dressing the part / by Ashley Brown

Fall is one of our favorite seasons for portrait sessions... not just because of the gorgeous foliage and locations, but because of the CLOTHES! Anyone who knows me knows that I'm a bit of a children's clothing snob, and a shameless one at that. The fall clothing lines are always incredible... warm colors, textures, layers. I can't style myself to safe my life, but I do know what photographs great on kids and families alike. Just a few tips for those of you frantically searching and shopping for your fall sessions!

  • A warm color palette that brings out the tones of the leaves and the location (which are usually rustic during the fall) is ideal. Think creams (NOT white), browns, rusty reds and oranges, navy and deep jewel tones like olive greens and eggplant.
  • Texture, texture, texture! Various textures photograph like a dream and add depth and dimension to your images. Some great textures to explore for fall are cable knits (hats, scarves and sweaters), corduroy, fur, suede and denim.
  • Layers, layers, layers! Look at your favorite children's clothing store windows, website or catalog. One thing you'll notice is an abundance of layers. Not only does this add a really editorial, magazine type feel, but it also adds variety. For boys, toss a jacket or vest over a knit sweater or long sleeved shirt and you can easily get two different looks. The same applies to adding a cute hat or scarf... please, no puffy ski jackets or fleece/waterproof accessories! For girls, a cute dress over knit leggings or topped with a vest or sweater is perfect.
  • If you want a cohesive, fashionable look, its nice to think coordinating, not matching (unless you match every day). For families and siblings, its perfectly fine to mix and match colors, as long as they blend well together (i.e. browns, creams and reds). One of my favorite tips is to put a patterned piece on one family member, and then pull some colors out of that pattern to put on the other families. Similarly, it looks best if you mix up the types of clothing and textures so that the images don't look contrived and flat.

I could post examples all day, but here is one my favorite family's session from last year (Keane will be featured in a blog post from his most recent session very soon!) I thought their outfits were super stylish and unexpected... don't be afraid to do a casual outfit and then one that is a bit more formal. The orange button-down under the cream sweater on Keane was perfectly adorable, as was the knit dress on mom!


Clients, there is a comprehensive list of some of our favorite children's clothing vendors located on the client site (www.ashleybrownphotography.com/clients), so check it out. Of course, our FAVORITE location for stylish clothing is Zola Kids, located on Broadway in Saratoga. Our good friends at Zola always have a great mixture of classic and traditional clothing that is up on the latest trends, all of which is organic or eco-friendly. I know that their fall line is in stock, and has so many cute pieces. Check them out on the web or on Facebook or drop in the store. Tell them I sent you... ABP clients get a sweet discount! And by the way, stay tuned for info on a giveaway week we are doing with Zola the first week of November. We'll be giving away some of their favorite fall/holiday products every day!


FYI: October is pretty much booked solid, with the exception of one, maybe two weekday sessions. We are gearing up for a stellar month! There are a few weekend and weekday spots remaining before out holiday cutoff in November, and they are going VERY fast! Hope everyone is staying dry on this super rainy first day of the month!