This is often one of the first questions I get from clients who are looking for a family photo session, so I want to share a few easy guidelines with you on what to wear for family photos.
My guidance here is relatively simple – I am not very prescriptive when it comes to wardrobe because there are your photos and should reflect who you are.
How to decide what to wear for family photos
Here are some tips to keep in mind:
Each person should wear something comfortable that reflects their personality. This will help ensure that you are as relaxed as possible, and can feel like yourself. What this means in practice is – if you don’t typically wear a dress, or a button down shirt and would not feel at ease in one, don’t feel like you need to for photos.
Outfits should be unique. Aim to coordinate with the people who will be in the photos with you, not to match. Here are some examples of colors that work well together: navy/tan/white, light pink/blue/white, orange/blue/cream, mustard yellow/blue, coral/navy/white, light pink/tan/cream. Patterns like stripes or plaid are great too.
Shoes. For outdoor sessions, you and your family should wear shoes that are well fitting and that you can stand and walk in for an hour. You will be standing for a good bit of the session, and we will need to walk around to get to different parts of the location.
Fit. Since kids seemingly grow at light speed, it is not unusual for their clothing to end up being too small or big. For photos, you’ll want to double check close to your session date to make sure their clothing fits properly, as anything too big or small will be a distraction for you in viewing your final photos and uncomfortable at the session. This goes for adults too – double check close to your session to ensure your outfit is the correct size and feels comfortable.
What to avoid when planning outfits for family photos
Here’s what to avoid. Skip neon colors, they can cast back on to your skin or others around you. Also avoid anything with logos or graphics as that will be distracting when you look at your photos.
Lots of Accessories. An accessory or two can add really nice layers and textures to your photos. Jewelry, watches, even a hat or scarf etc. are fine if that fits your look.
What about the weather?
Weather. If you are in the Washington, DC area like me, you know that we have a variety of weather. Very hot, very cold, and everything in between. You will of course keep this in mind as you are planning, but also think about those in between days (or even moments) that can happen during the course of a session. If it is leaning cool or windy, consider incorporating a cardigan, blazer, or light jacket into each person’s outfit. If it is leaning hot and humid, think about how you can use light breathable layers. You can also always remove layers during a session if needed.
I hope this helps! You can also take a look at my portfolio to see clothing my clients have selected for their sessions. Still have questions? Send me a note: email@example.com or via my contact page.