Formal Studio Family Portraiture

Formal studio family portraits are important now more than ever. In our world of fast-paced busy lives, filled with camera phones and selfies, we often fall short of documenting our precious milestones for future generations to treasure.

As parents, we must remember to create valuable heirlooms to pass down to our children. Formal studio family portraiture is a great way to capture the story of your family’s life. From newly engaged couples in love to parents holding their newborns with pride and every milestone in between, family portraiture is the art that tells your story.

Over the years, Lisa and I have photographed couples from their engagement sessions and weddings, to their first borns to their children’s senior portraits, and to their 25th wedding anniversaries. Imagine being able to share those precious milestones with your children and grandchildren for years to come through family portraiture.

That’s why Lisa and I connect with our clients to understand the essence of their family. We guide families through the family portraiture process every step of the way, beginning with what to wear.

What to Wear: A Guide to Formal Portraiture Attire

Formal Studio Family Portraiture

As a boutique photography studio, our custom handpainted backgrounds and classic portrait lighting techniques are tailored to render your portrait as an exquisite piece of art. To ensure the success of your portrait, it’s important to understand that certain styles and colors of clothing are chosen for your session.

We please ask that you dress in formal attire when requesting a formal portrait. Formal attire will give your portrait a timeless appearance and create an elegant heirloom for your legacy.

Also, we ask that you wear dark clothing to keep the focal point on your families facial expressions not the clothing. Our contoured lighting and custom handcrafted backgrounds work the best with dark colored, solid tops and shirts with long sleeves.

For our formal studio family portrait sessions, we recommend the following attire:

Men– Dark Jackets (tuxedo or suit), white shirt, tie, and dark pants.

Ladies – Dark (black, navy, burgundy, dark green, etc.) dress or gown. Little or no pattern is preferred. Classic jewelry such as diamonds, pearls, etc. are encouraged.

Young Girls – Dark or jewel toned solid dresses are preferred, but ivory, cream or off-white are also acceptable if they are 4 or under. Long sleeves are recommended for adults, but girls usually prefer to have short or no sleeves.

Young Boys – Same as men, or a solid dark sweater. If under 4, a white shirt with bow tie is appropriate.

The Benefits of Studio Portraiture

Attire plays a key role in creating the perfect formal portrait as does the environment where the session is taken. At Michael Carr Photography, we are seasoned professional portrait artists to address special requests. But, there are benefits to studio portraiture verse outdoor portraiture.

As we know, Houston weather is highly unpredictable and humid. Studio portraiture eliminates the concerns for weather conditions. Rain or shine, cold or heat, you will always look great in a climate controlled environment with calculated lighting and custom backgrounds. Plus, our commercial studio has a dressing room and access to restrooms.

Let’s Create Your Own Timeless Portrait

It is never too late to capture the spirit and beauty of your family. It’s only late if you never do it and wish you had. Let’s create your own timeless formal studio family portrait and capture your family’s life story. Call 713-461-2862 or visit to learn more.

About Michael Carr Photography

Michael and Lisa Carr are full time portrait artist specializing in creative and timeless family portraits both in black and white and color mediums. We offer environmental family portraits, at home portrait sessions in the Houston area, as well as in studio portraits. Michael Carr Photography is a full service portrait studio. What this means to you is that we complete your portrait from the beginning to the finished phases: conception, capture and full artist embellishments to your final wall portraits. To learn more about our studio and portrait photography for your individual portraits and family portraits, visit here or call 713-461-2862.


Certified Professional Photographers

If you visit our websites often, you may have seen a new logo or professional designation by our names: CPP. What is a CPP? What does that really mean? CPP stands for Certified Professional Photographer. Certification is only granted by Professional Photographers of America (PPA), the world’s largest non-profit association organized for professional photographers. Michael Carr, CPP, recently earned this professional designation. I had to pass a written question test, as well as submit a portfolio or body of work for review. My portfolio had to demonstrate specific lighting, posing, color balance, and harmony in our photographs. In February 2016, over 80 photographers submitted their portfolios, and only 50% passed and earned the CPP designation. To maintain this credential, I have to recertify every 3 years. This process insures photographers remain current in our photographic field and current in our craft.
PPA includes additional info on the CPP standard and you can read about that below:

“These days, photography is practiced by anyone with a smartphone, but it’s mastered by few. When it comes to those once-in-a-lifetime moments—when you’ve got one shot at getting it right—you better make sure the person behind the camera is a pro. A proven professional photographer that is.

There’s no greater proof than when the letters “CPP” follow a photographer’s name. They designate a Certified Professional Photographer, someone who is putting in the extra work to stay above the rest. It assures you of this photographer’s professional knowledge and experience, while also declaring that photographer as one who has achieved and maintains a higher standard.

See the Difference Certified Professional Photographers Make

Consistency. CPPs know how to achieve great results—every time. You get a strong collection of images that tell your story, not a few lucky snapshots, and you will work with someone who knows how to produce a quality image under any circumstances.

Technical Skills. CPPs are more than picture takers. They are students of art, lighting, posing, fashion and even interior design. They combine these elements to create images that fit your unique style and become works of art you will treasure for generations.

Unique Artistry. CPPs have the skills to create unique, customized works of art—not cookie-cutter pictures. They follow an artistic vision. It’s your story captured as a collection of art.

Professionalism. When you hire a CPP, you know you’re getting someone who is willing to go the extra mile to deliver the best possible images. They are business owners who thrive on customer service and satisfaction, and they continuously aim to produce products that exceed your—and their—best expectations. These images are keepsakes whose stories you’ll tell time and time again and treasure forever.

Just about anyone can take a good picture every now and then. But when life’s biggest moments are unfolding and there’s just one chance to capture that perfect memory, don’t risk it. Entrust your photography needs to a Certified Professional Photographer and see the difference for yourself.”

To view more of our work and learn more about our Family Portraits, Business Headshots, and Editorial Portraits, visit our site: or call us at 713-461-2862.


Engagement Portraits in Houston

Houston portrait photographer, Michael Carr, recently photographed Courtney & Brian’s Engagement Portraits. Since their wedding was coming up and going to be outdoors, the couple selected an outdoor location for their engagement portraits. We were able to photograph a few classic outdoor portraits as well as a few casual, fun, relaxed portraits. We spoke with Courtney over the phone prior to the session, and discussed the clothing they wanted to wear for their portraits. Courtney also had Corinne with Façade apply her makeup for this session. With the variety of images captured during their session, the couple was able to select a wall portrait and a portrait album to display their favorite images.

To view more of our portrait portfolio and portrait services, visit or call 713.461.2862 to schedule your session.