A couple captured by a professional Silverfox Studios photographer walks...

A couple captured by a professional Silverfox Studios photographer walks through Field Five of Robert Moses State Park in Babylon. Credit: Silverfox Studios

It's all about scoring that one great picture these days. But in order to do so, there needs to be some planning involved — whether it’s a highly-stylized shot being taken at the site of a castle, a scene on a beach, or a child’s photo, according to photographers and fashion styling experts with Long Island-based clients. And amid the pandemic, photographers are noting an increased interest in documenting family milestones and important moments.

"The location of the shoot should determine how you dress," says Stephanie Akagha, the owner of the Manhattan-based S.A. Brand Consultancy (sabrandconsultancy.com) who has styled such celebrities as 50 Cent, Andy Cohen, Jimmy Falon, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Padma Lakshmi and Tom Colicchio. "What you wear and the location of your shoot will translate the story visually. It will create a world that your story exists in."

Valerie Halfon, founder and CEO of the Manhattan and Houston, Texas-based Shop With Val (shopwithval.com), agrees.

"Match the vibe of your location," Halfon says. "If you’re shooting on a beach, something lightweight and flowy would look appropriate as opposed to something short and tight, and if you’re shooting at a mansion, something more glamorous or formal may be fitting."

And what makeup might be worn for a shoot should also be determined based on the location, Halfon adds. "Are you going for glamorous or more natural? The way most women do their makeup for every day isn’t the way they should be doing their makeup for a photo shoot," she says. "If you’re shooting somewhere like an arboretum or botanical garden then it may not make sense to have a dramatic eye and bold lip."

Bethpage-based photographer Colleen Radcliffe (4kidsphotography.com) says the right styling is key.

"Proper styling for a photo helps bring the photo together and create a theme," Radcliffe says. "It also makes you feel better and less self-conscious when having your photo taken. This helps create a piece of art, not just a photo."

Here’s a sampling of the types of photos you might like to take and some tips for a successful shoot:

Source: Bethpage-based photographer Colleen Radcliffe


— Decide what you want to do with the photo so you can plan the shoot. If the ultimate goal is to hang a portrait in a living room for example, then make sure the clothing worn by people in the photo complements the color scheme of the room.

— Consider the location. Say you choose a rustic barn, you can go with more casual clothing for the subjects in the picture to fit a rustic theme or for a more stylized, striking photo you may choose bright formal clothing. In any picture, don’t have too many patterns — you want viewers to be drawn to people in the photo, not to a busy clashing of patterns.


— PORTRAITS: There should be four or five dominant colors in portraits. Choose three colors for the wardrobe palette and the third and fourth colors would be for the setting. For example, a beach setting could be navy, white and teal. The fourth and fifth colors would be the beige of the sand and the light blue of the sky.

— COUPLES PHOTOS: The outfits worn by the couples should complement each other but don’t get too “matchy matchy.” If both subjects want to wear the same color, have one person add a scarf or something else to break the color up a bit.

— CHILDREN’S PHOTOS: Comfort is key with young children. The less they feel encumbered by their clothing, the happier they will be about getting their photos taken. A nice bright color for a shirt or dress in a school picture can make the child a standout.

— FAMILY PHOTOS: Try not to stress family members out about getting the perfect photo — that will make the subjects more relaxed and prevent a young child’s meltdown. Consider having the family dress in fun colors, such as everyone in a different shade of blue. And be sure to consider the location when choosing the color scheme.