Have no idea where to being with styling fall family photos?  I’m here to help!  This session was packed with style that is totally accessible.  This post will explain (1) why this styling works; (2) what to avoid when styling fall family photos; and (3) where and how to mimic this exact look with unaffiliated links and pricing.  I know that you have enough on your plate so let me help make styling your fall family photos this season easy-peasy! 

fall family photography mini session christmas tree farm wine blue green color pallet brea photographer

Why This Works 

  1. Color Theory.  The color combination used here is based on a triad color scheme.  This means that the blue, wine and green form a triangle on the color wheel making it pleasing to the eye.  This lifestyle family shoot took place at Peltzer Pines a Christmas tree farm in Orange County, so we knew that there was going to be plenty of green to ground the photographs.  Styling your fall family photos with your surrounding in mind is one of the best things you can do.   We also knew that the intention behind the images was to capture moments of this beautiful family for their annual holiday cards.  I selected a blue upholstered chair to use for my mini-session set up this year to keep things simple while dressing up the  Notice that the blue is not a bright blue (it’s actually closer to navy tones) and the wine color is a cool red making this a deep winter look that is perfect for a holiday card theme.
  2. The family outfits are coordinated rather than matchy-matchy (is that even a word?).  The tones of the shirts on Dad and Son are the same but with the blue cardigan on Son it breaks it up just perfectly.  Mom and Daughter are coordinated with the color as well, the wine hat works so well with Daughter’s wine dress!  Mom’s outfit brings styling fall family photos together by tying in the blue and wine.
  3. Mom’s dress is the only print used here.  I love prints, but it is really hard to create a visual pleasing picture when you have multiple prints competing for your eye.  I almost always advise my clients to stick with neutral solids for their family portraits because the shoot should be about the family not the clothes.  In this case Mom’s dress adds visual interest without monopolizing your eye.  The print ties in the colors of the family and the way it is used in this case symbolizes Mom’s importance. 

What To Avoid

  1. Matching.  There is nothing super exciting about matching outfits when styling fall family photos and it keeps you from being able to show off the different personalities of the family members.
  2. Graphics/Logos:  I can’t think of a single situation where clothing containing logos or graphics (think cartoon character t-shirt) would work well in the family holiday card photo.  This includes footwear!  I know first hand how difficult it is to get my son to wear something other than his Thomas the Train tennis shoes but he is better off being barefoot than having those on for our Christmas card pictures!  If I can do it mama, so can you!
  3. Too many accessories.  Accessories can certainly add a lot to an image – the hat in this session is a perfect example.  BUT less is more when it comes to accessorizing and styling fall family photos. 

Where To Get This Look

(1) Mom’s Look

Black Floral Short Sleeve Dress ($34.99).  This super cute and stylish dress was found locally in Brea at Daisy Shoppe.  Unfortunately the dress is listed as sold out online but here is the link just in case and you may be able to call the local stores directly to see if they happen to have any in stock.

Daisy Shoppe

Ashton Garden Print Short Sleeve Dress ($69).  I happen to have a friend who started her own amazing clothing line recently and her Ashton dress in the garden print would be an awesome alternative for achieving this look. 

Miki

Studded Around Floppy Hat in Light Wine ($22).  I was so happy to have stumbled upon a Charming Charlie store recently and I’ve used this hat three times now for photos including my own family pictures this fall!  The color and texture photographs so well, I am definitely a fan! 

Charming Charlie

(2) Daughter’s Look

Scoop-Back TuTu dress in Winter Wine ($15).  If I had a daughter, I might get one of these dresses in every color!  I am so bummed that the Old Navy in Brea is no longer there, it was my go-to spot for when I needed a quick child outfit for a shoot.  These particular tu-tu dresses are a dream to photograph, so much texture and solid color. LOVE! 

Old Navy

The hair bow was purchased from Nordstrom in Brea but I was unable to locate a link for it online.

(3) Son’s Look

Knox Cardigan ($58)  This cardigan came to me in one of my Mac&Mia boxes.   At some point I will write a whole post about Mac&Mia because I love what they do.  I also love that this cardigan was #madeRIGHTinLA and now BERU is one of my favorite clothing sources for my boys.

