what to wear – family photography


For years now, I have been sharing wardrobe tips with clients and it just dawned on me recently that they would be the perfect thing to share on the blog.

When it comes to color, I try to steer my clients away from being to “matchy-matchy.”  It might seem easy to wear jeans and white shirts but, hopefully, these tips will inspire some great ideas for you.  The key is going for coordinated outfits that aren’t too uniform.  The best rule of thumb is to dress the whole family as though you were putting together one outfit.  That is to say, if all your choices were theoretically on just one person, would they look good both in pattern and color?   A great trick to pull this off is to start with one patterned piece of clothing, maybe a dress for your daughter, and then choose colors for the rest of the family that come from that pattern.  Works every time!

Speaking of color, you can’t go wrong sticking to primary colors. Touches of blue, red or yellow can make any ensemble pop and help you stand out from the background. A pair of red or yellow shoes, a statement necklance or pretty blue top can transform your outfits and give provide a modern feel.  If you’re not a huge fan of bright colors, deep jewel tones are another great way to go.  Think mustard yellow, a deep purple, turquoise, etc.


There are many traditional rules to wardrobe that are still very valid.  But, for the sake of more modern photos, I think there are some rules we can bend.  Many people think patterns should be avoided but I think they can look great if done right. Think graphic patterns… Nautical stripes, gingham, the occasional polka dot, some pretty lace and most plaids can look chic.  Loud, bold, super colorful patterns, not so much.

Things to avoid…  super baggy clothing, light denim, sneakers and logo shirts.   Also, try to avoid any clothing that may show visible bra straps, tags or semi-transparent clothing that could reveal undergarments.  Since I do the majority of my family photo sessions outdoors, I recommend steering clear of earthy colors like green and brown.  I want my families to stand out not blend in to the scenery.

the star of the show

If you’re planning on booking a photo session and letting the kids be the main focus of the photos versus the whole family, it can be a great opportunity to have fun with your kids’ wardrobe and really let their personalities shine.

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Why not bring along your sons favorite super hero cape or your daughter’s princess dress?  Since you don’t have to worry about patterns or colors clashing like you do with photos of the whole family, the possibilities are really endless.  Let your creativity run wild!

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For more inspiration, check out this Pinterest board I’ve curated: http://www.pinterest.com/111jenna/what-to-wear-families/

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