Hello and thanks so much for having me Salome, to be your guest blogger.  

Before I get started, allow me to introduce myself - I’m EJ, from Sisterhood of Style - a Personal Stylist who is passionate about helping women (and men) discover their confidence in themselves and their own style.  I help extraordinary women showcase their unique style and personality and empower them to feel more confident, knowledgeable and delighted by their own wardrobes and less overwhelmed at shopping for themselves. There is no cookie cutter styling with me.

I was so delighted when Salome asked me to collaborate with her and her business. My family and I were lucky enough to receive a photography shoot and final prints from Salome and I couldn’t be happier with the results.  

You’d be forgiven for thinking that I love having my photo taken - because I put myself out there on social media daily.  But in fact, I don’t. So having a stranger come into our home to photograph us and our beautiful pets was taking me and my family out of our comfort zone.  

Happily, working with Salome is a delight and she puts you at ease the moment you meet her. She also did so much thorough prep-work that we felt in safe hands every step of the process.  

But then comes my part - what to dress the family and myself in.  Salome tells me that it’s the one question she gets asked most often, so here I am to help make it a whole lot easier for you.  Here are my top styling tips for your pet and family photo shoot.

A stylist’s advice

Consider who's at the shoot, - just you, or you plus family, cat and dog?

When your family is involved, then consider how you can be tonally complementary to each other, without being matchy matchy (a dislike of mine).  I love photos to look natural and explore and capture the essence of your family dynamic.

For instance, in our shoot, my boys and husband all wore pants that were tonally complementary - in tans and beiges.  Then on top they wore bright colours that would highlight their faces and eyes. Also, their tan and beige bottom halves were complimentary to my leopard print skirt.  

I wore black printed tee with a bold tiger on it - which matched the colour of my youngest son's top.  Then my husband wore a denim shirt - which was complementary to the navy in my eldest son’s polo shirt.  

You don’t have to be matching to make it all work together, in fact the matching will probably date the photo far quicker and potentially ruin it for certain family members (ie: teens, who want to set themselves apart!).  

My second piece of advice is to have fun, bring your cat and dog into the family dynamic by adding a scarf on your dog that matches the family wardrobe for the shoot.  For our shoot, I added a leopard print scarf to Maggie, our Golden Retriever. I could not have been more chuffed with how she looked - she’s a pretty special puppy and the scarf cemented for me how much I treat her like a daughter :-).  It was all very light hearted and fun. Don’t take yourselves too seriously and you will enjoy the shoot immensely!

Here’s some quick fire style tips and tricks that can be used to help make your photo shoot a happy and seamless one.   

For the full blog you can read it here.

  1. Think back and remember an outfit you felt great in, confident or just damn good and wear that!

  2. Wear colours that suit you, close to your face.  This will highlight your eyes and bring out the colour in your face.

  3. Avoid thin stripes (these can distort in photography and videography) and items with large or identifiable branded logos on them.  

  4. Try and avoid outfits you’ve never worn before (unless specifically purchased for the shoot and you feel fabulous).  Wear combinations you know work for you and you love or at least like a lot!

  5. Avoid anything you feel uncomfortable in or have to tug around to fit.

  6. If you’re not getting your hair and makeup professionally done, then put your best foot forward yourself and wear it in way that won’t need constantly touch ups or fussing.  

What Salome has to say:

1. Go together, not match - I agree with EJ about not being too matchy. We don't all wear jeans and white matching tees in real life, so why do it when you're having your professional portrait taken? It works really well when everyone's outfits are in the same colour range mixed with some neutral colours. I always tell my clients if they're unsure, to bring whatever they think and I will advise once we're together on their photo shoot. We usually shoot on different colours and locations so bring a change of outfits to choose from.

2. Your outfit(s) for your photo shoot must be something that you feel special and beautiful in - Perhaps you have a dress in your cupboard that is waiting for a special occasion to be worn. This is that special occasion :-) If not a dress, then a nice blouse. Other things that work well are jean jackets, black lace top, neutral colours OR something in your favourite colour or favourite floral print (or in EJ's case, leopard print because she LOVES it so much). Collar shirts always look classy and crisp on him. Polo shirts look great on boys. Kids should steer away from tees with prints. You are going to want to put some of your family photographs on the wall, so you are not going to LOVE a portrait where your kids are wearing a Disney princess or Captain America tee. Depending on their age, bribing for the photoshoot goes a long way ;-) Remember, the focus of your photographs, are not on your clothes. It's going to be on the interaction between family members and the love you share. 

3. Other things to remember - When was the last time you had your roots done? Is this something you'd like to have done a little while before your photoshoot so your hair is in tip top shape? A day old haircut on men and boys look too new in photographs. Rather send them for a cut a week/ maybe two before. Make sure everyone's nails are tidy. A fresh coat of paint always looks great on mom. Be sure to bring your sentimental or favourite jewellery so you are photographed with it. Day before your shoot, make sure your outfits are ironed - it can be stressful getting a family, or just you and your dog, somewhere on time. Eliminate stress and get it ready at the latest the day before.

I have Pinterest boards you can look at regarding what to wear

To have a look at things people have worn in front of my lens

Or try look for inspiration here

4. Confidence. The number one thing that translates brilliantly into photographs (and real life too!), is confidence. Bring your confidence A-game, even if you fake it a little, stand nice and straight with good posture. You’re going to rock your photoshoot even if it’s your first one.

5. Relax - Don't worry much about being in front of the camera. I'll guide you into different poses and will make suggestions to make amazing family and dog portraits for you. We are going to have a great time. 

Have fun with your shoot, it’s capturing a moment in time that is precious to you and your family and pets. Treasure the time together and make the effort to feel great on the day.

Learn more about Sisterhood of Style

If you need further help to bring the looks together or go shopping for a specific piece, then I would love to help you.  I can help you with Wardrobe Styling, Personal Shopping and Event Styling.