What to wear & Where to shop | Cozy outfit ideas for your family portraits this fall

It’s not easy planning for family portraits. You worry about finding the right photographer, choosing the perfect date and a beautiful location. Then you stress about finding something to wear, and you cross your fingers and hope for the best when it comes to your baby’s mood and the weather.

From our very first phone call, I reassure families and I let them know that I will take care of every single one of those worries. We’ll choose a date & time together, and a rain date (just in case!). I’ll share a few of my favorite locations with you that I know are perfect at the time of day we’ve selected, and I’ll also help you find outfits for every single person in your family. You’re even able to wear outfits available at the studio for mamas and babies!

Then during your session I will use every trick up my sleeve to keep everyone in a happy, playful, and relaxed mood. In the end, the whole thing is a piece of cake and you don’t have to worry about a single thing — leave it all to me, and you just relax and enjoy a fun hour with your family!

But of course, the most frequently asked question I always get from families is “What do we all wear?” Read on for tips for cozy outfits for your family’s portrait session this fall.

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8 things to look for when planning your family’s outfits for a fall photo session


Layers

Layers add dimension and personality to any portrait, and they also help keep you warm in the fall when the temperature starts to drop! Cardigans, rolled cuffs peeking out from under a sweater, lightweight jackets, boots layered over leggings or jeans, a lightweight infinity scarf. These are all great ideas to add depth and color to your photos.

PRO TIP: Start with a base layer on the kids for warmth — this can be a onesie or shirt underneath their outfit, something that won’t show. Then add their outfit on top! Warm kids are happy kids!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience
Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience

Rich Colors

Fall is such a vibrant season, and you can add vibrant pops of color to your outfits, too! Plum purple, mustard yellow, navy blue, maroon. These are all gorgeous colors that really pop against other neutrals in your outfits. Plan to use 2-3 colors (including a neutral like white, cream, gray) in everyone’s outfits, and think about what will really pop against the scenery!

PRO TIP: I recommend avoiding neon colors, black, and green.

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Plaid

Plaid looks amazing in the fall, and it evokes such a cozy feeling! Plus, if you choose one plaid shirt or dress you can use all of those colors as inspiration for the rest of the family’s outfits.

PRO TIP: I suggest only having one family member with a plaid shirt because two or more can look too busy.

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Patterns

Solids look great, but having everyone in solids is boring! Bring in a pattern with a dress or a blouse to add a little more interest and personality to your portraits. Just like with not putting everyone in plaid, don’t put EVERYONE in patterns either because they can clash and just look too busy, taking the focus away from everyone’s beautiful faces. Do a mix of patterns and solids.

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Boots

Boots always look amazing in photographs on moms and little girls! For the kids, think beyond their colorful sneakers or casual shoes and find something a little more stylish. You can find lots of cute options at Old Navy and Target in the kids sections, and Gap also has so many adorable ones, too!

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Cozy Knits

Sweater knits look amazing in fall family portraits, especially ones with a little texture. They just invite everyone to snuggle up together! Plan on layering a sweater or two on a few people in your family for the picture perfect look.

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Jeans

If you’re looking for a more casual look, jeans are perfect. A darker wash is the most flattering, and I’d suggest avoiding distressed jeans if they have gaping holes in the knees so that when you sit on the ground your kneecap isn’t showing through at an unflattering angle. We’ll do a few family portraits sitting on the grass and playing in the leaves, so I want you to be comfortable!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience

Don’t be afraid to glam it up!

Ruffles, tulle, sequins, a frilly skirt. These all look AMAZING on moms and little girls, and I love when families want to dress up for their portraits! I was so excited when this mama wanted to wear a gold sequin skirt for her session, and it looked incredible against the golden foliage.

PRO TIP: Amazon has a skirt that has become wildly popular for mamas in portrait sessions. Search “chiffon maxi skirt” and you’ll find plenty of colors. The waist is adjustable, and the length changes based on the size. If you’re short, order a Small. If you’re tall, don’t be afraid of ordering the Large or XL for the length. There are tons of colors available, and these look best with a fitted top. Some moms pair it with a white lace long sleeve top (also available on Amazon!). Others like a white t-shirt. Others do a buttoned up chambray shirt tucked into the skirt. Others like a cardigan over a tank top.

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience

where to shop

For mom:
Lulus
Amazon
Rent the Runway (rentals)
J. Crew
Loft
Chicwish
Gap
Old Navy

For the kids:
Cat & Jack at Target
Old Navy
Janie & Jack
Crewcuts by J. Crew
Gap Kids/Baby Gap
Zara
H&M
Amazon
Rainey’s Closet (fancy rentals)
Lulu and Roo
Mini Boden
Hanna Andersson

For dads:
Dads have it easy. Layer on a button down shirt, sweater or vest, and jeans. They probably already have all of this in their closet, or they can choose neutrals or a plaid or patterned shirt from their favorite store to coordinate with the outfits selected for everyone else.


Pin this image or any from the post above for inspiration for your family’s fall outfits!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer | What to wear for fall photos, where to shop for fall family photo outfits, fall family outfits, family outfits, family photos, fall family photo session, what to wear, client experience

About Nicole Starr Photography 

Nicole Starr specializes in newborn, baby & family photography and has been serving families in New York and Massachusetts since 2012.  She has a portrait studio in Saratoga Springs, NY for families in the Capital Region.  Nicole also works with families year round at her Attleboro, MA portrait studio, and on location May through October in Boston and on Cape Cod.  Nicole has a clean and classic style, and the studio is filled with neutrals and luxe fabrics.  We use very minimal props to keep the focus on your perfect little baby.  Our sessions are relaxed and fun, and we’ll enjoy an hour together (or up to 3 hours for a newborn session!) laughing, cuddling, and capturing authentic smiles and belly laughs with your little ones.  

A Seaside Family Portrait Session in Harwichport on Cape Cod

I love the beach.  Seriously, my dream home would be a beach house where I could look out at the water every single day and take a walk in the sand every single night.  So when families ask me to join them at the beach for a portrait session, the answer is always, "Yes!  See you at sunset!"

Cape Cod family photos beach photographer

I had so much fun with Robyn, Pete, and their birthday boy Nicholas during our session together at Pleasant Road Beach in Harwich.  This beach is close to their home, and one that Pete spent his summers at growing up.  The rocks on the jetty, the shingled houses behind the tall seagrass -- they all mean so much more when they have a story to them, and it made for the perfect backdrop for this family's session.  Plus, it was a nice little piece of saltwater heaven that they introduced me to for the first time, and a new favorite spot on the Cape!

Cape Cod family photos beach photographer

Isn't this little plaid romper just perfect for our session?  I love the styling on this session, and everyone's outfits came together perfectly for some modern family photos at the beach.

In addition to family photos of everyone playing together, I love to capture a few quiet moments with mom & dad alone with the baby.  These sweet little cuddles are always some of my favorite moments to capture!

Cape Cod beach family photos

We're now booking family sessions through October, and be sure to contact me now because they fill up early!  By the way, the beach in the fall is still an absolutely beautiful location for photos.  Sweaters, sand, and hazy skies.  Just sayin'.     ;o)