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!

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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!

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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.

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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!

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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.  

Outfit ideas for your photo session at the beach

Our Cape Cod family sessions at the beach should be fun, relaxing, and sandy… just like a day spent dipping your toes in the water and collecting seashells!

However, one of the biggest worries that mamas always tell me is that they have NO IDEA WHAT TO WEAR. That’s where I come in. This might be your first time planning coordinating outfits for a family photo shoot, but lucky for you I have done this hundreds of times and I have a few simple tricks to make it easier for you.

Plus, once you have a few outfits in mind you can always email them to me to get a second opinion on which ones will photograph best together!


White looks amazing in the summer.

Everyone looks a little more sun-kissed when they wear white, and it really pops against the scenery at the beach. When in doubt, wear white.

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Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration
Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration
Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration

SHADES OF BLUE

Pull inspiration from the colors at the beach. Many shades of blue look incredible by the seashore. I especially love light blue, chambray blue, and other muted shades of blue. Navy blue is classic, too!

HINT: Avoid any overly saturated, super bright blues because it just looks a little unnatural at the beach. Notice how most of the blues in this blog post have a touch of gray in them. That’s perfect.

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Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration
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Use colors you would find in nature.

Think of a sunset at the beach, and plan your colors accordingly. Blues, beiges, white, light pink, lavender, mint green, aqua. These all look incredible at the beach. A faded red also looks really nice (like those classic Nantucket red shorts that are everywhere in New England in the summertime).

Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration
Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration
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PLAID

It’s super classic, and very summery. Also, gingham is very in this year, too!

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How to style lots of family members?

If you stick to the tips above, it’ll actually be really easy. When in doubt, tell everyone to wear shades of muted blue with neutrals like white, cream, and khaki. That’s the easiest option when working with extended family and trying to coordinate 3-4 households for a large group portrait.

Nicole Starr Photography | Cape Cod Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Beach Family Photographer | Massachusetts Family Photographer, client wardrobe, what to wear for milestone session, milestone photography, outfits for babies, client outfits, photoshoot outfits, beach family portraits, beach family portrait outfit inspiration
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Inspired for your session? Pin this image or any from the post above for your session!

Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer | Delmar NY family photographer | Cape Cod family photographer | Loudonville NY family photographer, what to wear for family portraits, what to wear, client wardrobe, client tips, wardrobe suggestions, outfit suggestions, what to wear for photos

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, and she also works with families at her Attleboro, MA studio and on location in Boston and on Cape Cod. 

Having spent more than 20 summers on Cape Cod, this area truly feels like home when we get together for family photo sessions at the beach. Trust Nicole to capture your family beautifully while having fun out in the salt air!

What to Wear in Fall Family Portraits | Saratoga Springs NY Family Photographer

While I'm not the biggest fan of pumpkin spice (but only because I don't drink coffee!!), I do love fall soooooooo much.  Apples, crisp leaves, bonfires, lots of pumpkin baked goods, and it's finally time to bust out sweaters, scarves, and my favorite brown boots.

Plus, fall is one of my favorite seasons to plan outfits for photo shoots!  We get to layer so many cozy textures and colors together to really give your family's portraits some personality.  You've been following our "What to Wear" series, you've seen our wardrobe tips for SPRING FAMILY PORTRAITS and BEACH FAMILY PORTRAITS.  Naturally, tis the season to talk about fall wardrobe options for your next photo shoot!  


Choose 2-3 colors plus a neutral, and use a little bit of it in everybody's outfit!  

Here we have gray, plum, and navy, plus neutral cream & khaki.  I love how we're mixing plaids and solids, and how the mom's scarf and daughter's tights add a little bit of texture, too!

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Accessorize and don't shy away from texture!  

Earrings, a statement necklace, scarves, boots, a belt, or even a second layer with a sweater or cardigan all add more interest to your portraits.  Plus, they help to showcase your unique style and personality!  Different knits and fabrics also give your layers more interest and they look AMAZING on camera.  Don't be afraid to have a little fun when choosing your outfits for your family's portrait session.

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Nicole Starr Photography | Saratoga Springs Family Photographer | Boston Family Photographer | Upstate NY Family Photographer | Family Photographer

Think of the location we'll be shooting in, and also of your wall decor.  

You want your colors to complement both.  If your home has mostly neutral colors on the walls, then you may not want bright red or orange in your portraits.  If we're shooting in a grassy area with lots of evergreens, avoid wearing green and instead choose a color that will pop against the trees like purple, cream, or mustard yellow.  

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Fall colors to consider for your family's portrait session:
Plum
Gray
Navy
Cream
Mustard Yellow
Burgundy
Beige
Brown
Chambray
Khaki


Fun accessories for a little pop of personality:
Boots
Scarves
Statement necklace
Bracelet
Layers: sweaters/cardigans

 

What to Wear for your Beach Family Portraits | Cape Cod Family Photographer

The 4th of July means that summer is officially in full swing!  I am looking forward to spending some time on Cape Cod later this month, where I can't wait to get together with so many families for their family portrait sessions!  But of course, there is always that one popular question...

What should we wear for our photoshoot on the beach?

Since our Spring Wardrobe blog post was such a hit, I've decided to share some wardrobe inspiration for your beach session this summer!  Enjoy lots of visual inspiration, plus a couple of simple tips to make choosing outfits for your family session a breeze!

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Keep it simple.  

Choose 2 colors plus a neutral and weave those into everyone's outfits.  Above you'll see that light blue, navy, and white pull all of the outfits together!

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You can't go wrong with stripes.

I am a huge fan of stripes for our Salt Air sessions on the beach, and I love how classic and New England-y (we're just going to pretend that's a word!) they look.  When choosing stripes, choose ones that have only 2 colors so that the pattern isn't too busy and distracting -- white & blue are so classic!

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Enjoy a little pop of color!

Teal & coral go really well together, and they are such eye-catching summer colors that are perfect for a photo session in the warmer months.  Tie the outfits together even more with matching accessories -- a coral bowtie on the baby, or a hat with a teal band on dad.

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Leave the jeans at home.

At the beach, you want to lighten up and relax.  Heavy and dark jeans just don't make sense in such a relaxed and airy setting.  Choose lightweight fabrics (khaki, linen, cotton) rather than heavier ones.  Shorts are great, too!

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Glam it up!

If you really want to make it a special experience, check out Rainey's Closet for your daughter (we have an entire post about this incredible rental service for little girls' dresses).  For your own dress, Rent the Runway has fabulous options, and you can also purchase beautiful dresses on Lulu's and even Amazon -- yay for 2-day shipping!  I have a growing collection of gowns in the studio as well -- ask me about it, and I'm happy to bring a dress or two for you to borrow!

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Choose colors that complement your home decor.

These portraits are going to be proudly displayed on the walls of your home.  Make sure you keep your colors in mind as you plan your wardrobe so that they flow seamlessly into your decorating, enhancing the space rather than looking out of place!

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Now, wasn't that easy?  Comment below and tell me what's your family's favorite activity to do on the beach!