“What should we wear for our family photoshoot??” As a photographer, this is the #1 question I get from my clients more than any other.  Who DOESN’T struggle with what to wear for your family photoshoot?  Coordinating outfits can be daunting but it doesn’t have to be!  This post covers some ideas and tips to help get everyone looking chic and ready to get in front of the camera with confidence 🙂

1. Plan outfits in advance, give yourself time to choose

Once you book your session, start thinking what to wear for family photos.  You may think certain clothes will fit your kids or that all their clothing choices are clean.  If you wait until the day of or the day before you may run into an issue of clothes not fitting, being dirty or needing to be dry cleaned.

3. Coordinate your colors, don’t match

Long gone are the days of everyone wearing a white shirt and being matchy-matchy.  You don’t have to have everyone buy a white shirt and jeans.  Allow personalities to shine with colors and patterns!  Pick a couple of colors and choose clothes that will fit in this color scheme.

4. Say no to Characters

Yes, your little one may love their Toy Story shirt or Frozen dress but you may want to skip it for the family photo session.  Just like patterns, characters on shirts can be pretty distracting.  And, like too many patterns, can make your photos look too busy.

5. Avoid all black or all white clothing

As I mentioned earlier, it’s much better to do coordinating colors than all white.  Another reason to avoid white is because it is very easy to blow out your shirt and lose some of the detail.  What I mean by blowing out is the shirt no longer has any of the details, it will be shown as completely white as if the sun is shining brightly on it.

Same can be said with all black, it’s easy to have clipping on black clothing and the detail is lost.  This is where the black clothes loose their depth and details.  Trust me, you don’t want this and neither does your photographer!

6. Limit Distracting Patterns

Not everyone in the photo should wear patterns as it may distract from the final image.  I have to say I love a good neutral palate with coordinating colors and no patterns when photographing. But if you prefer a pattern consider picking ONE outfit for your family photos that has a mix of a couple colors or a pattern.  Choose that outfit first.  This gives you plenty of colors to choose from to pick your coordinating colors.

7. Textures are your friend

I am a huge fan of a cotton tees and dresses, we do want to be comfortable! However, in photographs, I like to add textures like a denim jacket for mom, a cute bow for little sis or belts for dad and brother to add a little more to the image.  Don’t shy away from different textures.  By adding different textures through the material of your family outfits or your accessories you are adding depth and interest to your photos.

8. Consider your background

Think about what your background will be, then consider what you are wearing and what would look good in that space.  For instance, what you would wear for a beach photo shoot probably wouldn’t be the same for what you’d wear to a colorful Fall park session or an In-Home Lifestyle Session.

9. Lay each family members outfit out together while planning

This will give you a good idea of how all of the outfits look next to each other while being photographed, what may work and what doesn’t.  And it will also let you see if any key pieces are missing.

10. Lastly, think classic

These photos will be hanging on your walls and treasured for years to come.  By choosing simple, classic clothes you will help give your images a timeless feel!

And just a quick note: We’re almost into August (!!) and heading into Fall, the most popular time to get family photos. The leaves are changing and the sun is softer. Plus, you may need a new family photo for your holiday cards! Something to consider when choosing Fall family picture outfits is the tones of the season. And I will do a follow up post for what to wear for your Fall family photoshoot to give you more specific Fall outfit ideas 🙂


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