Beautiful family session in Sacramento by Rachel Sima PhotographyRead More
All my life now appears to be one happy moment,” Gagarin (the world’s first cosmonaut) said mere minutes before entering his spaceship. “Everything that was lived and done before was achieved for this moment alone.”
We call her Delphine, mostly, but also Delphini, stinker pink, dream bread, chòudòufu, plinker, angel, bam bam, the list goes on.
She’s sensitive, just like her parents. She’s fundamentally extroverted but takes her time in social situations. She’s loving, cuddly and completely hilarious. Her first, and favorite word, is “no.” She was an “easy baby” but now that she’s a toddler she’s very clear about her agenda, interests, and preferences.
She’s been the brightest, shiniest light in our lives for two whole years! We’re astonished, and delighted, by her every single day.
This beautiful family lives just south of Sacramento, in Elk Grove. We planned to meet Christmas day (what with none of us being Christian, the 25th of December our calendars were empty.)
This will not come as a surprise to you, if you’ve read the news in the last couple of years, but White Christians in America, and especially in California, are an ever shrinking minority. Unfortunately, representation of non-Christian families, and families of color, lags wildly behind. That lag maintains an insidious illusion about what, and who, is American.
As a non-white, non-Christian, woman I’ve always felt it goes somewhat without saying that I’m interested in photographing diverse families. However, I want to take a step back and say it explicitly. I’m interested in photographing diverse families.
You’ve likely noticed I love photographing mixed race couples, but I want to be clear that it’s also my honor to photograph families diverse in age and generation, gender and gender identity, sexual orientation, religious and spiritual beliefs, ability and more.
If you are from an underrepresented community, and are experiencing a barrier to having your portrait taken- reach out, and I will make it happen.
I don’t know if I’ve ever met a dad who was particularly excited about sitting for his family portrait. I genuinely believe dads value the photographs, or will with time. No one, in my family, is more likely to walk you through each and every one of the old family photographs than my father in-law. But actually making the portraits is more often an excruciating study in martial compromise.
The mothers arrive, having dressed the entire group in a carefully orchestrated coordinating outfits, hauling a bag full of handmade photo props, floral accessories, and a change of shoes in one hand and a small child in the other. Behind her, the dad is making slow forward progress while checking his watch.
The first time a father demanded, “are we done yet?” (mid-session) I was taken aback. Now, I’m more surprised when I get through an entire session without having to coach dad on revising a strained facial expression.
To this end, I want to make a potentially controversial suggestion. Every family portrait doesn’t have to be the entire family, every time. Instead, consider having a full Family Portrait made in the fall (for holidays cards and/or posterity,) but make the spring session a Mommy & Me. In most families, dads and kids are photographed disproportionally to mom anyway. Everyone acknowledges this phenomena but few bother to compensate for it.
Some extra good news: in January all Family Portraits (including Mommy & Me) are discounted! Click through to schedule a snuggly home session (like the one featured here.)
Mid-way through our session, a tour of the couple’s favorite Lake Merritt spots in Oakland, Dorothea posed an important question for me: “how do we know each other again?”
We met in our late teens/early twenties and stayed connected, in the way people do, via social media. It took a little searching but eventually we narrowed down how we met to Young Chicago Writers. “I never get a chance to write anymore.” She said. “Well, I do a lot of legal writing.”
“I think the last time I saw you, it was actually at an underwear party in Chicago. Like, in a big loft.” I remember the event vaguely but fondly.
“Oh yeah!” She laughed. Her husband glanced over, curious. “Actually, that was MY underwear party!”
Although it’s obvious times have changed for this beautiful, married, professional, soon-to-be mother, she still exudes a joviality and sparkle I remember about her from over a decade ago. It’s the kind of whimsy that would prompt a person to throw an underwear party, or have her maternity pictures taken over donuts.
As they pose for photographs, her husband starts making silly faces behind her, and I feel sure these are going to be the most fun, loving parents of all time.
There’s something else I want to share, which I hope I don’t embarrass my husband. When I showed him this gallery of photographs his eyes welled up with tears because, “they’re so in love!” And that’s the most accurate, profound and real observation of them all.
The way America tells it, a young woman is expected to exude sensuality, until she becomes a mother. Then she is swiftly transitioned into a self-effacing nurturer, waving away any attention with a gesture of deference to her children.
