What to wear to Family Photo Session

Updated: Apr 27

General Wardrobe advice

Want an easy option?

Put almost everyone in different neutral shades (i.e. cream, grey, tan, sage etc.) and then add a few pops of a coordinating color or two.

See the neutrals in this shot, and then the awesome pop of orange on the little girl's dress!

Start with one family member.

It’s way easier to visualize the whole picture once you know what one piece looks like! Try starting with mommy or daughter, since women’s clothing tends to sport more colors prints, and textures.

Compliment the colors, but DO NOT MATCH.

Thankfully, the day of all white shirts and khaki pants is a thing of the past! We want colors that generally complement each other: so for instance, soft colors (light blue, gray, blush) or warm colors (brown, orange, burgundy), If you want colorful images, then you should choose a more vivid color scheme for your outfits!

In general, solids work best.

Pops of pattern can definitely look great, but if you’re looking for a fail-proof family combination, go with solids. To keep things from looking boring, include textures (think chunky knits, tulle, lace, etc). Avoid tiny prints, especially small plaid and small stripes.


If you’re planning to hang your images in your living room that’s decorated in all white and yellow, you probably don’t want your clothing to be burgundy and black. If you’re hanging them in a colorful nursery, then wear vivid outfits.

Dress for the weather.

Nothing is worse than being miserably uncomfortable in a perfect outfit. And I gaurantee, your toddlers will NOT be smiling in their shots if they are to hot or cold! If you’re planning an outdoor session in November, think about coats, gloves, and hats. If you don't like the coats you have, then double up on everyone's undershirts and leggings, a couple long sleeve t shirts under a cute dress go a long way in making your three year old happy in her shots! In the summer, dress in layers that you can easily take off if you get too hot, looser cotton clothing really works well for Summer sessions.


These are often the forgotten last element, but they can really make or break your outfits! If you can’t find shoes you love, consider going barefoot (just bring walking shoes to get from point A to point B). Steer away from athletic shoes and bright white sneakers.

Try everything on ahead of time!

Check your outfits from all possible angles in the mirror, not just the one you like best. Try sitting, squatting, leaning forward, etc. The kids’ clothes should work well in motion so that we can play during your session (think flying, tickling, and hanging upside down).

Let the kids have input.

If your daughter hates wearing dresses, don’t force her to wear one for picture day. If your son thinks that bowtie is uncomfortable, ditch it. Happy kids make for happy photos!



Above all, if you feel good, you will look good! Choose clothing that gives you freedom of movement, keeps you warm/cool, and won’t require a lot of maintenance throughout your session.


Add some visual interest to your images with unique fabrics. Some examples: lace, cable knits, chambray, tweed, herringbone, chambray, faux fur, wool (I love the awesome textures in the sweaters and hat this family chose for their photos!


Don’t be scared of patterns and prints! They can work great in moderation. Try one statement piece (for instance, a colorful floral dress for mom) and one subtle pattern (maybe polka dots for baby girl), and then keep the rest of the family more simple. Large prints and patterns work best – I recommend avoiding small plaid/stripes.


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