What to wear to your family portrait

What to Wear in your Family Portraits

I am constantly getting queried by clients on what to wear in your family portraits, so I thought that a handy dandy blog post on the subject matter was required! I promise, you are not the only head of household that’s been stressed by the daunting task of trying to figure out what to pack for your family vacation portrait session. It’s not that hard when you break it down simply, I promise!

What to wear at your family portrait

1.   You want to pick coordinating colors, but not matching!

For family portraits, it’s best if you pick 3 coordinating colors such as two brights and a neutral to work with so that everyone is coordinated but not too matchy-matchy.  This color wheel tool is a great way to choose complimentary coordinating base colors.

what to wear in your family portrait

2.  Use your accessories to add pops of your colors.

With two primary colors and one neutral, you can mix and match your colors as much as you want.  If someone in your family tends to be more subdued, they can still dress without bright colors and bring in that pop of coordinating color through their accessories.

What to wear at your family portrait

3.  Still stuck? Consider placement.

Are you filling space on one of your walls with a print from your session?  Consider the colors in your home (which are probably the ones that make you happy) when picking your color scheme.  If you love your orange and turquoise living room, then  start there!  If you’re a family of Aggies, don’t be hesitant to show off your colors!

What to wear in your family portrait

4.  Jewel tones work great but stay away from greens

Taking photos in the Tahoe forest?  Don’t blend in!  Greens don’t pop very well against our all green forest, but other jewel tones like dark blues, golds, and plums, look great!

what to wear in your family portrait

5.  Limit patterns, logos and branding.

Say no to anything with big logos or branding and limit patterns, especially on adults.  Patterns often tend to read too busy on adults.  That being said, small children in patterns is a great choice to compliment your color scheme!  It adds a mini-dose of fun to any portrait.

What to wear in your family portraits

6.  All white or all black: just say no.

All white?  Sends you straight back to the 90s yo!  This isn’t a Florida beach photo.

What to wear in your family portrait

7.  Keep it classy, San Diego.

Stay away from trends and hip current fashion.  Keep it classy and classic – especially when it comes to high school senior portraits.  It will prevent your photos from looking dated in a few years.

Tahoe Engagement Photography

Tahoe Engagement Photography | Kiva Beach | Rosa + Justin

I’m so thrilled to be connected with these two!  Justin is brother to one of my clients, Julie.  Julie, Michael and I had an incredible day romping around San Francisco once for their engagement session.  Since then, I photographed their wedding and they had a child!

I love staying connected to clients and their families afterwards and this is one family that is so fantastic to be part of.  Rosa and Justin are getting married at the Landing Resort this summer and I can’t wait!  I envision gorgeous blue skies and an awesome holiday weekend in their future.  I expect it will look very different from their super snowy winter engagement session at Kiva Beach!

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Presidio Engagement Session

Presidio Engagement Session | San Francisco, CA | Kelli + Lucas

Kelli and Lucas came to me by way of another one of my favorite couples, Sara and Will.  In fact, Lucas is standing in half the photos on their blog post.  I am equally excited about Lucas and Kelli’s wedding.  If there’s anything I know about this crew of friends, it’s that they surround themselves with awesome.  I expect nothing less than another amazingly beautiful, love filled, raging dance party and sing-along celebration for Kelli and Lucas!

Kelli and Lucas really wanted to get married at Cavallo Point Lodge, across the bay from the Presidio, but it was (not so surprisingly) out of the budget.  It’s a little spendy over there y’all.  Next best thing: engagement photos in the Presidio, clearly!  With a travel loving, adventure seeking, wine drinking photographer who is always willing to climb into the bushes for her clients.

I had such a blast with these two, sharing stories about half marathons and trips, both taken and future, and their November Sacramento wedding is one of the ones I’m most looking forward to this year!

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Botanical Garden Engagement

Botanical Garden Engagement | Berkeley, CA | Jane + Robbie

Jane and Robbie showed up to their botanical garden engagement session in a clown car.  Not literally, but certainly figuratively.  Jane had found these giant air beach balls that say “LOVE” on them and wanted to use them for the session.  They had blown them up ahead of time and they filled the entire back of the car.  But then, they couldn’t get them out of the car.  And then, we decided maybe it would take too long to re-inflate them.  So, in the end, the smallest of them was used and we saved the bigger ones for their wedding.  Although you can find them on the internet as the Big Love Ball, I would not recommend simply googling “love balls.”

