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Fashion Friday: How to style your fall family photos

Since pictures do stand the test of time, photographers often see firsthand the stress that can come with figuring out what to wear.

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

"People like to send out holiday cards," photographer Kim Ponsky Sable said. "Pictures make great holiday gifts, and Cleveland in particular is gorgeous in the autumn. So put all those three things together, and it's a really busy season."

Ponsky Sable says she loves photographing generations of families each year through her business Kim Ponsky Photography.

"Parents are often focused on capturing their children," she told 3News. "I encourage parents to get in the pictures too because their kids are gonna want those one day. Pictures last forever."

But since photos do stand the test of time, Ponsky Sable often sees firsthand the stress that can come with figuring out what to wear

"What to wear is the No. 1 hardest thing."

So that's where 3news Style Contributor Hallie Abrams, The Wardrobe Consultant, comes in. We asked her to share some tried-and-true tips for nailing that picture-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 pick four colors and let everybody do their own thing from it, so their personalities are still coming through, but not necessarily everybody in a black top in jeans, because that can be a little 'matchy matchy.'"

It’s guidance Abrams put to the test when consulting with the Pope-Ganesh family in advance of their recent family photo session. She worked with the family to build coordinating looks based off of 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 of it."

Abrams says it's also important to take weather into consideration — you might even want to bring both indoor and outdoor options. Both she and Ponsky Sable say comfort should be top of mind.

"Things that are sometimes less fussy and a little more body conscious can be more attractive on film," Abrams told us. "I also think something to keep in mind is, if you have little kids, to make sure that if you're holding the child that things aren't going to be all fussy and bunchy."

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

"I really urge people to put kids in clothes that they are physically and emotionally comfortable in," she noted. "Don't put your 4-year-old in a three-piece suit because he is not going to feel like himself."

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

"I wouldn't put too many people in patterns," Ponsky Sable said. "No jerseys, no character shirts, no words, because your eyes are going to go to the branding, not to the faces."

That goes for accessories, too, Abrams adds.

"If there's something that's special to you, if you have grandma's locket, that's a great time to have it in a picture," she explained. "But you don't want to be too overdone. You don't want to look like you're wearing Queen Elizabeth's jewels."

The overall message from 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 you look good in and you feel like yourself," Ponsky Sable said.

"You want you to shine through," Abrams added. "You want to be wearing the clothes; you don't want the clothes to be wearing you."

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