What NOT to Wear For Your Family Photo Session

First and foremost: don’t wear anything that makes you frown.
Now, that might seem fairly obvious, but the truth is: it’s not. How many times have you picked out brand new strappy shoes or a fun new dress, and then when it came time to wear it to an event, you were miserable because the fit or feel just wasn’t right?
So, instead of feeling as fabulous as you thought you would, you’re distracted by your clothes. When you feel this way, it comes across in your portraits, and even worse, just like any mood, it’s easily shared with the rest of your family.
The same goes for kids. While we want them to look their best, kids aren’t usually happiest in very fussy or restrictive clothing. I have some great suggestions on clothing that looks great on is classic enough to look great on your walls for decades in my Fashion Guide. Enter your email, and you can download it right away.

The first thing I suggest is to focus on selecting the perfect outfit for Mom first. You don’t have to get a whole new wardrobe. Start with classic pieces in your closet and build from there. Select clothing with a similar tone for the top and the bottom, and sleeves that come to the elbow are also very flattering.
From there, a good rule of thumb is selecting 1-3 colors from a similar or complementary palette for your whole family to choose from. If you’re thinking of something with a warm outdoorsy vibe, think golden sun and trees. You could wear a dress with a minimal pattern in muted tones, and then choose solid button-down shirts for the men in muted tones which match one of the colors in the pattern. You can use jewelry or scarves as simple accents to tie in colors or add a little bit of pop if you’ve chosen all neutral tones.

Once you have decided the style of family portraits you want, I can help with all the best locations in and around Anaheim for your portraits; we’re pretty spoiled for gorgeous locations here in Orange County. If you want a beach look, a nice neutral dress with a flowy skirt with some flat sandals feels as relaxed as it looks. Select textures like cotton or linens blends to wear on a warm day, so stick with those, and then accent neutral tones by selecting navy blues or teals to add a little color punch for outfits for the kids.

Useful when choosing your wardrobe is also considering the kind of location and family portrait aesthetic which will complement the décor in your home. For instance, if your living room wall is a soft, mocha tone, the pop of fall leaves and rich orange or maroon tones would look stunning.
If your vision for a Southern California family session is a finished canvas that hangs in your formal living room, you might want to think about doing a studio session where the controlled climate lends itself well for formal clothes keeping everyone comfortable and relaxed, but remember for men, that a good rule of thumb is selecting dark socks, so they blend in at the bottom of the frame.

The best tip for creating your family session wardrobe is to give everything a test run. Make sure that skirt is as long as you think it is, or that your shirt won’t come up too high if you lift your arms up to hold your baby, and most of all, if you pamper yourself with a trip to the salon, make sure it’s two weeks before your appointment, so you have time to get used to any new haircuts or colors.

Now that you have your wardrobe thought out, it’s time to make that appointment for your session! To schedule, contact Diane Gabriel Photography at (714) 366-5445 or online here.

Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

    Newborn Care

    When I was pregnant, all I wanted was to meet my baby. And then the day finally came, we were walking out of the hospital, and the minute I stepped into our house with that little infant, I felt terrified, asking myself how was I supposed to know when to feed her or how to calm her. Every book and article I read just walked out of my memory, and I doubted myself. All you need to know is they have basic needs, and if you get the clues soon, you will find out why your baby is fussy. To help you during these chaotic first weeks, I have an essential list of needs and how to satisfy them correctly to allow you to enjoy those few newborn days.

    How to handle a newborn. Infants look small and fragile; they do not control their movements or their head. If you do not have experience with babies, the first thing to do before holding your newborn is to wash your hands. When you hold your baby, support his or her  back, and cradle the head. Never play rough, bounce, or shake them. Bond with your newborn with skin to skin moments; this technique will soothe your baby.