Jane and Robbie found me on Thumbtack and I am incredibly happy we were connected.  They are totally my people: smart, engaging, social craft beer lovers.  We had a great afternoon tromping around in the Berkeley Botanical Gardens for their engagement session and then beers at one of their favorite area bars.  Their wedding was just a few weeks ago in Maryland and I’ll eventually be sharing that as well.  It was 110% representative of their personalities: laid back and relaxed with a dash of goofy fun (big love balls, anyone?).

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Papago Park Engagement Session

Downtown Phoenix Engagement Session | Jerri + Nick

Jerri and Nick are set to get married at a brand new venue in their city this fall and for their downtown Phoenix engagement session they really wanted something that felt a little bit more like a lifestyle or editorial shoot.  Drawing inspiration from a similar shoot I did for Kelley and Neal in San Francisco, we made a plan to romp around Phoenix, bar hopping and drinking our way around the city before ending at Papago Park for sunset.  It was so wonderful to see Jerri again; she is a former co-worker of mine from our former days at Pearl Izumi.  We were all so sad to see her leave our company because she has always been bright, vibrant and fun to be around.  I was ecstatic to be hired as her wedding photographer and even more so to meet her other half, Nick, who compliments her so well.  We started out our day at the The Clarendon Hotel.  This boutique hotel (which I actually ended up staying at thanks to a sweet deal on Hotel Tonight) features an awesome rooftop bar and bright vibrant colors in all the rooms.  From there we moved onto downtown murals, Arizona Center‘s lush garden grotto, the Rose and Crown Pub for a beer break and ultimately Papago Park.  I hadn’t ever spent time in downtown Phoenix myself so it was super fun to have a local tour guide to the city.

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Alfama Buildings

Three Days in Lisbon

It wouldn’t be a trip to Portugal without a stop in this large, sophisticated city with pockets of old world European charm. Spend three days in Lisbon and you’ll have plenty of time to discover all the pockets of wonderful things this area has to offer.

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Lisbon, while charming and mysterious, wasn’t quite as thrilling for me after spending so many days in Porto. It’s a much larger city and it feels that way.  That being said, it’s a worthwhile stop for two to three days while you are exploring the country.  Although I won’t return for a second visit, I am overwhelmingly happy that I visited and it wouldn’t be a trip to Portugal without a visit to Lisbon.

STAY: You want to stay in the Alfama district: it’s tight magical winding streets are even smaller than those that have a similar feel in Porto.  There are tiny restaurants and cafes tucked into every corner with traditional food and Fado music, the melancholy but traditional music of the country.  There are charming and vintage private rooms to be had on Airbnb in the area for $20-40 a night in the area and entire flats for $35-$70.

EAT:  I had a harder time finding cuisine that I was over the moon for in Lisbon, simply due to the grander larger nature of the city.  Small intimate recommendations were harder to come by here: Lisbons’ seem to pride themselves on being a cosmopolitan city and most of the places that were suggested were fancier and more American than we were looking for.  That being said, I had some solid meals in the city, the most memorable of which came on my last night in a small restaraunt with three tables run by one older woman who spoke no english.  She fed me the traditional dish of Portugal: salted cod with shredded fried potatoes and it was clearly the nation’s comfort food.

  • Queijaria for afternoon snacks or lunch: this place was quaint, unassuming and filled with amazing cheese.  It’s a great place to stop and refill mid day while you are out exploring – you can quench your thirst with a glass of wine and eat cheese and antipasto to your heart’s content.
  • Garrafeira Alfaia is dark, unassuming and comfortable.  Dine on traditional black pudding rice with cumin, sausage with scrambled eggs or the secret black pork Lagareiro.  If you aren’t that hungry, order more wine and cheese.  I may have consisted on pure wine and cheese this entire trip.
  • Frangasqueira Nacional for lunch.  This small grilled meat shop offers nowhere to sit, but quite possibly the best blood sausage and roasted chicken in the city.  Order up a mixed meat platter and head down the road to the Principe Real Garden to enjoy it.  After that, head down the road to the Botanical Garden to walk off your massive food coma.

