Styling Sunset Photo Shoots for your Family

Every morning, the sun rises over the water behind our eastern Florida home and I'm awakened by the light as it pours in the shutters I forget to close each night. I was raised on the west coast of Florida where my mother will still stop a dinner conversation to watch the sun set over the water. A sunset is proof that no matter what happens, every day can end beautifully. 

 Tutu Dumonde on my toddler, Needle and Thread dress on me.

Tutu Dumonde on my toddler, Needle and Thread dress on me.

Styling sunset shoots are my specialty. I love the soft color palettes that compliment the warm glow of the setting sun (or rising sun if you are brave enough to have your family ready before 6am.) Planning for sunset shoots involves picking out my youngest four daughters' coordinating outfits first and then the newborn, two teenagers, husband and I come last. I style our family this way because in all honesty, girls clothes are simply more fun. Pastel tutus, beads, sequins and headwear is more interesting and works well in the setting, natural sun. I love soft colors for sunset shoots especially aquas, blushes, soft pinks, lemon yellows and neutrals with sparkle. 

 Tutu Dumonde dresses in complimentary aqua, light pink, blush and gray.

Tutu Dumonde dresses in complimentary aqua, light pink, blush and gray.

Another style tip is to not have everyone in the same color. If you're still doing the Olan Mills khaki or jeans look with white or black shirts, that fashion ship sailed in 1999. Give your photos some interest by incorporating complimentary colors in the same tone. Avoid a mix of jewel tones with pastels. Try not to mix patterns unless they are part of the same line like Matilda Jane or are soft enough to not draw attention. Coordinate your outfits by having a "fashion focal point" and then coordinate everything to that one piece. (Young and teen boy style tips...look on Vineyard Vines for pastel colored pants. They have a variety of different colors that my teenage son will actually wear.)

For the Beyond Princess Boutique shoot, I got the four Tutu Dumonde dresses first and THEN found a complimentary dress for myself and outfit for my newborn son. A natural or nude tone with a little sparkle is one of my favorite beach looks because the sun gives the dress a glow that can't be replicated in PhotoShop. One of my most popular style posts was the photo of the Free People nude beaded romper only second to the dress I wore in this shoot. 

FIGURE FLATTERING STYLE TIP - Triceps or back of the arm shots are usually the LEAST flattering. Avoid tank tops where bra fat may work against you and instead find something that may cover that area. I like 3/4 sleeves and off the shoulder looks like in the dress shown here. The Needle and Thread Supernova gown is available on a couple of different websites and in a couple of different lengths and colors...but but you have to really search for it. I got mine on Revolve on clearance. It seems now you have to be notified of the restock or hunt down your size.  I also found some Needle and Thread alternatives that are much cheaper and more functional than the gown I wore but still have the same look. Shop the looks below.

Charlotte's dress is the Ice Queen Tutu dress from Tutu Dumonde that is on sale at Beyond Princess Boutique for only $72! That's a $100 savings. Get 15% off regularly priced dresses using code "mommymayhem" at checkout.

Since this is a British company, sizes are a bit different and can run smaller. I normally wear a 4 and when I got it (not returnable on clearance,) I could not zip up the back all of the way. I will need to have it altered so double check the size charts to avoid my mistake.

 Needle and Thread Supernova Gown. Search the name of the dress as sizes and colors are limited on various sites.  Shop the look here.

Needle and Thread Supernova Gown. Search the name of the dress as sizes and colors are limited on various sites. Shop the look here.

Here are some great alternatives if you have difficulty tracking down the Supernova or need something a little less formal.

Final tip...start shooting about an hour before the sun goes down. Arrive just 10 minutes before the start of the shoot so your kids can take it all in but yet not tire out before the best lighting. Happy styling!