What to Wear Tips for Family Photos

You asked your friends, you searched online, and now you've finally found the perfect photographer whose style matches your own.  You've set a date and you are eagerly looking forward to your family's photo session.  Now comes the hard part.... what to wear???? Sometimes, searching for the perfect outfits can feel just as challenging as it was when you were searching for the perfect photographer.  But it doesn't need be that way!  Follow these simple tips to rock your family's portrait session, feel confident, be comfortable, and look amazing in every shot!

10 Tips for What to Wear in Family Photos, Nicole Starr Photography
10 Tips for What to Wear in Family Photos, Nicole Starr Photography

1. Coordinate your colors, but don't match them.

Long gone are the days of matchy-matchy outfits.  Why dress everyone in khakis and white shirts, when in real life your whole family never dresses that way?  Show some personality in your photos by picking a few colors that pair well together, and select everyone's outfits based on that color scheme.

2. Look to your home decor for color inspiration.

Not sure which colors to choose?  Look around your home and see if you tend to use bright and vivid colors, or more neutral tones to decorate.  These photos will become artwork that you will display proudly in your home, and you want them to complement your decor rather than compete with it.

WM what to wear springtime photos family

3. Use patterns, but use them sparingly.

I personally love adding a little bit of pattern into the mix.  Plaid, stripes, floral -- you name it!  However, limit the number of patterns so that they do not distract and detract from the image.

4. Avoid logos, characters, and words.

It's that simple.  We want the focus to be on your family's beautiful faces, not on what's written on your daughter's shirt or the minion character on your son's t-shirt.

WM what to wear family photos children

5. Accessorize!

Accessories bring your photos to life.  They add a pop of color, show your personality, and help to tie all of the outfits and colors together.  I love statement necklaces and scarves that are in coordinating colors.  Take a peek in your closet and see what you can add to make your outfit interesting and fun.

WM what to wear accessories in family photos

6. Plan ahead.

As soon as you book your session, start thinking about outfits.  Don't assume that a dress will fit your daughter, or that you'll just grab a clean shirt from your son's closet.  You don't want to find out that her dress is too small and there's a stain on his shirt the day before the session.  I also recommend having your little ones try on the clothes and spend a few (clean) hours in them a few days before the session.  Does that pretty dress have itchy tulle?  And his shoes too tight?  Find out ahead of time so that we're all smiles the day of the session.

7. Avoid all white or all black clothing.

It's easy for the colors to get blown out when you're wearing all white, and the same can happen with black.  So add some texture in the form of scarves, necklaces, cardigans, or a lace layer to liven up your outfit and preserve all of the detail in the final portraits.

8.  Pull it all together.

WM solomon-9

Take all of the outfits (shirts, pants, dresses, shoes, accessories) and lay them all out on the floor together as individual outfits.  Take a photo of them all together on your phone and see how them look next to each other.  Are your eyes automatically drawn to the shirt with neon stripes?  Does that sparkly skirt seem out of place?  Make substitutions so that the wardrobe choices complement each other rather than compete with each other. 

9. Ask for advice!

Send me your photos that you just snapped and ask me what I think!  I always have families texting me photos and emailing me their outfit choices for final opinions.  I am more than happy to help you with this so that you look and feel your best the day of the session.

10.  Finally, think classic.

WM family photo in blue

These photos will be hanging on your walls for many years.  Avoid trendy and stick with the classics while still showing your family's fun personality.

Did you find this post helpful?

Check our our 6 Tips for a Successful Portrait Session with Babies & Young Children to really be ready to rock your family's upcoming session!

Still have questions?  Email me by clicking on the "CONTACT" tab above!