DRINK:

  • Solar do Vinho do Porto is a warm cozy place to curl up on the couch with a book on an overcast day.  It’s dark and wonderful in there and the selection of ports will astound you.
  • Listen to Fado at anywhere that draws you in at night in Alfama.  You can wander the streets until you hear something that intrigues you or make dinner reservations

EXPLORE:

  • Get lost in the streets of Almalfa.   The view is particularly gorgeous from Miradouro de Santa Luzia.  Wander all the way up to the mediaeval Castle of São Jorge, the royal residence until the early 16th century.
  • The Museu Colecção Berardo has an impressive collection of modern art and no entrance fee.  It had more Warhols than I’ve ever seen in one collection!
  • Still not museumed out?  Head up to the Museu da Fundacao Calouste Gulbenkian which has an incredibly impressive collection of ancient world, religious and Impressionist and European art.
Porto Portugal

A Week in Portugal: Porto Travel Guide

This past March I took advantage of a great excuse to explore Europe: Fearless Photographers offers a yearly photography conference in different European cities and this year’s conference was in Porto, Portugal.  I was excited to attend what turned out to be an incredibly inspiring and enriching experience.  I met some incredibly loving and adventurous people who I look forward to a future adventures with, drank on the streets until 4 AM with them one night, wandered the iconic city for hours on end every day taking photos of vibrantly colored buildings and it’s beautiful traditional azulejo, the ceramic blue tiles that adorn many of it’s historical buildings, discovered a love of expensive port and ate like a king.  Porto’s people are unvaryingly calm and collected: they have soothing voices with evenly paced pronunciation that makes you feel incredibly tranquil in their presence.

Here’s a few of my favorite images from my trip, interspersed with images taken of my friend and kick ass travel companion Shaunte, of Shaunte Dittmar Photography, and myself by Momento Cativo for Flytographer.

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Porto won me over in every way from head to toe.  It is everything I want in a vacation destination: unbelievably charming, affordable, and engaging.  I could easily spend weeks in this city and never tire of wandering it’s streets.  Here’s a mini Porto travel guide of navigating this beautiful city.

STAY: You want to stay in the Ribeira district: it’s charming historical winding streets and churches around every corner give it the old world European feel.  There are tiny amazing restaurants tucked into every corner with incredible food.  The riverside offers unbeatable vantage points of Porto, especially if you cross over the bridge into Gaia for an evening.  There are beautiful studio apartments that you get all to yourself on Airbnb for $40-70 a night in the area.  We really enjoyed our stay at Hugo’s TocToc Studio.  It was a perfect and incredibly convenient location to explore from.

EAT:  The most memorable places we discovered in Porto were tiny and intimate.  Most had five tables or less.  Most had three people working, or less.  Restaurants in Porto open late (expect to eat after 8 PM every night) and reservations are usually needed.  We were there during Easter week, which is a big holiday for most of Europe, and in some cases it was hard to get reservations for places.  At dinner most nights, we started just asking them to bring us whatever they wanted to serve us or whatever they thought they did best, and the results were always inspiring.  Of all the places I’ve traveled, Porto will remain in my heart as one of the greatest culinary experiences I’ve ever had.

  • A Sandeira for lunch: score a bowl of homemade soup and a sandwich for 5 euros.  Like most wonderful Porto restaurants, this place is incredibly intimate and has very few tables so go early if you don’t want to hang outside waiting for a spot to open up.  It’s worth the wait!
  • Our meal at La Piada was one of the most memorable of our trip.  The staff is incredibly gracious.  The restaurant itself is wide open, with tall ceilings, a tree in the middle of one of the tables and local art on the walls.  The couple who owns the restaurant is Italian and Portuguese and they offer piadinas: a small italian flatbread filled with Portuguese staples.
  • One of my other favorite meals was at Porta4.  There were three tables in the entire restaurant and two brothers taking turns cooking and serving us.
  • Amarelo Torrada for breakfast: if you are dying for something bigger than an espresso, this gal never minded serving me up a large americano.  I was craving eggs and actual breakfast for most of my trip, but these guys had some wonderful breakfast like toasted bread combos like cream cheese and lox that were a good stand in.

