What to Wear for Family Photos
Tips & ideas on what to wear for outdoor family photos
Preparing for an outdoor family photo session can be a little overwhelming, especially if you don’t know where to start. Here are some tips that will help you to select outfits for family portraits.
- Select colors of clothes that complement each other.
- Mix and match clothes of 3-4 colors that make a pleasant color palette.
- Feel free to use patterns and textures.
- Avoid neon colors, they are distracting and may create skin tone / color cast issues.
- Make sure that the style of all family members matches. Decide if you all want to wear casual or dressy clothes, for instance.
- When choosing colors and style, consider the location of the photo shoot and its surroundings. They should have the same vibe. If we take photos in a park/woods, you would probably like more casual clothes for that. Dressy outfits may work great with beautiful architecture.
- Dress for the season. Spring and fall can be tricky, so bring extra warm clothes with you if you’re not sure. If you want to wear light clothes, take a blazer, nice jacket or a scarf with you, just in case the temperature suddenly drops. It’s important to keep children warm (and adults too). Believe me, they will look much happier in the photos!
- Make sure they’re comfortable.
- Don’t force kids to wear something that they don’t like. We want to keep them happy during the session.
- Layers are great. They provide more visual interest and additional looks in your photos.
- Be careful with sleeveless clothing and straps. Make sure you like the way your arms look. You can always take a blazer along.
- Check that a diaper or underwear is not visible on children when they sit.
- Select clothes that won’t require a lot of maintenance throughout your session and won’t get wrinkled immediately.
- Pay attention to your shoes and socks, they shouldn’t be distractions in your photos.
- Neutral colors work great.
- Avoid neon or bright white sneakers, or sneakers and athletic shoes in general.
- If you have perfect matching shoes, but they’re not comfortable for walking, take them along with you and put them on only during photographing time.
Accessories and Props
- Scarves, some hats, minimal jewelry (usually not very large or sparkly), neat headbands or hairpins can be great add-ons for your style.
- You don’t have to take any props with you. If you want, take a color-matching blanket that you can sit on (if you have one) and a favorite toy (it’s great if it matches your color palette). I like using bubbles on a family shoot, especially with younger kids.
- If there are some items special to your family, feel free to bring them and I’ll incorporate them during our session.
Watch for distractions!
- Avoid crazy colors (like neon).
- Avoid logos, cartoon characters and wording on clothing.
- Empty your pockets. We don’t want phones or keys showing through your pockets.
- Some accessories can be distractions, such as watches, sunglasses, or too much jewelry.
- Keep in mind that the photo session is about capturing your relationship and your connection. Think if additional accessories would add something to your style, or would distract.
Where to start?
- Start with one person, usually with mom or a girl, since they may have patterned dress or more colors to wear.
- Move to the next person, keeping in mind colors that you’ve already selected and try to find something matching. You can still add more colors at this point.
- When everyone’s clothes are selected, think of accessories. You may add a scarf or a headband of a color of your chosen palette.
Need more ideas?
- View my Pinterest board with ideas on Family Outfits.
- Browse my blog and family pictures gallery.
- View color palettes on Pinterest.
All the above tips are only suggestions and not the rules. Choose the clothes that reflect your and your family members’ personality. Need advice? E-mail me and I’ll be happy to help!