or shirt underneath their outfit, something that won’t show. Then add their outfit on top! Warm kids are happy kids!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience

Rich Colors

Fall is such a vibrant season, and you can add vibrant pops of color to your outfits, too! Plum purple, mustard yellow, navy blue, maroon. These are all gorgeous colors that really pop against other neutrals in your outfits. Plan to use 2-3 colors (including a neutral like white, cream, gray) in everyone’s outfits, and think about what will really pop against the scenery!

PRO TIP: I recommend avoiding neon colors, black, and green.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience

Plaid

Plaid looks amazing in the fall, and it evokes such a cozy feeling! Plus, if you choose one plaid shirt or dress you can use all of those colors as inspiration for the rest of the family’s outfits.

PRO TIP: I suggest only having one family member with a plaid shirt because two or more can look too busy.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience

Patterns

Solids look great, but having everyone in solids is boring! Bring in a pattern with a dress or a blouse to add a little more interest and personality to your portraits. Just like with not putting everyone in plaid, don’t put EVERYONE in patterns either because they can clash and just look too busy, taking the focus away from everyone’s beautiful faces. Do a mix of patterns and solids.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience

Boots

Boots always look amazing in photographs on moms and little girls! For the kids, think beyond their colorful sneakers or casual shoes and find something a little more stylish. You can find lots of cute options at Old Navy and Target in the kids sections, and Gap also has so many adorable ones, too!

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Cozy Knits

Sweater knits look amazing in fall family portraits, especially ones with a little texture. They just invite everyone to snuggle up together! Plan on layering a sweater or two on a few people in your family for the picture perfect look.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience

Jeans

If you’re looking for a more casual look, jeans are perfect. A darker wash is the most flattering, and I’d suggest avoiding distressed jeans if they have gaping holes in the knees so that when you sit on the ground your kneecap isn’t showing through at an unflattering angle. We’ll do a few family portraits sitting on the grass and playing in the leaves, so I want you to be comfortable!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience

Don’t be afraid to glam it up!

Ruffles, tulle, sequins, a frilly skirt. These all look AMAZING on moms and little girls, and I love when families want to dress up for their portraits! I was so excited when this mama wanted to wear a gold sequin skirt for her session, and it looked incredible against the golden foliage.

PRO TIP: Amazon has a skirt that has become wildly popular for mamas in portrait sessions. Search “chiffon maxi skirt” and you’ll find plenty of colors. The waist is adjustable, and the length changes based on the size. If you’re short, order a Small. If you’re tall, don’t be afraid of ordering the Large or XL for the length. There are tons of colors available, and these look best with a fitted top. Some moms pair it with a white lace long sleeve top (also available on Amazon!). Others like a white t-shirt. Others do a buttoned up chambray shirt tucked into the skirt. Others like a cardigan over a tank top.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience

where to shop

For mom:
Lulus
Amazon
Rent the Runway (rentals)
J. Crew
Loft
Chicwish
Gap
Old Navy

For the kids:
Cat & Jack at Target
Old Navy
Janie & Jack
Crewcuts by J. Crew
Gap Kids/Baby Gap
Zara
H&M
Amazon
Rainey’s Closet (fancy rentals)
Lulu and Roo
Mini Boden
Hanna Andersson

For dads:
Dads have it easy. Layer on a button down shirt, sweater or vest, and jeans. They probably already have all of this in their closet, or they can choose neutrals or a plaid or patterned shirt from their favorite store to coordinate with the outfits selected for everyone else.


Pin this image or any from the post above for inspiration for your family’s fall outfits!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience

About Nicole Starr Photography 

Nicole Starr specializes in newborn, baby & family photography and has been serving families in New York and Massachusetts since 2012.  She has a portrait studio in Saratoga Springs, NY for families in the Capital Region.  Nicole also works with families year round at her Attleboro, MA portrait studio, and on location May through October in Boston and on Cape Cod.  Nicole has a clean and classic style, and the studio is filled with neutrals and luxe fabrics.  We use very minimal props to keep the focus on your perfect little baby.  Our sessions are relaxed and fun, and we’ll enjoy an hour together (or up to 3 hours for a newborn session!) laughing, cuddling, and capturing authentic smiles and belly laughs with your little ones.  

What's the difference between a mini session and a regular session? | 2019 Fall Mini Sessions with Saratoga Springs & Boston Family Photographer

Summer & fall are our most popular seasons for family portraits, and every fall my inbox is flooded with families looking for family portraits for their holiday cards and gifts. Trust me, I get it! It’s such a beautiful time of year in the Northeast, and everyone adores the fall foliage and the vibrant colors that we’re lucky enough to enjoy for just a couple of weeks a year. It’s the perfect season for your family portrait session!

One of the most frequently asked questions that I get from families is, “What is the difference between a mini session and a regular session?” So today, I want to clear that up for you and also give you the details about our availability this fall!

fall family mini session, foliage family photos, fall family photos saratoga springs, nicole starr photography

Let’s start with what is included with each session.

Full Length Family Portrait Session
-client prep guide and wardrobe guide filled with inspiration for your session
-pre-session consultation over the phone or in person
-complimentary use of studio wardrobe for mamas and babies
-location of your choice within 20 miles of 12866
-up to 1 hour of shooting time
-includes immediate family up to 5 people ($25 per additional person)
-gallery reveal appointment after the session to select your favorite images for holiday cards, wall art, gifts, albums, and digitals
-two 8x10 fine art prints are complimentary with your session

Investment: $225 session fee plus your choice of products after the session.
Many different collections are available to fit all budgets.


