What, IN THE WORLD, am I going to wear???


The day has arrived -

your session is at 4pm -

the 20lbs you promised yourself you would loose has become a 5lb gain -

your husband is still not happy about having to get dressed up for photographs

and your kids, with slouched shoulders look up at the sky giving you a constant eye roll groaning with disdane!!!

Your beautiful day that you have been looking forward to for half the year is turning into a disaster!!!

... and you still don't know what you are going to wear!!


COURTESY OF : Jamilia Jean Photography

LOL!!! Not only have I lived this experience myself, but as a photographer have seen this repeated time and time again. Families arrive with pursed lips - tell tale signs of the argument that just happened on the way over. Oh the absolutely exquisite raw beauty of real life!!

If you have spent time with me then you have probably heard the flagship reason why I do what I do. Oh it gives me goosebumps just thinking about it ...... my Dad always said ".....remember in the dark what was spoken in the light and it will be like an anchor that carries you through the storms of life ...". I honestly feel like I am an "anchor bearer". If I can provide images that can help remind you of all that is good in your life that you can use in times of trial enabling you to be carried by that goodness .... I have done my job! Those family pictures are so, so, so much more than just pretty pictures - they are a documentation of your life journey - they will provide anchors that decorate your home and office and full the hallways of your soul with goodness!!

Sooooooooo .... in order to help you have a more successful family shoot I have decided to put my rambling thoughts together in the form of "advice from your photographer" to consider while planning for your Family Photo Session ...... here it goes

  1. If you only take this point away from this article, my soul will rest with sheer delight!!! YOU ARE ABSOLUTELY STUNNING!!!! You are literally a one-of-a-kind gift of creation to this earth - your humanity is unparalleled. No human has lived, nor ever will again that is exactly like you. Embrace your "you-ness" and leave your fingerprints all over this beautiful world!!! Fat, thin, bald, dark hair, light hair, brown, white, black, shy, bold, happy, sad... whatever the colour, whatever the size, whatever the season .... this is you and you are absolutely exquisite!!!

2. Get dressed with even more of a purpose. If you can - make this a date with your family. After your family shoot go and celebrate you guys. Go out for dinner, or choose a movie - get dressed up for a date with the whole family!!! The kids will be more excited (even adult kids - teenagers ... ummmm well that's a hit and miss LOL) which will show on their faces and willingness to comply - WIN WIN!!!

3. Understand that some of your family members will NEVER enjoy getting dressed up and will NEVER enjoy getting their picture taken. Reduce your expectation to the fact that they showed up (LOL - I'm laughing out loud right now - if you've met my lovely hubby then you realize how many things I've had to drag him to). A good photographer will be able to capture the essence of your more stoic loved ones beautifully - even if a smile is hard to come by!! Relax and enjoy the process :-)

4. (This should probably be point 2). Plan what you are going to wear! It is true that you can pitch up to your shoot in just about anything - which is just fine, but you will be so much happier with your images if you have thought about co-ordinating outfits. I am REALLY crappy at this so I have borrowed some really cool images which give you some really amazing examples of how to co-ordinate. See below :-) p.s - my FAVE colour-pop at the moment is mustard yellow!!!

5. You don't need a tan! This is probably one of the most crucial points. Skin tones get all screwey when one of the individuals has laid in the sun for a year before the shoot, or purchased shares in a Sun Tanning Salon - LOL!!!! Please refer to point 1 - If God made you fair, the lens will absolutely ADORE your fair-ness :-). If God kissed your skin with colour naturally - the lens will LOVE your colour. The lens does not really love Fake skin colours ( I know - I use oxford english when spelling ... I just realised that some of you may think that I have mispelled that word).

6. Get your hair and make-up done! When you do something special for you, you feel special - the lens LOVES that look on you!!! If you live in the Sarasota/Bradenton area I have included some of my absolute FAVES in terms of hair and make-up. Hair and make-up professionals will celebrate you in a way that accentuates all the good parts of you ... it's what they do!! You won't regret it.

The guys listed below do not know I am listing them (I hope it's okay guys) - they are just my all time favourite Make-up Artists and Hair Stylists :

  1. Cory Woomert - There are no words to describe how good Cory is. He is literally one of the most gifted Hair Stylists and will do amazing things with your hair that will stay looking beautiful (really needed in our sweltery (I don't know if that's a word) Florida climate! http://luxesalonspa-srq.com/Our-Staff/Cory-Woomert or call 941-780-3124

  2. Christie Clark - Christie is a complete gift of life to this profession. She does both hair and make-up. She is not only stunningly beautiful and an absolute genius at what she does but her sunny disposition will light up any room! 941-894-2940

  3. SRQ Makeup - Kamilla is absolutely PHENOMENAL at all things make-up. It is not that difficult to find someone who knows how to apply make-up. It is pretty difficult to find someone who can apply make-up that looks amazing to the natural eye and the lens! https://www.facebook.com/MakeupSRQ/ 941-928-9310

Well guys - if you have made it thus far you deserve a medal (LOL) ..... I just cannot keep words from bubbling - I wish I was more like my hubby who can say in 3 words what takes me 100 words to say!!! I am sure I will think of 1,000 more things to include, but to prevent this from becoming a 500 page book, I had better finish up!! I hope you have found one or two things that add value to your life

Have the most incredible day of beautiful life - wherever you are in the world!


and one more "what to wear" images because no one can have too many of these!!!

Book your Session today : https://www.declarationphotography.com/contact