Fashion Friday: Styling Your Fall Family Photos

Because photos stand the test of time, photographers often see firsthand the stress that can come with knowing what to wear.

CLEVELAND – It’s that time of year – October in northeast Ohio means fall festivals, pumpkin spice, and for many of us, family photos!

“People like to send greeting cards,” said photographer Kim Ponsky Sable. “Photos make great holiday gifts, and Cleveland in particular is gorgeous in the fall. So put those three things together, and it’s a very busy season.”

Ponsky Sable says she enjoys photographing generations of families every year through her business Kim Ponsky Photography.

“Parents often focus on catching their kids,” she told 3News. “I also encourage parents to participate in the photos, because their children will want them one day. The photos last forever.”

But because photos stand the test of time, Ponsky Sable often sees firsthand the stress that can come with knowing what to wear.

“What to wear is the #1 hardest thing.”

So this is where 3news style contributor Hallie Abrams, The Wardrobe Advisor, Between. We asked her to share some proven tips for getting that perfect look

“The general advice is that you want everyone to coordinate, but not necessarily match,” Abrams said. “What I always recommend is that you choose four colors and each do their own thing so their personality still comes through, but not necessarily everyone in a black denim top because that can be kinda ‘matchy matchy.'”

These are the tips Abrams put to the test while consulting with the Pope-Ganesh family ahead of their recent family photo shoot. She worked with the family to create coordinated looks based on their young daughters’ floral dresses.

“Using that is the starting point,” Abrams explained, “and that pattern and that color palette, that’s where we pick the rest.”

Abrams says it’s also important to consider the weather – you might even want to bring indoor and outdoor options. She and Ponsky Sable say comfort should be a priority.

“Things that are sometimes less challenging and a bit more body-conscious can be more appealing in film,” Abrams told us. “I also think something to keep in mind is, if you have young children, to make sure that if you’re holding the child, things aren’t going to be all awkward and clumsy.”

Speaking of kids, Ponsky Sable says she always encourages parents to dress kids in something familiar.

“I really urge people to put kids in clothes that they’re physically and emotionally comfortable in,” she noted. “Don’t put your 4-year-old in a three-piece suit because he won’t feel like himself.”

Other tips? Believe it or not, black isn’t as flattering in photos. And remember a little goes a long way.

“I wouldn’t put too many people into models,” Ponsky Sable said. “No jerseys, no character shirts, no words, because your eyes are going to go to the branding, not the faces.”

This also goes for accessories, adds Abrams.

“If there’s something special for you, if you have Grandma’s locket, now is the perfect time to have it in a picture,” she explained. “But you don’t want to be too over the top. You don’t want to look like you’re wearing Queen Elizabeth’s jewelry.”

The overall message of these two pros? Just make sure that what you choose to wear truly reflects who you are.

“You should wear something that you feel good in and look good in and feel like you are,” Ponsky Sable said.

“You want to shine,” Abrams added. “You want to wear the clothes, you don’t want the clothes to wear you.”

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