Beru Kids

styling fall family photos nuclear family blue chair christmas tree farm orange countytoddler girl wine tu-tu dress christmas tree farm styling fall family photos orange countymom daughter hug wine hat floral dress christmas tree farm family photos orange countytoddler girl wine tu-tu dress playing in dirt christmas tree farm family photo orange countybest family lifestyle photographer orange county father son christmas tree farmbest child photographer orange county lifestyle sibling shot brother sister holding hands styling fall family photos orange county blue chair toddler boybrother sister playing best lifestyle family photographer orange countystyling fall family photos orange county wine hat christmas tree farm breachristmas tree farm mini sessions orange county family photographerlifestyle family photography orange county christmas tree farm

Styling Fall Family Photos

So now you know why this look works, what to avoid in styling fall family photos and where to find the key pieces in this look.  If you haven’t already booked your tree farm mini session with me, you can do so now by clicking here before they’re gone.

Are you in Orange County and interested in having your family model for me?  I periodically do a “model call” when I am looking for something specific to shoot for either personal reasons or for marketing pieces like the shoot in the post.  If you want to be the first to hear about when I’m searching for models all you need to do is join my email list.


kc crow best child family photographer orange county

K.C. Crow of Crow’s Nest Photography is an award winning and featured lifestyle photographer based in Orange County, California. She is one of the few photographers in the greater Orange County area that offers beautiful lifestyle portraits with a little added magic. Her most favorite things to shoot are newborn and child lifestyle portraits with dramatic light and soft warm processing. K.C. is an on-location photographer with a preference for natural light serving the beach cities and greater Orange County areas including Laguna Beach, Newport Coast, Sunset Beach, Crystal Cove, San Clemente, Dana Point, Brea, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Placentia, Anaheim Hills, Anaheim, Orange, Irvine, Tustin, North Tustin, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, and La Habra. Fresh 48 Newborn Sessions are available at most Orange County hospitals and birth centers.  For more information about K.C., click here. For pricing information, please visit our investment page. Click here to contact K.C. directly.  Thank you so much for stopping by!

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What can make a typical first birthday cake smash in Orange County something extra special? My guess is that you’ll discover the answer by viewing this gallery of beautiful images but here’s a big hint….location, location, location! While I am a lifestyle child photographer in Orange County, sometimes I am ALL about the “style” and this session is a perfect example of that. In real life, do we sit on a surfboard in the sand and eat cake? Okay, maybe you do, but I fully doubt that you are doing so while wearing a gorgeous tulle dress – and if you are please message me because we need to be best friends!

Sloan had a tropical theme planned for her birthday party complete with a visit from Moana and since her dad loves to surf, it just made perfect sense to do her first birthday portrait session on the beach – cake smash and all! We headed to Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach for a more secluded feel and the day could not have been any nicer for a first birthday cake smash in Orange County.

The Cake

The vegan cake was from Hapa Cupcakes in downtown Fullerton, and while I didn’t get to taste it I imagine it was as yummy as it was beautiful! Sloan, as is the case for so many one-year-olds, was not the least bit interested in the cake. Lol! Fortunately we let her take her time and I was able to get a couple of images of her actually putting some cake in her mouth. Ultimately, this first birthday cake smash in Orange County was more like a dainty first birthday cake tasting.

Since Crescent Bay in Laguna Beach is such a beautiful location, we took advantage of the full time allowed from our permit to shoot there.   Sloan was a trooper and got to partake in multiple outfit changes with plenty of time to play in the sand.

Styling

I’d love to take credit for the styling of this shoot and while I made the suggestion of the beach location to go along with the birthday party theme, it was Sloan’s stylish mama who did most of the heavy lifting here. Speaking of….this stylish mama just launched a clothing line called Miki and it is a perfect blend of style + comfort + practical for moms that don’t want to feel like they dress like moms. You can check out the details of the clothing line here.

And finally….I’ve got a special surprise at the end of this post! I’m taking part in a blog circle with some photographer friends of mine. We’re linking to each other’s posts, so you can check out what they are up to. This month I’m linking to Anna Rasmussen, an amazing lifestyle portrait photographer in North Carolina.  Anna is sharing a session featuring a couple married twelve and a half years and the images are so timeless with a gorgeous film quality to them.

Now here are some of my favorites from Sloan’s first birthday cake smash in Orange County.


Thank you so much for viewing these first birthday cake smash in Orange County images!

