What to Wear to Your Family Photo Session

Planning what to wear to your family photo session can be so stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! I’ll admit that I’ve shopped for outfits for my family the night before a session. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do. BUT. Knowing where to start with your outfits can help make the process infinitely easier, whether you’re doing it the night before or weeks in advance. Here are my top tips for pulling your family’s outfit together:

Start With a Single Item

Do you have a favorite piece that you want your baby to wear? Do you look BANGIN’ in a new dress that you got? Start with that item. If it has a pattern, you can pull colors from that for the rest of the family. Finding items to match one piece that you love is an easy and efficient way to start putting outfits together!

Coordinate, Don’t Match

Does it work to have kids in matching outfits sometimes? Sure. But in general, the days of everyone in jeans and a white button-down shirt are long gone. It can also be tough to match exact shades of colors when you’re gathering outfits for everyone in the family, so mix and match tones and colors to come up with a group of outfits that coordinate, but don’t match. In addition, try to be mindful of coordinating patterns as well as colors. Try a large and a small pattern instead of two small or two large patterns. I guarantee finding coordinating clothing will make finding outfits for everyone easy and fun.

Choose Your Outfit First

There are going to be exceptions to this rule, but in general, I always start with my own outfit. And don’t just find something that you think is “fine.” Find something that you LOVE. Seriously. If you love what you’re wearing, your whole attitude changes. While I would love to say that we all should love every part of our bodies, the truth is that most of us have something we don’t exactly what emphasized in photos. And that’s totally ok! Find an outfit that highlights your most favorite parts and deemphasizes anything you want to hide. Focus on your favorite parts of yourself. Have a rockin’ booty? Find a pair of jeans that highlights it. Have the best arms on the block? Find a top with tight sleeves (or no sleeves). Whatever you wear, make sure it screams you.

Don’t Be Afraid to Mix Patterns and Textures

Remember what I said earlier about being careful about mixing patterns? That still applies. You don’t want to have several people in your family wearing large patterns that are different from one another. But one large pattern and one small pattern? Beautiful. A few patterns and a solid? Gorgeous. Jeans and dresses and cotton and velvet and linen? Go for it! By mixing materials and textures and patterns, you’re sure to come up with a unique and cohesive look that is sure to impress your photographer. Additionally, you’re able to have multiple family members wearing the same color while looking a little different at the same time.

There is not one way to create a set of outfits for your family photo session. The possibilities are truly endless. But no matter what you decide to wear, have FUN with it and use your clothing to show off your personalities and joy!

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Hi, I'm  Kathleen.

As a wedding and family photographer with over a decade of experience, I bring my signature timeless, documentary style and classic, soulful aesthetic to modern love stories for couples and families from around the world. 

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