The incredible feats celebrities go to in order to “snap back” from their pregnancies (remember when Beyoncé, a month after childbirth, showed off her flat abs alongside the first photograph of her twins?) remind us that the only viable cultural alternative to spending the rest of mother’s life clothed in a metaphorical (if not literal) muumuu is to, in the face of incredible odds, revert to her exact pre-baby physical presentation.
Why aren’t mothers (bellies softened by the literal miracle of pregnancy, breasts rippled with stria) invited to inhabit, even celebrate, their new, voluptuous beauty?
This binary can also be observed in our cultural traditions around portraiture. The bridal boudoir shoot, a cultural rite of passage, is intended to fete not only the bride’s body but also her innate sensuality. Following her marriage and children, however, she is only ever professionally photographed with her family, often using her children to self-consciously obstruct any shot of her body.
Let’s work together to change this narrative. The truth is I see luxuriantly beautiful mothers ever day. Many have been so deeply indoctrinated by cultural conditioning, they don’t see it in themselves. I want to photograph mothers, with and without their children, altered by the extraordinarily, hyper-feminine feat of child-bearing, and demonstrate that they are, now more than ever, beautiful and complete.
For many women, the evolution of becoming a mother is intense and complex. I know, for myself, I felt awash in a sea of gratitude for my daughter and simultaneously ashamed of what I perceived as the “physical toll” the pregnancy and childbirth had taken on my body. For the year following her birth, I reflexively avoided looking at myself in the mirror because I was terrified to acknowledge any physical changes, and to consider their permanence. Our cultural conversation around the postpartum body can be understood as a simple question- did she or didn’t she “snap back?”
This question is so formidable because of the embedded implication. If a women hasn’t “snapped back” then the alternative, it suggests, is she “let herself go.” A phrase that calls to mind the euthanasia of a pet. Her value, in this category, dead.
For me, appearing in photographs, albeit reluctantly (is there any better place to hide than behind a camera?) is a form of seeing myself anew. A beautiful photograph gives me the opportunity to see that yes, I am changed, but also contain a new, womanly beauty where there was simple girlishness before.
I have a plan. It’s like a boudoir session, but rather than being photographs of brides for grooms it will be photographs of mothers to gift to themselves. The session focus is the woman’s feminine, sensual, authentic beauty- no Photoshop, no overtly sexy “glamour posing”- but very intimate photographs that celebrate the beautiful truth of a woman.
I can absolutely see babies and toddlers being included in these sessions but, unlike family sessions, they won’t be the focus. After all, our story of motherhood wouldn’t exist without them! That said, it is equally important to refrain from allowing our children the entire stage of what is ultimately a conversation about our identity. Similarly, while a mother might choose to share photographs from this session, the principal goal will be a printed photograph, in her home, for her (unlike family photographs which are frequently generated entirely for presentation to the outside world.)
To this end, I am offering Self Love Mini Sessions in January. You can find all the details here but, to summarize, in January there is an opportunity to experience this type of session at a mini (read: substantially discounted) price. As we enter the gift giving season, and you shower your loved ones with presents, I hope you’ll give this gift to yourself.
In yesterday’s post, I shared why you must print your photographs. Today, I’ll share some tools to have those prints made easily and well.
First let’s review the tiny, technological bundle of solutions that are apps.
Apps & Sites
Ink Cards: this app was a complete game changer for me. I had always found thank you cards to be excruciating. The address and card procuring, the stamp purchasing, the attempting to personalize, plus the endless forgetting to actually put the card in the mail- it all felt penalizing. Since downloading this app I enjoy sending cards. I personalize each one with a photograph the recipient will love and potentially even save. You can send one for free here.
Zno: this site stands out for affordability (they are perpetually running a sale.) My favorite Zno products are their “lay-flat hard page books.” The pages are colorful, glossy and hard. They remind me of a nice quality baby board book. I can’t think of a better way to share photos with the small, sticky handed members of your family.
Artifact Uprising: this site/app offers products with unparalleled graphic design. The photo product world is particularly bogged down by ugly design options so this site stands out.
Before becoming a professional, I didn’t realize photographers have access to different printing companies than consumers. When you order fine art prints through Rachel Sima Photography you will receive beautifully handcrafted, archival prints rich in color, texture and quality. They are completely incomparable to consumer prints. I believe, having invested in professional portraiture you owe it to yourself to fully realize the photograph in print.