    Feeding and burping. You will be surprised by how many times a newborn must be fed, especially if you are breastfeeding. I breastfed my baby, and there were days when it seemed like someone glued us together. Depending on your choice between bottle and breast, you can make a schedule to be aware of when your baby needs to be fed again and the quantity eaten.  There are apps available that  will help you keep track of it. If you decide to breastfeed, keeping track of how much your baby eats is harder. But you can have an idea by the number of wet diapers, the time they sleep, and the weight they gain. While your baby eats, air could be swallowed; that is why you need to burp your baby. You will find the right technique with practice. Start by holding your baby upright, and while supporting the  head with one hand, gently tap their back with the other. A hungry baby will be upset, perhaps crying, moving their arms, and making sucking noises. This will let you know when it’s time to eat.

    Sleeping. A newborn typically sleeps for 2 to 4 hours at a stretch, and they can sleep up to 16 hours a day! Yes, you read that right, 16 hours. You need to make sure your baby sleeps enough, and safely, always on their back, with comfortable clothes, an empty crib (no stuffed animals or heavy blankets). My baby only wanted to sleep in my arms, so I found a bouncer that recreated that movement, and it was my lifesaver. I always recommend you try to sleep when your newborn sleeps, so you get enough rest and can keep up with your little one.

    Bathing time. While I was in the hospital, nurses would bathe my baby, and it looked like the easiest task in the world. My baby’s first bath at home was a disaster, water everywhere, lots of crying, and I almost cried with her. Let me share with you the big secret to a successful bath – have everything you will need ready before you start, shampoo, washcloth, towel, cream, diaper, and clothes. Once the baby is in the tub, you cannot move from there, and you will only have one hand free because you need to support your baby’s head with the other one. Remember that the first week, or until the umbilical cord dries and falls off, you should give your baby sponge baths and not submerge the baby.

    Newborns are magical. Everything is new to them. They grow and change with every passing day. I recommend you enjoy the first days, treasure the first looks and moves, and capture them with a newborn photographer’s help. They know precisely how to safely handle your baby and photograph incredible moments.




    Add a comment...

    Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

      Six Tips to Consider Before Choosing an Orange County Photographer



      Choosing a professional newborn, child, and family photographer can be an overwhelming experience for some people. After all, most people hire photographers for big events like marriages, new babies, and family photos, so it’s not something that is done more than a few times a year by most people.

      Like finding that perfect hairstylist who just seems to get what you need, finding a photographer who ticks all your boxes is important.   And unlike a haircut and color, these memories will last you forever!

      Here are the 6 tips I urge you to consider before choosing a photographer:

      Photography Style


      This is probably the most important, and something I think people don’t always understand. Just like painters have different styles, so do photographers. Some have very distinct stylized looks where they spend a lot of time getting that exact photo they had in their mind.

      Others will have a more lifestyle or a “looser” style that is designed to capture the spirit and emotion of the moment.  And some, the true photojournalists, simply document the moment with no direction or manipulation of the scene at all.

      As a newborn photographer, my style is somewhere between stylized and lifestyle. While we go into the sessions with some ideas of what props and looks we want to do, the baby is the boss!  Sometimes the sessions have a bit more of a lifestyle feel to them along with the posed photos.



      When you look through a photographer’s work, ask yourself these questions:

      • Do the photos look well lit, without losing details in the light areas of the photo?
      • Are they well composed and pleasing to the eye?
      • Do the subjects look happy and/or comfortable?
      • Would you be happy to hang photos like they show on your walls?



      This is something I am passionate about because I work with a lot of babies. At all times, your baby’s safety is paramount. You or your children should never be in a position that makes you feel uncomfortable. No photo is worth someone getting hurt. I have received the Safety Badge from the Accredited Professional Newborn Photographer’s Institute in 2020 for completing training in newborn safety.

      Experience and Education

      Experience means more than knowing how to take great photos. It also means wanting to continue to grow and serve our clients, providing them with the best photos and experience possible for all of those important milestones. It also means running a legit, tax-paying business and paying for licensing and equipment upgrades. When you hire a professional, you’ll have not only a marked better experience being photographed, and your photos will truly become beloved heirlooms because of the high quality.  I am a Certified Professional Photographer and am a member of the Professional Photographers of America.