DRINK:

  • I found Livraria da Baixa on my first day and I returned every day thereafter.  The staff is warm, welcoming, and remembered me and my drink.  They mix a great cocktail and if it’s a nice day, you can sit out on the patio and people watch.  If it’s a rainy day, you can while away the evening in the incredibly cozy upstairs lounge.  Just push the bell on the bookshelf when you are ready to order another round!
  • Graham’s is one of the oldest and most renown of the Port makers in the area.  Tour their famous lodge overlooking Gaia and Porto and then partake in a tasting in the tasting room.  Be forewarned: the vintage tawny tasting is worth the expense but may ruin you in regards to port forever.  I have come to the new self realization that it is not that I don’t like port – it’s that I don’t like cheap port.

EXPLORE:

  • Take a boat trip on the Duoro River.  This is one of the few things that I wasn’t able to do and wish I had.  You can view the architecture of Porto from a new vantage point, or take a boat all the way up the river into the wine growing region and go wine tasting.
  • Go on a church tour: Igreja dos Carmelitas has an incredibly picturesque traditional tile wall on the outside.  Clerigos Church offers a 75 meter tall tower that offers unprecedented views of the city from the top of it.  Expect a wait to climb the 240 stairs if you are there at a busy time.  The Church of Sao Francisco is filled with gilded Baroque decor.
  • Get your tourist on: Lello & Irmão Bookstore is apparently the third most famous library in the world, most likely because it supposedly inspired many aspects of Harry Potter for JK Rowling.  The architecture inside is supposedly incredibly stunning.  I didn’t have the patience to stand in line for four hours to go inside, so I’ll have to go back.  If you really want to see the inside, you might go first thing in the morning before it opens to avoid the crowds, or right at closing.  Cafe Majestic opened in 1921 and used to be the meeting point for the area’s elite and creatives.  I was told it’s incredibly beautiful but has “tourist pricing.”  JK Rowling also apparently spent many a day in this cafe on the first book in the series.
  • Hire your own personal photographer: Flytographer’s photographers for Porto are Ivo and Vanessa.  This dynamic duo of a photographic team are married and totally in love with their home.  They were incredibly fun to wander the city with for an afternoon, exploring the tight winding streets for the best kind of souvenir: photos of ourselves playing in a city we came to love.
  • Visit the Oporto Craft Market: it’s filled with small stalls of homemade art, foodstuffs, and other creations by local artisans.

Flytographer in Porto Portugal

Isla Mujeres Destination Wedding

Isla Mujeres Destination Wedding | Cancun, Mexico | Brittany + Crystal

I should quit my job now because I’m sure I’m never going to be able to top the amount of love I have for these two ladies and their Isla Mujeres destination wedding.  I want to share all their photos but I have rules against that because I’m pretty sure no one really looks after 10 images anyways, so I tried to keep it together and not go overboard.  That being said,  it was a priority for Britt and Crys to really take advantage of their location so after getting ready and their first look at the hotel, we had hours to cruise around the island on our golf cart Joaquin and take loads of amazing portraits inspired by the ridiculously awesome place we were in.  There’s a few other of my favorites that I didn’t double up on over on their sneak peek from last week.

These two gorgeous gals hold a special place in my heart: they are former neighbors of my best mate Haley.  It was an unbelievable honor to be asked to be their photographer and I hope I did them justice and that they love their photos as much as I do.  Half of my job is already done when friends or acquaintances hire me.  So much of what I do involves creating a relationship and a quick connection in order to bring out genuine moments in folks and when I already know you, that hurdle is non-existent.

This was not my first time to Isla Mujeres, and although it’s changed quite a bit since I stopped in here on my way home from Cuba in 2008, it still has the heart and soul of the island I originally fell in love with.  Isla Mujeres is relaxed: the best sort of island time.  There is inexpensive delicious ceviche at every restaurant, cold cheap Mexican beer, smiling faces and warm hearts everywhere you go.  There are no massive hotels, no high rises, and no fancy private beaches for the most part.  You can get $2 fish tacos from a man in a plywood booth that presses his own tortillas.  You can rent a wonderful apartment on Airbnb for very little.  It’s off-the-beaten path travel at it’s best and it made the most wonderful backdrop for a wedding.

