What to Wear for Family Portraits

The question clients always ask after they book a family session is what they should wear on their day. Coordinating your outfits can be an overwhelming task, but, this quick list will help you plan accordingly. When thinking about your familes outfit, always keep in mind the location of the shoot, and what your goal is. For instance: a warm, burgundy, color palette with sweaters would look off on a beach.

Most importantly, if you’re stuck…. text me for help!

I love helping my clients choose their outfits. Just text or email me photos of different possibilities and we can put the pieces together.

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Start with one person.

It’s easier to visualize the whole idea when you start with one piece. I suggest starting with “Mom’s” outfit, or, any girl outfit since they typically have more print options.

Complement, don’t match.

I know, when you think of family portraits, you think of white shirts and khakis… While that is still a beautiful beach look, nowadays, you want colors that generally complement one another. Soft colors (light blue, gray, blush) or warm colors (brown, orange, burgundy) are a good way to start. I like to use the soft color palette while on the beach and the more warm colors for fall shoots.

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Stick to one outfit.

Family portraits are already a symphony of moving parts: don’t add any complication by changing the outfits. It will only make for grumpy kids and even grumpier adults.

Plan for the weather.

Nothing is worse than being miserably uncomfortable in a perfect outfit. If you’re planning an outdoor session in the late fall or winter, consider scarves, hats and gloves as an additional accessory for the day.

Consider layers.

You can incorporate multiple colors and looks through layering. If you’re wearing a dress, consider bringing a kimono and belt: both can be removed for a different look. For boys, consider layering button downs with sweaters. Layering not only allows for the incorporation of colors but it also allows for different looks on the day.

While this may all seem self explanatory, below are some more tips and tricks to making sure you’re wearing the perfect outfit for your Family Portraits.

For the Moms:

Say yes to:

maxi dresses, fitted tops tucked into long skirts, a-line dresses/coats, skinny jeans, cardigans, blazers, scarves, ankle boots,  riding boots, fitted tunics, rompers

Say no to:

strapless, sleeveless (unless you love your arms), low-cut shirts, baggy clothes, chunky knits, boxy shirts.

For the Dads:

Say yes to:

blazers, chino pants/shorts, button-downs with sleeves rolled up to elbows, sweaters layered over collared shirts, dark wash jeans, leather shoes/boots, cardigans.

Say no to:

short-sleeved polos, short-sleeved button-downs, baggy shorts/pants, athletic shoes, cargo shorts, white t-shirts, white dad shoes.

For Kids:

Everything listed for Mom and Dad, plus, accessories. For girls, add headbands and bows, and, make sure any dress they wear has shorts underneath. For boys, add bow ties, suspenders, or a cute hat. Avoid tank tops, neon clothing, anything with quotes, saying, or characters.