      To call yourself a photographer, you need nothing more than a camera and to call yourself one. While on the one hand, this is encouraging to those who want to learn the art, it’s difficult for those of us who have spent an entire career honing our craft when we are undercut in pricing.

      Comparing photography pricing is like comparing cars. Sure, they both go when you put the key in them, but the difference lies in the quality of the experience of driving them. Being photographed is a personal experience, and the photos are something you should treasure for life!


      And, of course, the photographer must have a schedule that meshes with yours. Beware of photographers who don’t get back to your inquiry within a timely manner, or who are inflexible about scheduling sessions.

      They should be willing to talk to you about when the best time is to do your photos when the light is good if they are outdoors and have ideas for you for places to do the photos. If they operate a studio, they should understand the needs of small children and their schedules.


      I’d love to talk to you more about my photographic style and if it is right for you and your family. It’s always my honor to photograph new clients, and I welcome all your questions and concerns. Contact me at (714) 366-5445 or click here to send me a message.

      Add a comment...

      Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

        Safely Photographing 2020 Newborns Again!


        While 2020 has given us lots of pauses, love is not paused, and the babies that have been welcomed by their families this year sure are a bright light. I’m so happy to be back to photographing all these sweet little bundles of joy!

        As a professionally trained newborn photographer, I understand the trepidation you might have about safety for your newest family member. My focus for newborns has always been on the safest way to pose them, and now with the virus still lingering, my focus has expanded to the highest level of safety for you and your family.

        Precautions I am Taking

        I am up to date on all vaccinations and taking care when I am out in the community. I will wear a mask during our entire session and practice social distancing during outdoor sessions. I frequently wash and sanitize my hands for every session.

        One Session Per Day

        While there are still so many unknowns, I am photographing either outdoors or in clients’ homes in addition to studio sessions. I limit interaction to one session per day so that there is no chance of cross-contamination for props or other items used during the session.



        All items used during the newborn session are washed and sanitized before use. If you have special blankets or other items you want your baby to be photographed with, I encourage you to sanitize them as well after our session.  All photography equipment and props are sanitized before each use.





        Family Only
        To reduce any risk, I ask that during your session that only immediate family members be present during your session. And of course, if anyone seems ill, please contact me to reschedule your session (and I would do the same!)

        Outdoor Sessions

        If you’d like to discuss options for an outdoor session, I have many places I can recommend!  Get in touch, and we’ll find a place that works well for your vision for your photos.

        In-Home Sessions

        If you’re considering an in-home session, please do not worry about your house being sparkling clean! Newborns are tiny and require very little space. I can create beautiful settings right in your home, and I bring all the equipment needed to make the photos.
        There’s been a lot less hugging and snuggling than there was just a few months ago, and while I’ll admit I miss that, it’s wonderful to be photographing babies again.  For more tips for parents of newborns and toddlers on keeping safe in this time of COVID,   check out the CDC tips.https://www.cdc.gov/parents/infants/index.html

        Newborn photos are best done within the first few weeks of life, so if you’re expecting get in touch, and we can talk about a safe and beautiful newborn session. (714) 366-5445 or contact me here.

        Add a comment...

        Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

          Beautiful Baby Rylan


          Beautiful baby Rylan was perfection in her newborn session.  She was five days old and happily slept through her photo shoot.  I loved the colors for this session.  Mom chose  yellow from several several selections that I have available and I love how sunny and happy it is.

          Little Rylan was happiest being swaddled and we want our newborns happy!

          I hope you enjoyed a look into her session.


          Add a comment...

          Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

            follow us @dianegabrielphotography

            email us | info@dianegabrielphotography.com

            telephone (714) 366.5445

            Located in Orange County, CA