Almost a year ago, as I shuffled around my Brooklyn kitchen cleaning up after dinner, I listened to an episode of the podcast My Parenting Mojo titled, “What are the benefits of outdoor play?” that stayed with me.
My maternal grandparents lived on a farm and, growing up, my brother and I spent many days and weeks on the farm enjoying unstructured, outdoor play. The farm house they lived in was small, there wasn’t any internet and movies were limited to Flipper and The Sound of Music on VHS. Yet, I never felt bored there. I dug in the dirt, fed the horses and barn cats, wandered around in the alfalfa fields, jumped from bale to bale in the hayloft, captured toads, bats, moles and snapping turtles. Solitary play didn’t feel lonely there. The margin between the imagined universe and the real one was vaporous. Only coming in from play was like being jolted from a dream.
My daughter, conversely, was growing up largely indoors. By one year old she had been to many more cocktail parties in Manhattan than empty fields. She didn’t like her feet to touch dirt and watching her sit on the ground, at the park, with both feet suspended in the air to keep them from touching the grass, while hilarious, also made me feel a little sad.
Now that we live in California, I hope we can provide her with more unstructured free play outdoors, and I’m certain we can at least offer her more opportunities to acclimate to dirt. To that end, we went to Paradise Beach the other morning and just hung around in some sand. Delphine found a bunch of shells and put them in her hair, our butts and knees got wet from sitting on a waterlogged tree stump. We threw rocks into the river. All in all, it was a success.
On more than one occasion I’ve spoken to a client who worried her toddler wouldn’t be able to “handle” an upcoming photo session. I want to clarify here that your toddler won’t be expected to follow my directives, “sit still” or otherwise behave in any preordained way.
In fact, your toddler is invited to be exactly herself throughout the session.
That said, the best way to prepare your toddler, as in all situations, is ensure she is well rested and fed before the shoot.
The second crucial step is less obvious. You must provide ample time to ease her into the shoot.
It may seem counterintuitive, but particularly for toddlers, a longer session is easier than a shorter one.
This is because the toddler is able to familiarize herself with the space, the photographer, and the camera. It also allows her to move through a full range of emotional and physical expressions without those around her feeling anxious that time is “running out.” To this end, I recommend three ways to set your toddler up for success:
Arrive early for the photoshoot
Book (at least) an hour
I absolutely love working with this age, and look forward to creating beautiful images for your family!
My favorite subjects to photograph are women and children. There are exceptions to this rule (for example, my husband who has posed for literally thousands of photographs and I’ll never have enough.) Generally, though, I gravitate towards women and children because of their exquisite softness. When I spend time with someone, I slowly begin to build a portrait of her in my mind. In social situations it often builds over the course of hours and days until, unless the subject strikes me as particularly camera averse, I typically, finally, come out and ask if I can take her photograph. Or else, equally commonly, I don’t, and wish I had.
The process of pre-imagining the portrait is vital, and it is the central reason I prefer full client sessions over mini sessions. I don’t need more than twenty minutes to physically press the shutter release, but spending time with my subject, interpersonally, watching their features and movements, I’m able to plan the portrait based on the specificity of my subject and the resulting photograph is always more vivid and expressive.
What is the purpose of the family portrait hung in your home? Let’s agree if you wanted a reminder of what the whole gang looks like, you’d just get a big mirror. And yet, many families proudly display photographs that do little more than document the weight gains and haircuts, the relentless march of time and it’s concomitant facets of growth and decay. I want more for your portrait, and your family. I propose there should not only be a purpose to your portrait, but an effect. It should do something in your home, for your family.
Your portrait should tell a story about your family that affirms your core values, encourages pro-social relationships, and, as the years progress, chronicles the unique strength of your clan.