After we spent the whole day jaunting around the isle, Britt and Crys were wed in front of friends and family at the Zama Beach Club, which is officially in my top five favorite venues of all time now.  Instead of cake, they had a churro cart.  Instead of a special cocktail, they had fresh coconuts handed out to drink from as guests walked in.  Shoes were expected to be removed.  Toasts were made.  Sunsets were watched.  Crowd-surfing happened.

Britt and Crys, I can’t wait to come visit you and all of your amazing friends in Philly.  I know that your life is going to be filled with dancing, laughter and unicycles, and I wouldn’t wish anything less for the two of you.

Venue: Zama Beach Club | Wedding Planning and Day Of Coordination: Sunhorse Weddings | Invitation Design: Karith Gingrow | Bridal Gowns: BHLDN, Lace and Liberty, and The Wedding Dress Shoppe | Second Shooter: Julie Pizzo

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Snowglobe 2014

Snowglobe: Lauren’s Picks | Day 1

Snowglobe Music Festival is fast approaching and although three day passes are sold out, single day tickets, last chance three day passes, shuttle passes and VIP passes are still available.   While Kaskade and Dillon Francis may be big draws for the under 30 crowd, I can’t wait for Ghostland Observatory to give me the beat.

Here’s some insider’s tips to having your best fest!

Snowglobe Music Festival

  • Didn’t buy a shuttle pass?  DO NOT DRIVE to the festival as there is NO PARKING on site.  There is NO PARKING in the adjacent neighborhood.  Good news for you: shuttle passes are still available!  Want to travel in style?  An All-Access Transportation Pass will provide you and up to 13 friends on-call, door to door transportation between your house/hotel, the festival and bars/after parties all weekend long.  If you actually split it between the maximum amount of folks, it’s a veritable bargain with added convenience.  If you aren’t into either of those options, Tahoe is proud to have UBER in town finally (and LYFT will be here soon).  Please note, there are not a ton of drivers so services may be spotty.  Drivers from CA may pick you up in CA and drop you off in either state, but they cannot pick up in NV.  Drivers from NV can pick you up in NV and drop you off in either state, but cannot pick you up in CA.  If you are at Stateline and having a hard time getting a driver, simply walk across to the opposite state to see if it offers you an available car.  Taxis are always available at casino reception areas.

Snowglobe Music Festival

  • Dress warm: snowsuits optional.  When the sun goes down each day around 5 PM, it’s going to feel like it’s 20 degrees.  Expect your weather the next three days to be clear and cold.  Keep your core warm with polypropylene base layers under tights and skirts and if you’re feeling really flush, buy those super cheap disposable hand and toe warmers at the grocery store.  You’ll be the only person there with warm toes and you won’t regret it.

Snowglobe Music Festival

  • Drink water. You’re from sea level? Drink three times as much water as you think you need. Those of us who live at altitude love to watch those of you from sea level get drunk on one beer. It happens.

Snowglobe Music Festival

  • Don’t forget to explore.  In the past few years, Snowglobe has added some amazing things to it’s line-up, one of which is talented artists.  Take a few minutes in between acts to explore the artwork, local vendors and great food.  Worried about your phone?  Hit up the mobile charging lockers which keep it safe while it charges.  You can pre-pay for one for the weekend via this link.

Snowglobe Music Festival

Lauren’s Picks: Day 1

Festivals are my favorite way to discover new music, so be sure to catch a few of these lesser known acts on Day 1 of the festival.