Mini Family Session
-welcome email and wardrobe guide filled with inspiration for your session
-one specific location chosen by the photographer
-15-20 minutes of shooting time
-includes immediate family up to 5 people ($25 per additional person)
-images delivered via online gallery within two weeks of the session
-5 digital images available for download, with the option to add on additional images, cards, artwork, gifts, and albums

Investment: $275 - $375 depending on location and session type


Mini sessions are perfect for families that are looking for just a couple of beautiful portraits for their holiday cards and gifts, and maybe one or two for the wall. These sessions are short & sweet, and do not require much of a time commitment.

Our regular (full length) portrait sessions are my personal favorite because I love the opportunity to really get to know the families before & during our session, and then visiting with them after the session for their gallery reveal appointment to plan how they want to enjoy their portraits at home and as gifts. These sessions are longer and allow for more variety in the location and in posing, and we also have plenty of time for the kids to warm up to me and the location when they arrive because we are not pressed for time. If the kids need a break for a snack or a quick cuddle, no problem!

The full length sessions also include more help with wardrobe, including access to the studio closet and my help with finding the perfect outfits for your whole family! So many moms (and sometimes dads!) worry about how to coordinate outfits for the whole family. This is probably your first or second time doing this, but me? I’ve done this literally hundreds of times with all of the families I photograph each year. I’m happy to help make this easier for you so that your session is stress-free and that you adore your family portraits!

Full length sessions are perfect if you’re including Grandma & Grandpa and all of the grandkids because we will capture plenty of variety with all of the different groupings of people.

You also want to consider your plans for your images after the session. Do you want one framed family portrait on the wall? Or a couple for your holiday cards and gifts? Maybe a mini session is right for you!

Are you looking for a gallery wall in the living room, a few more in the office, and a couple in the hallway? Do you dream of turning the pages of one of our gorgeous linen albums filled with beautiful portraits of your family having fun? Definitely go with the full length session.

Here’s a peek at a sampling of images from a mini session and from a full-length session. This is not the entire gallery, it’s just to give you an idea of the variety in images included with each type of session.

fall family mini session, saratoga springs mini session, nicole starr photography
fall family mini session, foliage family photos, fall family photos saratoga springs, nicole starr photography

Let’s talk about timing.

I’ve been photographing families since 2012, and every year I hear families tell me how they really want to take their portraits in the fall when the foliage is so pretty. REMEMBER, IT’S THE MOST POPULAR TIME OF YEAR FOR PORTRAITS. DON’T WAIT UNTIL THE LAST MINUTE!!

I stop photographing outdoors before Halloween, so plan ahead! By November, most of the leaves have fallen down and been raked up, and the temperature is usually too cool for little ones to be comfortable outside in just a light sweater. This is why we plan our sessions early in the season.


You want to book your session for September or early October if…

September is when we enjoy the beautiful days of early fall. It’s still warm outside, the sunlight is perfectly golden, and the trees aren’t quite so vibrant yet. If you’re planning on decorating your home with your family portraits, think of the color scheme inside your home. If you have a more neutral style or lots of cool colors (gray, blue), then maybe vibrant orange and red won’t coordinate so well like you would get from a late October session. However, a September session lends itself to more neutral tones and would look perfect on your walls! September (and early October) is also perfect for families who have little ones under age 2 who might be too cold outside in late October when the weather has cooled off. If it’s a family with just the parents and a baby, I’d recommend planning for a session earlier in the fall so keep everyone happy!


And mid to late October might be a better fit for you if…

If color makes your heart do a little happy dance, then you definitely want to plan your family portraits for October! The trees are bursting with reds, oranges, and yellows, and the whole landscape looks like the sunset. These sessions are always some of my favorites every year, and I love when the leaves have fallen down and the kids can have fun throwing leaves in the air and jumping in piles of leaves to hear the ::crunch::. Mid to late October sessions are especially great for older kids, or very easy-going little ones who might not mind the slight chill in the air.

fall mini sessions, boston family photographer

fall family mini session, foliage family photos, fall family photos saratoga springs, nicole starr photography

We’re opening our 2019 fall calendar on Friday, August 23!!!

This is when we’ll begin filling the mini session dates as well as our full length session dates. Our newsletter subscribers will have first dibs on their date & time of choice, and our calendar is already halfway full with previous clients already!

If you’re not on our mailing list, be sure to join so that you can receive early access to our fall session dates! There’s one for our Massachusetts families, and one for our Saratoga Springs/Albany families!


Did you find this blog post helpful? Then you are going to love this next one that is filled with tips on what to wear for your family portrait session this fall!

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Want to save this helpful blog post? Pin this image or any from the post above!

What's the difference between a mini session and a regular session?  Tips from Saratoga Springs family photographer Nicole Starr Photography.

About Nicole Starr Photography 

Nicole Starr specializes in newborn, baby & family photography and has been serving families in New York and Massachusetts since 2012.  She has a portrait studio in Saratoga Springs, NY for families in the Capital Region.  Nicole also works with families year round at her Attleboro, MA portrait studio, and on location May through October in Boston and on Cape Cod.  Nicole has a clean and classic style, and the studio is filled with neutrals and luxe fabrics.  We use very minimal props to keep the focus on your perfect little baby.  Our sessions are relaxed and fun, and we’ll enjoy an hour together (or up to 3 hours for a newborn session!) laughing, cuddling, and capturing authentic smiles and belly laughs with your little ones.