Ever been to therapy? If so, you may be familiar with the idea that you create “stories” about life that shape both your perception of the present and delimit the opportunities you’ll seek in the future. Many of the stories we live are narratives inherited from our parents. They can be everything from, “I’m a hard worker and a realist who strives toward, and is able to achieve, pragmatic goals” to “mothers sacrifice everything for their families, that’s why good moms are always sad.” The experts of the 1970s convinced a generation of parents of the paramount value of building up the “self-esteem” of their children. Subsequently many children of the 1980s were told, “you’re the smartest kid in your class!” without any supporting evidence available in the real world. Some contemporary thinkers now argue that these false stories and the inner conflict they bred, led to kids who felt entitled to success or who were/are fearful of taking on challenges that might contradict the accuracy of their theretofore unearned praise. Of course, many of us were also taught the old fashioned way, through conversation, storytelling, and modeling however subtly, (but also persistently, and effectively,) our unique limitations and gifts to the world.
I contend a family portrait can be an opportunity to (literally) frame a positive, productive family story in the center of our homes.
For instance, let’s deconstruct this photograph. Mom and Dad are sharing a private giggle. Their moment of shared laughter is genuine. You can tell this by observing the way the corners of their mouths curve, and the smile lines near their eyes. Even if you’ve never studied the “Duchenne smile” you instinctively recognized the difference between these smiles and the ones they’d compose for, say, a photographer asking them to, “say cheese.” Meanwhile, their young son is in a “camera aware” position. His breaking of the fourth wall puts us, the viewer, into cahoots with the boy. It’s as though his expression of “geez, these two love birds!”’ is ours.
The boy’s contentment and pleasure is plain. The subtext of the photograph is, “our happy and fulfilling marriage provides the joy and safety in which our child can grow.” The verdant scenery and the warm, golden sunset all support this message of growth and harmony. Even their collective pose, the structurally sound triangle, signals.
Now, it’s possible you read this, looked up at at the framed formal portrait above your mantel and thought, yup, I have no idea what this says about us.
Here’s two suggestions:
Start with the question: What’s going on this picture? Look for concrete aspects of the photo to support your perspective. Ask yourself: what do I see that makes me say that? When you’ve finished that, ask: what more can I find? Teaching this process, a methodology called Visual Thinking Strategies, at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston was once my full time job. I have an MFA from the Art Institute of Chicago, but I’ve seen a first grader without the benefit a single critical theory class pull this off just the same. That said, it needs to be picture with something to say.
Let me take your photograph, and deconstruct it with you. I can support your family in identifying, framing and sharing the specific story of your family in a way that will empower the whole tribe. So, what are you waiting for? Let’s do this.
How did you develop your essential style? For most of us, three fundamental processes guided our evolution.
One: aspiration. We looked at books, watched movies, studied our mother and our best friend’s mother, we looked to our friends, to movie stars, and we examined individuals on the street.
Two: experimentation. We gave things a shot. This started early. Today, if you put a hat on your head, you’ll look over and see your toddler is putting a washcloth on her head. Her face says, “so this is the kinda thing you like, huh?” She’s seeing if it’s the kind of thing she likes too.
Three: we internalized limits. Your father wouldn’t let you wear a cape to first grade, a friend sneered at your well-worn back-pack, a bride in a movie admonishes her ostentatious bridesmaid. By the time you were in middle school the routine of asking what each of your friends would wear prior to any event had become codified tradition.
As you grow up, demands that you dress for the context of the experience become ever more direct. A luncheon with colleagues specifies, “business casual attire” in the invitation. As a thought experiment: why? What good comes from the constant (often self-imposed) group-think around dressing for an event? That’s a question for you, I’m not following that thread of thought because I have another agenda today: your style, on the day of your portrait session.
If you extract one idea from this post, let it be this: style your session from a blank slate. Wipe your mind clean of the image of your neighbor’s coordinated flannel ensemble from last year’s Christmas card. Can you dress your family in matching white shirts and jeans for the day? Yes. Should you? No.
Instead, grab a copy of a fashion magazine. I’ve begun the work here for you. Flip through the editorial images. Stop and take a closer look at the images that appeal to you. What details are you responding to? How can you use these?
Consider the sheer imaginative possibilities if you stepped back and viewed your upcoming portrait session as a creative opportunity to playfully style yourself, and family, in the most enterprising, romantic, inspired, original way you can. Get generative. Pretend you’re dressing for a float in a parade. It isn’t a competition, the point is to awe, attract attention, and delight. Blending in is the opposite of the point.