Oh and don’t forget to follow along the blog circle.  There’s a group of six of us in the circle this month.  Next up is my friend and fellow moderator of the instagram hub @creative.inspiration.community, Anna of Anna Rasmussen Photographs.  Click here to check our her blog post:  Lifestyle Family Portrait Photographer in Topsail Beach, NC


best lifestyle photographer orange county kc crow crows nest photographyK.C. Crow of Crow’s Nest Photography is an award winning and featured lifestyle photographer based in Orange County, California. She is one of the few photographers in the greater Orange County area that offers beautiful lifestyle portraits with a little added magic. Her most favorite things to shoot are newborn and child lifestyle portraits with dramatic light and soft warm processing. K.C. is an on-location photographer with a preference for natural light serving the beach cities and greater Orange County areas including Laguna Beach, Newport Coast, Sunset Beach, Crystal Cove, San Clemente, Dana Point, Brea, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Placentia, Anaheim Hills, Anaheim, Orange, Irvine, Tustin, North Tustin, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, and La Habra. Fresh 48 Newborn Sessions are available at most Orange County hospitals and birth centers.  For more information about K.C., click here. For pricing information, please visit our investment page. Click here to contact K.C. directly.  Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  • […] up to. This month, I’m linking to my friend K.C.  Click here to check out her blog post: Lifestyle Child Photographer in Orange County, California to see an adorable cake smash session on the […]ReplyCancel

  • Heidi EitreimOctober 1, 2017 - 1:12 pm

    What a fun shoot K.C.!  I love how you captured the day –  the surroundings, the details and those extra special moments 🙂ReplyCancel

  • AnnaOctober 2, 2017 - 6:49 am

    This is such a fun cake smash session! Love these KC!ReplyCancel

  • ChelseyOctober 2, 2017 - 4:19 pm

    What a creative cake smash idea!  She looks so cute in that amazing dress, nice job on the styling 🙂ReplyCancel

Photo Tips for Orange County Parents

I created this list of five pictures to take of your kids this September in Orange County because I am often asked about where the inspiration comes from with my personal family photos.  If you know me at all, you know that I take pictures of my own children every day and document these in both an online journal and in print.  You can see a small fraction of what I take on my Instagram feed.  My goal is always to tell my child’s story within the image but sometimes I like to specifically set the scene for a particular shot or storyline.  Here are five “scenes” that I plan to set up this year and encourage you to use this list to inspire your own scenes for five pictures to take of your kids this September.

1.  Back to School

Number one on my list of five pictures to take of your kids this September in Orange County is “back to school.”  My youngest hasn’t started pre-school yet and my three-year-old goes year round so there really isn’t a “first day of school” yet for us.  However, I still want to document that my son is going to pre-school, so I improvise!  There are so many different ways you can approach this shot but for me, I plan to take the portraits on my front porch each year so that even though the schools may change, my location will be the same to highlight the significant growth in my children from year to year.  Alternatively, you can set up the story of the shot to include a sign showing the name of the school they are attending.  Here is a big hint for this…..don’t try to capture this shot on an actual school day!  And if the first day of school has come and gone, it doesn’t mean you can’t set up and take the shot – even a month after the fact can still mark the milestone effectively. 

If your child’s school has a “Back-to-School” night, look for ways you can capture additional parts of the story.  For example, at my son’s school, they draw self-portraits annually and that’s a detail I don’t want to forgot.

2.  Fall Activities

Football?  Soccer?  Dance?  Band?  So many team activities start up again in September and whatever fall activity your child is involved in now is the time to photograph it.   We are trying out a multi-sport class to expose our three-year-old to a few different sports this fall and so far it’s been pretty hilarious and I’m glad that I’m capturing memories of it.  Try to capture some wide angle shots that really set the scene but also some details such as facial concentration, putting on ballet slippers, etc.

Fall also means it’s time for pumpkin patches!  I like to purchase my pumpkins in October but I will hit up at least one pumpkin patch for the photo opportunities in September before the crowds get too crazy.  This year I’ll be heading to Irvine Park Railroad as well as to Tanaka Farms.  Fall activities are the number 2 item on my list of five pictures to take of your kids this September in Orange County.

