What to Wear for Your Family Shoot

This is a question I get a lot before family shoots. The days of white shirts with jeans or khakis are out. Just for emphasis, this is my family circa 2002…

IMG_2342Thankfully family portraits are not so matchy-matchy and perfectly posed these days! So, what should you wear? You want to look like yourselves, just more put-together and maybe a little more dressed up. Today, I have 4 color palettes and lots of examples to use as inspiration while styling your family shoot!

But first, let’s remember what not to wear. The Miller family really wanted to be in a Gap ad…IMG_2343

1. The PNW Palette

Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 11.48.27 AMfamilyphotography_seattlephotographer_seattle_editorialphotographer-6familyphotography_seattlephotographer_seattle_editorialphotographer-7familyphotography_seattlephotographer_seattle_editorialphotographer-8I call this the PNW palette because the deep tones really pop against a grey, overcast background. Plus, I think a chambray shirt is the ultimate Seattle shirt. I love how the Katts dressed for their January family session at Carkeek Park. Their kids had a great mix of pattern and texture, a great combo for a winter photo shoot!

2. The Golden Tones PaletteScreen Shot 2016-02-09 at 11.56.01 AM

familyphotography_seattlephotographer_seattle_editorialphotographer-5This fall inspired palette packs a punch. It layers yellow gold and burnt orange with the more neutral greys and blues. Since blue and orange are complementary colors, variations on these shades really pull a look together. The Tigert Family looked smashing on the beach for their Carkeek Park family shoot.

3. Blondies

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The Biederman Family mixed checked and stripe patterns with white accents to create an awesome contrast. I love their blue/green palette for their May family shoot at Greenlake. If you’re scared to mix patterns and prints, this is the way to do it!

4. The Boys & Girls PaletteScreen Shot 2016-02-09 at 12.37.46 PMfamilyphotography_seattlephotographer_seattle_editorialphotographer-3familyphotography_seattlephotographer_seattle_editorialphotographer-2

The soft pastels of this palette are beautiful for upcoming Spring shoots! I love the soft colors and the mix of textures for the Gates Family shoot. I’m especially loving blush tones! They complement lots of different skin tones and hair colors.

4. The Holiday PalettesScreen Shot 2016-02-09 at 11.41.07 AMfamilyphotography_seattlephotographer_seattle_editorialphotographer-9

The Retka Family combined sweaters in deep primary colors (blue, yellow, red) with a beautiful hunter green for their winter family shoot at Volunteer Park. I love this palette for Christmas cards and winter shoots. Screen Shot 2016-02-09 at 12.40.42 PMfamilyphotography_seattlephotographer_seattle_editorialphotographer-4This last palette is another beautiful mix of color and pattern for a holiday card or winter shoot. I love the buffalo plaid and knit sweater. The Grimm family really nailed their winter palette!


If you’d like to see more, check out my Pinterest board for more inspiration. Screen Shot 2016-02-05 at 2.43.57 PM

For family shoot inquiries and booking, email katejmillerphotography@gmail.com for more information!

How to Choose a Wedding Photographer

The wedding photographer/client relationship is a long one. You want to make sure it’s built to last. This is a person, or a team, you’ll partner with during one of the more stressful/happy/overwhelming/ecstatic parts of your life! Make sure this person is a solid and reliable presence in your planning.


Remember, this is a big investment. These photographs will be the biggest memento of your wedding day. They will be passed down through your family and to friends. Sure, they’re for instagram and facebook and thank you cards. But, they’re also heirlooms. Do your research and make sure you choose not only a photographer who does great work, but also someone you like and can afford.weddingphotography_howtochooseaweddingphotographer_seattle_seattlewedding_couples-1694

When you choose a wedding photographer, you’re starting a relationship.  You’ll negotiate contracts, have an engagement shoot, organize wedding day details, spend the majority of your wedding day with them and design albums together. Don’t choose someone you’re constantly annoyed and/or dissatisfied with. It’s too long, and too important, of a relationship.

That being said, the search is overwhelming!! There are so many talented people to choose from, so many different styles of photography. I’ve put together a short guide to choosing the right person to photograph your wedding. As I was putting this post together, I realized the qualities you should look for in a wedding photographer are roughly the same as the qualities you need for a successful relationship, and if you’re getting married, you already know what that’s all about. So here we go…

1. Choose someone whose work you respect.

You want to be impressed by this person’s work. If you find yourself looking at his/her website and repeatedly saying, I could take that with my iPhone, this is not the person for you. Look for interesting angles, beautiful light, fleeting expressions, and intimate moments. You want to feel something special when you look at the work!weddingphotography_howtochooseaweddingphotographer_seattle_seattlewedding_couples-9821

2. Find someone you like to hang out with.

On your wedding day, you will spend a lotttt of time with your photographer. Probably more than your bridesmaids, groomsmen, and family. Your photographer will be right there with you during all the important, intimate moments of your wedding day. If this is a person that makes you feel awkward, please don’t choose this photographer. If you don’t feel comfortable, it will show in your photos. Choose someone who is there to capture your moments in the best way possible, and who does this in a kind way. Choose someone who makes you smile and lightens the mood. weddingphotography_howtochooseaweddingphotographer_seattle_seattlewedding_couples-4742

3. Be upfront about your budget and your needs.

If you find someone whose work you connect with, but they are out of your budget, start a conversation. Don’t dismiss the option just because you think you can’t afford it. When you look at his/her packages, see if there’s anything you can do without. Maybe you don’t really want a 10×12 album and a canvas. Maybe you’re willing to get prints yourself, or order them after you’ve financially recovered :) Maybe you can work out 6.5 hours of shooting instead of 8. If you’re willing to compromise and be upfront, most likely your photographer will be too. I always use my packages as starting points, and I’m always willing to move things around to accommodate.weddingphotography_howtochooseaweddingphotographer_seattle_seattlewedding_couples-4759

4. Choose someone who is organized and can stick to a schedule.

This is a hard one for a lot of creatives. We get lost in the land of beautiful light and beautiful people. If your photographer knows this is a problem for herself, then make sure she works with someone who can keep her on track. This might be a second shooter or an assistant, but there needs to be someone who can stay organized. The wedding day is a lot of organized chaos and the photographer is not only responsible for getting all the good shots, but also for making sure the day runs smoothly. I spent many a wedding season as a second shooter, and I got very good at the organizing/co-ordinating parts of the day.weddingphotography_howtochooseaweddingphotographer_seattle_seattlewedding_couples-3216

If you think we might get along and you respect my work, let’s chat. I’m currently taking bookings for 2016 and early 2017. Email katejmillerphotography@gmail.com

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