To this end, three suggestions:
First, no jeans. Not because jean’s are bad but because they are a contemporary shorthand for, “I don’t want to think about it.” Of course, if the most originative you is visualizing a heavily Americana inspired shoot, complete with cowboy boots and leather accessories agleam with patina: then, yes, break out the jeans.
Secondly, during a photoshoot, a long skirt is practical. This seems counterintuitive because a chiffon gown, or floor length maxi would be challenging if you were, say, taking the bus to the grocery store. But in this situation, a long skirt provides a clean backdrop for photographing your little ones. Also, it allows you to sit on the ground, stand, bend and lift without need to exert valuable mental energy on the modesty of your pose. Finally, in your photographs, I can utilize movement of the fabric to a beautiful end.
Bonus points: flowers. There’s a reason they’re de riguer at weddings. They’re beautiful, whimsical accessories that can fit into any thematic vision. I don’t care if you’re styling the whole group in post-apocalyptic inspired ensemble, there’s a way to incorporate flowers. Keep them in mind.
Let’s consider an extremely slippery adjective: cool. At first glance, it’s an entry level descriptor at best. It’s a wooly, subjective soup of characteristics that meld into an irreproducible je ne sais quoi. Uniqueness is essential aspect of cool, and that’s part of the trouble. Yet, when you come across “cool,” it’s both plainly apparent, and yet somehow necessary to acknowledge.
In 1964 Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart wrote,“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description, and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it.” The topic was hardcore pornography, but the same sentiment can be applied to “cool.”
Photography affords us the luxury of showcasing cool without having to define it. I suspect this is why youthful audiences flock to image laden Instagram over text bound Twitter.
Today I will write that this family portraiture session features the beautiful Naama Doktofsky, head designer of the luxury fashion label Shoshanna, at her home. That her husband, Lathan Boyce, is a design consultant for Design Within Reach. It may follow to reason, then, that they’d be elegant and understated in their dress, or that their home would be breathtakingly chic. I’d add that Lathan’s brusque masculinity accentuates Naama’s charming girlishness: like a couple out of a classic film. But could I ever do their son’s head of bubbly curls justice in writing? And I’m sure when I told you what a “cool” family they are, you’d think, cool how? Or cool to whom? But here, mid-morning in their Brooklyn home, I captured the photographic proof. Thus, I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description…I know it when I see it.
As I was writing the title of this post I worried it sounded like the beginning of a knock-knock joke, "two film photographers walk onto a hill..." but it DID happen.
I recently had the pleasure of photographing fellow film photographer Tatiana Johnson, and her youngest son, at the top of Corona Heights Park (formerly, and in my opinion more appropriately, named "Rock Hill" for obvious reasons.) Corona Heights is one of my favorite spots to shoot portraits in San Francisco. The sweeping panoramic view of the city, the movement created by the wind whipping around our heads, and all the craggily terra cotta bedrock is so surreal. It looks like a hunk of Mars protruding out of a hilltop.
It was also my first portrait session since officially relocating to California. Yes, you heard it here first (maybe) I'm now a northern California based photographer (read: person.) There are a lot of reasons I'm really excited about this transition personally, but I'm absolutely thrilled professionally. I'm falling in love with the Mediterranean quality to the light, the ease with which you can slip from one entire climate/environment to another via a simple car trip, and of course the diversity of visual backdrops for photoshoots. I'm looking forward to sharing some of my favorite locations with you as I explore this handsome and sprawling state. In the meantime, I suggest heading over to amazing Solvang Film Photographer Tatiana's Website if you want to check out some gorgeous, really unique work.
I know what you're thinking: these are models or something, right? Because this family looks professionally elegant. The answer to that is no, but also, a little bit yes. Denise is a therapist and Paul is a financial analyst. They're a real married couple with two of the most strikingly beautiful and joyful boys I've ever seen.
And they contain multitudes. Paul is also a former professional actor/model and Denise is a dancer. They're both yogis (with instructor credentials to boot.) Oh, and they're raising their boys bi-lingual (Greek and English) in New York City. All this is to say, they're every bit as extraordinary as they appear here.
I began shooting families professionally because I loved taking, and especially having, beautiful photographs of my own family. There is something very counter-intuitive about the experience of studying a photograph over and over again. Here's this single, static moment in time, something you would have forgotten, not only the details of but often the entire event, if it hadn't been captured. And yet the picture contains so much rich information, is so steeped in meaning, contains even the future and past of the subjects, and reveals itself to you in time, as though it, too, were evolving.
