Volunteer Affiliate Photographer at NILMDTS.
"We booked a session for our family, how do I pick outfits?"
The idea is that you want to look like a bonded unit without looking too matchy matchy. Everyone in the family has their own style and personality so outfits should reflect individuality without taking away from the unity.
I typically tell mom to go to her closet first and wear something SHE feels good in. THEN, pick your kids (they will look adorable in anything!) and husband's clothes accordingly. This tip alone will go a long way!
STYLES: I think being consistent in your style is the most important tip I could give. Pick one style for everyone meaning every one wears their Sunday best or go for a more relaxed look but you wouldn't want someone in jeans and the next person in a cocktail dress.
COLORS: There are so many options. Either the entire family wears neutral colors (tans, whites, greys) or people can have matching accent colors through mom's blue dress and Tommy's brown and blue plaid shirt. Accent colors could be also done through accessories, maybe you want the kids to be more of the focus so they are in a red and black shirt and dress, mom could wear a black outfit with a red necklace or scarf for example.
PATTERNS: Unless it is by design, stay away from busy designs. It can be distracting, the eye will directly focus on the clothing instead of on your faces. For the same reasons, stay away from message shirts, character shirts or shirts with large logos on them.
"I don't know how to pick a location?"
I can help you and, in my eyes, location should reflect your lifestyle/family and/or what the backdrop you imagine. Just think about what style you tend to gravitate towards? An organic look, lots of trees, manicured green backdrop? Or a wilder setting like a forested area? Maybe an urban living look, strolling with your family? Or a cool graffiti backdrop look? Or something a bit out of the ordinary like a Mill, strolling through the Zoo or at top of Stone Mountain?
"When should we book our outdoor session?"
The most important aspect of a photograph is lighting. The worst time of the day for photos is mid day, the sun is high up, creating harsh unflattering shadows, people are squinting, often uncomfortable and hot.
The best time is referred to as "golden hour," which is roughly 30-45min around sunset/sunrise. The light is soft, warm, flattering. It is not always easy to do with young children but I would highly recommend that, for that one day, you try to adjust schedules to make it happen.
Here is a calculator, depending on the time of the year/location, to figure out when to book your session:
"I want pretty fall photos, when should I book a session?"
October is a good time to do so in Georgia. Here is a fall foliage calculator to figure out when a good time might be. depending on the look you are hoping for.