3.  Tourist Spots

Number three on my list of five pictures to take of your kids this September in Orange County is “tourist spots.”  September is a GREAT month to do some touristy stuff if you can.  With the crowds much lighter and the weather still nice it is a great time to capture some fun moments doing some of the unique Orange County attractions.  I love going to Disneyland and California Adventure this time of year.  Both parks are full of fun photo opportunities.  If you don’t want to take your own pictures (or want to get in the frame too) I recommend the new MAX pass which comes with a photo pass for the day so you get all of the images taken by the Disney cast members directly to an app on your phone.
Another great tourist spot in September is the beach.  Great opportunities for photos without so many people in the background.  If you go early enough you can easily find spots where you have the whole beach to yourself.  The scale of the ocean against a small child is one of my favorite juxtapositions in photography and September is the perfect time to take this type of image of your child.

4.  LA County Fair

Number four on my list of five pictures to take of your kids this September in Orange County is “LA County Fair.”  If you missed the Orange County Fair this summer you still have time to take those super fun fair pictures of your kids by hitting up the LA County Fair in Pomona.  Carnival rides, fair food, cotton candy, the animals….all are wonderful opportunities for some fun storytelling images of your kids.

Some of the special events this year include a Floral Fairyland, a children’s literature themed exhibit, an ice-skating rink, and Rail Giants Historical Trains.  There are countless opportunities for fun photos here!

The fair only goes through September 24th and is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays.

5.  At Home

While it is fun to go out and take pictures doing interesting activities outside the home, you should also try to make an intentional effort to capture your children doing whatever it is that they currently love to do at home.  Maybe they ride their scooter through the house, or they don’t ever let go of their lovie.  Perhaps they are big on jumping on the bed or maybe they prefer a quiet corner to read books or color.  Whatever they are currently doing, chances are in a month or two they’ll be into something else so catch the memory while you can.  Think about the quirks or antics of your child that make you laugh and try to capture that.  Think about the sweet things they say or do and see if you can find a way to preserve that as well.  Think about the connections they have…with parents, grandparents, siblings, pets, friends…all of these things are worth trying to take a photograph of during the month of September.  The final item on my list of five pictures to take of your kids this September in Orange County is “at home.”

I hope you enjoyed my list of five pictures to take of your kids this September in Orange County!  I would love to see what you come up with this month, so feel free to shoot me an email or you can tag me @crowsnestphotos on Instagram or @photosbycrowsnest on Facebook.

Was this information helpful to you?  Would you like to see more content like this?  If so, let me know by leaving a comment or dropping me a line via email.


best lifestyle photographer orange county kc crow crows nest photographyK.C. Crow of Crow’s Nest Photography is an award winning and featured photographer based in Orange County, California. She is one of the few photographers in the greater Orange County area that offers beautiful lifestyle portraits with a little added magic. Her most favorite things to shoot are newborn and child lifestyle portraits with dramatic light and soft warm processing. K.C. is an on-location photographer with a preference for natural light serving the beach cities and greater Orange County areas including Laguna Beach, Newport Coast, Sunset Beach, Crystal Cove, San Clemente, Dana Point, Brea, Yorba Linda, Fullerton, Placentia, Anaheim Hills, Anaheim, Orange, Irvine, Tustin, North Tustin, Ladera Ranch, Laguna Niguel, Mission Viejo, Rancho Santa Margarita, Corona del Mar, Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Santa Ana, Costa Mesa, and La Habra. Fresh 48 Newborn Sessions are available at most Orange County hospitals and birth centers.  For more information about K.C., click here. For pricing information, please visit our investment page. Click here to contact K.C. directly.  Thank you so much for stopping by!

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Click Here To Book Now

I had such an amazing response from my Christmas Magic Sessions last year that I vowed to make them a tradition and am going to include more dates this year. Even so, they will be extremely limited as there are only so many days between Thanksgiving and Christmas and as you know, those tend to be some crazy busy days! Booking will begin on August 15th and I will offer a limited number of spots per week during the week of November 26th, December 10th and December 17th.  These are lifestyle photography sessions in Orange County intended to capture the beauty, joy and anticipation of childhood and the family Christmas Tree.

christmas-magic-best-orange-county-photographer-christmas-tree-sessions

The Christmas Magic Sessions will be 30 minute lifestyle sessions in front of your tree at your home. These sessions are held after dark so that the only light source is from your Christmas Tree. I will provide you with a styling guide and sources for obtaining Christmas PJ’s that photograph well. I’ll also provide some suggestions as to the best type of lights for your tree down to the detail of wrapping paper for under it. Included with the session fee is five (5) fully edited digital images which will be delivered to you in both high-resolution as well as sized for social media sharing. You will also receive a custom heirloom ornament for your tree made using one of your images. The total cost for the session, five images and ornament is $275. I will also have add-on options available at the time of your session to increase the number of images to ten (10) for an additional $125 and for Custom Christmas Cards priced at $40 per pack of 25 cards. A deposit of $50 will be required to hold your space upon booking your Christmas Magic Session.  To see some samples of images taken during last year’s Christmas Magic sessions click here.

