What to wear…

Our clients always ask us what they should wear for their portrait or
family photography session. While there are no hard and fast rules, some
clothes generally photograph better, so I’ve put together a guide that will
help you decide on your best outfit for the day.

1. Combine colours Solid colours tend to work best: all attention is on you, and not your clothing. If there’s more than one person in the picture, try to coordinate colours so that they work well together. You don’t need to wear the same colour (in fact, don’t wear the same colour!) – just make sure they don’t clash. Choose colours from the opposite sides of the colour wheel (complementary colours), or the colours adjacent to each other (harmonious colours). Most people just intuitively know what colour combinations work for them, so just trust your instincts. And if you are still stuck try Pinterest, there are millions of ideas there!

2. Avoid patterns and logos Logos aren’t great as they date really quickly, and busy and contrasty patterns create too much visual noise and distract from the main subject on the photo – you. Oh, and please don’t wear skinny stripes – cameras and screens don’t like them. If you must wear a pattern, try to limit it to just one piece (for example, combine jeans with a patterned top

3. Wear denim If you’re not much of a fashionista, and prefer jeans (like I do) – then please wear them! Jeans have been around for over 100 years, and are timeless. Combine them with a smart top and some accessories, and you’re sorted in no time! However, do avoid wearing more than one piece of denim clothing: it’ll look very 80s!

4. Dress for the same season For family portraits (or any group photograph) make sure you’re dressed for the same season. For example, if she is wearing a jacket, it’s not a good idea for him to be wearing shorts and a t-shirt! Unless that’s exactly the effect you’re after ; )

5. Think layers Layered clothing works really well. It’s the easiest way to get varied looks from your photo shoot without having to worry about finding a place to change. Wear a jacket and a top underneath, or wear two tops one under the other. Throw in a couple of jumpers and a scarf… And you’ve got many different looks!

6. Accessorize. Bring your kids’ favourite toys Wear or bring scarves, necklaces, earring, wellies and brollies – whatever you love, anything that’s unique to you, your family, your kids. For children’s portraits, please bring a couple of their favourite toys (or have them at the ready if the photography session is taking place at your home). Not only they are a great prop for your kids portraits, but it will also make it easier for me to gain your kid’s trust before the session (show me a kid that wouldn’t want to talk about his or her favourite toys!)

7. It’s all about YOU Wear something you feel comfortable in, something that makes you feel gorgeous and confident. If you are not normally wearing little dresses and high heels – it’s probably not a good idea to wear them on the day of your portrait session. And remember: if you just must wear something that I said you shouldn’t – then by all means wear it!

8. Still not sure what to wear? If you’re still stuck, and can’t choose between several outfits or not sure whether your colours will work – bring them along (or have them ready if the session is taking place in your home), or take some snaps and email me the pictures – and I’ll help you choose the ones that will work best in photographs.

And Finally….

9. Think about your Walls Are you planning to order a large framed print to put it on your wall? What is that room’s colour scheme? Can you find clothing you can wear on the day of your photography session that would complement your interior? Or are you redecorating soon?

Those are just a few of the things that I like to consider when planning a family photo shoot!

Thanks for stopping by!



Capturing the pure essence of new blessings

The best time to contact J. Graeler Photography is before you have your baby. We will then add you to our calendar around your expected due date and let you know of session details. Once your little one arrives, contact us with full name and birth stats and we will set up a date for you. We prefer days 5-14, the first weeks work best to get the “aww” poses and longer amounts of deep sleep to pose and style.

There is lots of preparation JGP goes through to get ready for a newborn session. From looking for unique props to cleaning all the equipment and loading up the car, JGP can assure you that your session isn’t viewed as “another session” just like your baby isn’t “just another newborn”. We prepare differently for each session and hope that it shows.

In addition to doing everything we can in our power to make the parents and baby as comfortable as possible, there are some things that parents can do before the session to get things going on the right path so here’s the post on the best tips for newborn sessions:

  • Loosen the baby’s diaper about 30 minutes before the session. This allows time for the diaper’s imprint marks to disappear.
  • If the session is to take place in your home have your home warm. Ideally, you’ll want the thermostat set around 72-74. For the adults it will be hot, but the baby will be toasty and happy.
  • Collect any items you want used in the session beforehand – family heirlooms, toys, monogrammed blankets, etc. We can go through these with you to determine what will look best in the pictures.
  • If you’d like pictures taken of the baby in the nursery, be sure all the curtains and shades are open to let in lots of natural light.
  • Decide if you’d like pictures taken with your baby, or if want pictures of only the baby.
  • Make sure the baby has a full belly before we arrive. Aren’t we all happier with a full belly?
  • After the baby is full, make sure they are burped really good. Gas can take a sleepy, happy baby to an uncomfortable and irritable one in seconds.
  • Be patient. If the baby gets fussy or alert, don’t stress out. A baby can sense your anxiety and we want to keep the environment as mellow as possible. We will try and get the baby comfortable again, but if that just doesn’t seem possible, we’ll take a break or we’ll work with what he’s giving us. Sometimes the best pictures are ones when the baby isn’t doing what we want.
  • Be assured that if there is ever a point where you’re uncomfortable with the poses, simply let me know. I only want to do poses and shots that you are comfortable with.
  • Unless the baby sleeps very good through the nights do not schedule the shoot in the morning.
  • If you breastfeed and can, have at least one bottle pumped for feeding.
  • A majority of the pictures will work best if the baby is asleep so anything you can do in advance to encourage this is recommended.


Most of you don’t know this, but Jessica Graeler was a Wedding Coordinator before she ventured out in the Photography world! As a bride herself in 2006, Jessica learned quite a few tips and tricks and decided to put her experience to the test. At True Events she specialized in wedding coordination and parties throughout the St. Charles and St. Louis area. Although she found that her true passion was photography in 2010, and that is when J. Graeler Photography was born!

Her focus on making your special day a true wedding story that is a unique reflection of your style and personality is still the same! She takes the time to get to know her couples and at JGP we take great pride in making sure that our couples get their special day captured in their way. 

We at J. Graeler Photography have updated our 2013 Wedding packages and they can be seen here on Facebook or on our website under the Weddings tab. We would be honored to capture one of the biggest days of your lives!

Welcome to the Re-Launch!

JGP is re-launching the photography blog!  And this is the first post–in case you hadn’t figured that out from the title 🙂

It’s been a bit frustrating getting things set up, and they’re still a work in progress.  But we’ll soon be blogging about the photo shoots and anything else we feel like writing about.

We look forward to describing some of the pictures we’ve taken and writing about some of the people and places we’ve had the privilege of photographing.

Thanks for joining us! And be sure to follow along over on the right… just enter your email and we’ll keep you in the loop! Also, don’t forget to like us on Facebook!

J. Graeler Photography