What to Wear Guide for Family Photos

You’ve done your research and found a photographer who’s going to document your family beautifully. You’ve got your family photo session on the books. Now comes what many find to be the hardest part… figuring out what to wear! It can be a challenge, for sure, trying to put together outfits for a family photo session, whether you have two people in your family or 12. I have some tips that will hopefully help make the process of deciding what to wear a little less painful!

family photo session example of what to wear

What to Wear Tips

Tip 1: Go Classic

Perhaps the most important thing to keep in mind when choosing what to wear for your photo session is to keep your clothing simple and timeless.

kansas city family portrait good example of good clothing choices

classic family photo clothing

Tip 2: Coordinate and Complement

Coordinate and complement are the key words when figuring out what to wear for family photos. Have the urge to match?? Fight it. Seriously. Your family (probably) doesn’t dress in matching outfits in daily life, so I strongly advise against matching outfits for family photos. Pick your main focal piece first and plan around that. Do you have a floral dress that you want your daughter to wear or a darling sweater for your son? Use that item as your focal piece and assemble everyone else’s attire around it. Pick two to four colors from the focal piece and plan other clothing items around those colors. Use neutrals (denim, khaki colors, grays, etc.) in your secondary clothing pieces.

coordinating and complementary clothing for family photo session

family photo session clothing that coordinates and complements

Tip 3: Accessorize

Use accessories to add color and interest to your session clothing. Scarves, bows, hats, jewelry… all of these things can add that extra punch to an outfit. Have fun accessorizing! Just be careful not to over-accessorize… you want to make sure your personality is the main thing that shines in your photos!

accessorizing clothing for family photos

Tip 4: Add Layers and Textures

Consider adding layers, patterns, and textures, as they add visual interest to your photos. Coordinating patterns work well, too; for example, try stripes on one person and a floral print on another.

family photo session clothing with layers and textures

Tip 5: Avoid These

Try to avoid solid white (shades of off-white are fine), solid black, and solid red clothing, as they generally do not photograph well. Wearing items that have these colors in them is fine if the items are not solid-colored. Try to avoid wearing clothing with writing, characters, or large logos on it. Writing doesn’t always translate in photos due to posing, folds in the fabric, etc. And do you really want that ‘Pokemon Go’ logo immortalized in your family photos? Probably not! Finally, try to avoid clothing with a really small check print, as it creates a wavy, watered look in photos.

Tip 6: Dress Comfortably

Above all… comfort is key! If you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing for your session, it’ll show. And – on the flip side – if you are comfortable, that’ll translate in your photos, too, and will help ensure that your photos are something you can always treasure.

comfortable family photo session clothing

Tip 7: Consider Your Backdrop

If you’re taking photos outdoors in the spring or summer when everything is really green, dressing everyone in shades of green might not be the best way to go. So think about what your surroundings are going to look like for your photo session, and plan colors and clothing items that will work well with them.

family photo session clothing

Tip 8: Lay Everything Out

Once you’ve chosen your photo session attire, lay everything out so you can see if the pieces truly work together. See if they coordinate and complement in an effective way. Make sure they look good together without matching. And see how everything laid out together makes you feel… if the clothes you’ve chosen make you smile, don’t second guess your decision!

great example of what to wear for family photos

For additional tips, be sure to check out my Pinterest board on what to wear!

family photo session clothing

deciding what to wear for natural family photos

If you book a photo session with me and need help deciding on what to wear, I’m always happy to help my clients in that area. I’ve had clients text me photos from stores of pieces of clothing they’re thinking of buying. And I’ve had clients who put together full ensembles at home for me to look at before their session. I love helping clients decide what to wear and figure out what would look best in photos because when you look comfortable and feel comfortable in what you’re wearing, that comes through loud and clear in your images.

Thanks so much for stopping by my blog! I appreciate you being here! If you’re in the Kansas City area and are interested in a photo session, be sure to reach out to me… I’d love to hear from you! I specialize in families, kiddos, and lifestyle photography sessions and am always happy to help you figure out what to wear for whatever kind of session you book! Contact me today by email at info@ashleyspaulding.com, by phone at 913-940-4121, or through the Contact link at the top of the page.

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