  • Lex: Main Stage, 5:45-6:45 PM.  This dynamic four piece hails from Los Angeles and was discovered by Daft Punk engineer Peter Franco.  They released their self-titled EP on May 5, featuring alluring phantasmical synths and a live electronic performance merging art, fashion, design & technology.  For fans of: Lykke Li, Lana del Rey, Billie Eilish.
  • Hippie Sabotage: Sierra Tent, 5:00-5:45. This dynamic brother duo hails from Sacramento, CA where they’ve been making music together since the mid-2000s.  They were thrust into the limelight in the Spring of 2014, however, when Ellie Goulding shared their remix for “Stay High” by Swedish singer Tove Lo.  Expect them pull from their extensive and wide ranging remix catalog featuring everything from ethereal vocals to dirty beats accompanied by their signature subtle touches that don’t overwhelm, but move you from the core.  For fans of: ODESZA, Adventure Club.
  • E-40: Sierra Tent, 8:45-9:30 PM.  E-40 is no stranger to the rap scene: he released his first EP in 1986.  He’s released 22 albums to date and in 2014, his single “Choices (Yup)” charted at number 125 on Billboard and number 43 on r&b/hip-hop chart.  This East Bay Rapper isn’t just about music though; he recently announced plans to release a 40 ounce malt liquor which I expect you can guess the name of.  For fans of: Too $hort, Mac Dre, The Coup.

Snowglobe Music Festival

Empire Mines Wedding

Destination Wedding Photographer | Recent Published Work

Holy wedding season Batman!

The fall is wrapping up and I have to admit: I’ve been swamped.  September and October were my busiest months.  Thank you SO MUCH to my amazing patient clients who have all been waiting on their images.  What an incredible year I’ve had so far!  I’ve photographed 36 weddings so far this year and 14 of those were in the last two months.  In the meatime, somethings have fallen to the wayside, like my normally proflific daily blogging and sharing of published work.  Here’s a few things I’ve missed in the last two months while I’ve been so slammed!

EVER OURS

Mo and Adam and their kick ass Celio Ranch wedding in South Lake Tahoe was snapped up by the amazing Lydia over at Ever Ours.  I’m so sad that the end of the year will also mark the end of Ever Ours, a wonderful wedding blog that celebrates photography and moments over details.  If you know about another wedding blog as awesome as hers that can fill those (very large) shoes, please let me know!

Tahoe Ranch Wedding published at Ever Ours

Borrowed & Blue San Antonio

Borrowed & Blue has been one of my favorite wedding blogs for quite some time.  They never complain that there’s not enough details for one, but they also seperate their blog into US cities.  When they opened up a San Antonio version of their well known site, I was quick to send over Jimmy and Karlie’s 2014 destination wedding to them.  It went up a few weeks back and it’s so fun to relive their awesome day.  Jimmy and Karlie just welcomed all 8lbs 2oz of Natalie, the newest addition to their family last week.

San Antonio Wedding published at Borrowed & Blue

The Daily Dog Tag

The Daily Dog Tag is an awesome little blog that I recently discovered that focuses on professional photography that involves dogs, adoptable pets around the country, and artful and unique products.  They published the first in a series of sessions with Schnoll Family and are excited to post follow-ups with the newest member of their family, Jack.  I just recently photographed Jack’s 6 month session, so you can imagine how long ago this one was!  Regardless, big thanks to the Daily Dog Tag for the family photography internet love.

Published work from Lauren Lindley at the Daily Dog Tag

Love and Lavender

I’ve wanted to get a feature on Love and Lavender for ages, but I’ve never had anything quite romantic or whimsical enough for this wonderful wedding blog that focuses on inspiring, magical and rustic outdoor weddings.  I knew that David and Emily’s Empire Mine State Park wedding was the perfect fit for them and it was published last week on their site.

Lauren Lindley Photography published at Love and Lavender

Thumbtack

I’ve had so many wonderful experiences with clients I’ve discovered on Thumbtack.  Not only did Thumbtack take me to visit the White House in Washington DC last January (something I’ve yet to blog about also), but I managed to grow my business and turn it into a full time position for me in very few years thanks to them.  I used to mentor photographers new to the Thumbtack platform, but gave it up when they changed the program and I was no longer helping just other photogs.  Helping other photographers is incredibly rewarding: frankly I wouldn’t be where I am today without a lot of help from a lot of other people.  Thumbtack asked to interview me a few weeks ago after catching site of a blog I wrote about how to be successful on Thumbtack for photographers and I readily agreed.  You can see the full post via this link.

Lauren Lindley Thumbtack tips for pros