 

You can find all of the information on my Holiday Tree Farm Mini-Sessions at Peltzer Farms in Brea here.

 

If you aren’t able to make it to the mini-sessions I will be making myself more available in October and November for full custom family sessions as well. Please contact me directly to discuss your vision and for booking information.

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UPDATE:  Oh my gosh, I WON!  You can’t imagine how excited I am about this incredible honor!
best new emerging child photographer finalist

I am beyond thrilled and honored to have been selected as one of the six finalists in the National Association of Professional Child Photographer’s “Best New Emerging Child Photographer” contest! It would be an absolute DREAM to win this recognition and incredibly learning opportunity for me and YOU can help me make that dream come true! It all comes down to a public vote and at the time that I’m writing this I appear to be in second place by only about 150 votes!

Click HERE to VOTE for me!

I first became aware of the NAPCP through some photography classes I was taking and looking at websites of some of my favorite child photographer’s I noticed that many of them were members of this group. So I was thrilled when I was notified a couple of weeks ago that I had received a nomination for this award!

best new emerging child photographer nominee orange county lifestyle photographer

Once I received the nomination I took a closer look at the details and oh my gosh look at this list of rewards to the one lucky winner!

  1. Expense paid trip to Atlanta, Georgia for an amazing experience. Our winner will spend time with the NAPCP team and the ShootProof team so we can celebrate them! This will include airfare (provided by ShootProof), plus lodging, meals, and live interviews (provided by NAPCP and ShootProof).
  2. NAPCP Membership– 2 Years
  3. ShootProofAccount – One Year
  4. Musea– One Matted & Framed Print of Choice
  5. Miller’s LabSignature Album
  6. FundyPro Account – One Year
  7. AnimotoProfessional Account – One Year
  8. One Hour Mentoring Session with Rob Greer– Photographer & SEO Expert
  9. One Hour Mentoring Session with Alice Park– Co-Founder of NAPCP
  10. One Hour Mentoring Session with Courtney Zerizefof Creative Homeroom
  11. One Hour Branding Consultation with Renee Swigert of Ribbons of Red
  12. Professional Hair & Makeup by Molly Toddand headshots by Alice Park Photography
  13. Digital Seal for Website – Best New Emerging Child Photographer 2017
  14. Promotion from NAPCPShootProof, and sponsors on all Social Media and online websites

I didn’t allow myself to become too excited because I know that they were receiving hundreds of nominations from around the globe but I did go through some day dreaming about “what if….”! And then last week I received the news that I was among a group of 25 photographers who had been selected as the semi-finalists for the contest!

best new emerging child photographer semifinalist orange county

At that point it came down to the contest judges (Shannon Sewell – Shannon Sewell Photography; Barbara Griffin – Atlanta Celebrates Photography; Ali Nelson – Ali Makes Things; Ana-Maria Klizs – Bluebird Kisses; and Elizabeth Jacob – Babiekins Magazine). Their task was to select the six finalists from the group of 25 which brings us to today. Somehow I made this list of final six and now the public gets to vote for a winner!

What a crazy career impacting opportunity for all six of us and I am humbled and honored to be one of this incredible group! The educational opportunities and mentoring that come with the prize package is of such value to those of us who are just in the infancy of our child photography business. I am literally overwhelmed by just the thought of what this contest could mean for myself and my business.

In any event, I would love it if you would help turn this girl’s dream into a reality and cast your vote for Crow’s Nest Photography!

http://www.napcp.com/blog.php/best-new-emerging-photographer-voting/?contest=photo-detail&photo_id=22475

The link will take you directly to the voting page. Tap the “Vote Now” button. On the next screen enter your email address. The next time you check email, open the email from “WordPress” to activate your vote. Just a quick minute is all it takes to help a girl out!

Thank you so much!!!

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