As a child, when I got an envelope of snapshots back from Walgreens, I'd share them with my best friend Billie. No matter the subject, she would look at each one and point out details beyond the subject of the frame. Then she'd flip to the next. When we had looked through each of them, we'd start at the beginning and look through them again, often repeating the loop many times. By giving the photographs time in front of our eyes, we could uncover new elements of interest.
As an adult, I taught "Visual Thinking Strategies" as a part of the School Programs staff at Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. Visual Thinking Strategies, or VTS, is a teaching methodology that aims to promote "aesthetic development." Essentially, it helps you get good at looking at, and talking about art, by spending loads of time looking at, and talking about art. It's a beautiful program, and deserves a longer explanation, but I'll save it for another day. Suffice it to say, that my early experiences pouring over the same few pictures with my best friend prepared me well for a life wherein I would eventually create my own images.
The images included in this post are of my extended family. I shot them over several days in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Before we look at these images, can we just stop to acknowledge that Goldie is absolutely one of, if not THE, cutest baby name? That's just science. This particular cherub cheeked Goldie is named after her late great-grandmother (a hilarious, loving woman who also happens to be my great-aunt.)
One thing I appreciated in our session was how unabashedly Barb loves her baby. When I arrived she presented with me with Goldie and beamed in a way that said, "now tell me this baby isn't the greatest living thing on earth?" She may have also added, "now tell me this baby isn't the great living thing on earth?"
What a pleasure to spend a morning in the park, exploring, with these three. I could immediately tell Taylor and Dave's toddler, Dash, was an adventurous spirit. What struck me, as I observed these three enjoying sprawling Prospect Park, was how each family member took turns inviting the others into their observations. As I watched them chat, it reminded me what a key role storytelling has in a family, and also in a photograph. I hope that these photographs will provide a beautiful prelude to the story of this young family, just mom, dad and Dash, a few months before they grew into a family of four.
One important element to consider in advance of having your portrait taken is what each person will wear. In order to create a stress free day, I suggest planning each family member's outfit well in advance of picture day.
Here are some important guidelines for styling your family:
Do: Consider colors.
Choose flattering neutrals (such a gray, beige, pale pink, white) and simple patterns (such as stripes or polka dots.) Avoid fluorescent colors (and green when shooting outdoors.) And don't forget to plan for the shoes!
Do: Consider the climate.
Freezing, or being unbearably sweaty, can ruin the experience of a portrait session. I suggest bringing layers that allow family members to remove or add pieces (such as a cardigan over a sleeveless dress) if the temperature shifts.
Don't: Wear items of clothing with text, images or distracting accessories.
Avoid items such as tee-shirts with slogans or images printed across them. The same goes for giant bow headbands or clips. Items such as these will draw attention away from the subject of the photographs: your beautiful family!
Do: Consider the trendiness vs. timelessness of your outfit.
We've probably all had that moment where we uncover old photos of our parents or grandparents and marvel at (or make fun of) their fashion. Items that are particularly trendy will feel dated in the future. That may appeal to you (as it captures a moment in time) or you may prefer a more timeless look. As long as your choice is intentional, there isn't a wrong answer, so choose according to your personal preference.
Often my clients will choose two to three main colors to draw from. If they are lovers of color, they may add a pop of color as an accent as well. Avoid dressing the family in outfits that exactly match, because it looks very forced.
Do: Check the fit.
Clothing that fits perfectly always looks best. Ironically, that means if you are purchasing clothing for your toddler or baby, consider sizing down (for example, dressing your 13 month old in size: 6-12 month.) This is because clothing for children often leaves considerable "room to grow" which, although convenient for everyday use, don't look best in photographs. For adults, just remember to try the pieces on in advance of the portrait day so you can evaluate if the fit is best for your current shape.
Do: Dress for comfort.
Mothers with a nursing child are encouraged to wear nursing dresses. Especially for newly post-partum moms, please don’t feel pressure to squeeze into jeans or pre-pregnancy clothing! Wear something that makes you feel happy, easy and unselfconscious.
Do: Ask for help!
I love styling, and am happy to help you sort through your choices, as well as to direct you to some of my favorite places to shop for clothing that photographs well. Feel free to reach out with questions!