What to Wear for a Family Session

Family Session Outfit… gasp, what?

Oh man…. I get it… I really do. I am generally that girl in my closet trying on a million different things before finally settling on one of my go-to outfits before exiting my house (usually a pair of jeans, t-shirt, flannel and jean jacket [90s grunge kid at heart, I can’t help it]). There is ALWAYS the big question…. the looming pressure…. WHAT TO WEAR?!

Getting yourself dressed is hard enough but then trying to coordinate outfits for the entire family? UGH….. I know. Let me give you a few ideas of what NOT to do…. and then I’ll give you a simple TO-do 😉

***disclaimer: There are photographers out there that maybe wouldn’t agree with me on a few of these and that is totally fine. There are photographers that don’t care what you wear (I pretty much don’t care, but I am happy to give you ideas). There are others who will have clothes available for you to wear or will style your entire family (I do not). For the families I work with and my vision for your family photos these are my suggestions****


All wear white…. or all black…. or all matching flannel ( I know I said I love flannel…. but not that much)…. or matching…. ANYTHING! Do you all wear the same outfit at the same time…. EVER? NO! Well, I don’t think you do. So why would you do that for family photos? Why would you want that hanging in your house or up on a mantel? I’ll confess… one of my favorite photos of my family from when I was a kid is all of us in these horrible blue and red striped shirts… yes, all six of us… but that  was the 90’s guys… times are a changin’ and I’m in the business of capturing you as a family… as you are… like truly are… not all matchy matchy. Besides if you do all wear the same thing you look like a bunch of floating heads in one giant shirt… its weird.


Wear the fanciest clothes you own. Why would you be wearing a cocktail/prom dress in the woods? Unless you are eloping on a mountain side or on the beach (which is amazing and if you want to do that I will happily capture you) it feels out of place. Do I want you to feel amazing? ABSOLUTELY! I want you to feel gorgeous AND comfortable. Wear something nice, yes, but wear something that is YOU! Also, because we tend to get playful while shooting you may end up laying on the ground or chasing your children. Comfortable, nice and You. It will look amazing because you feel amazing. You get the point?


Coordinate. Ok, Ok….. I said no matchy matchy…. but coordinate, YES. We don’t want to have clashing colors. There are ways to look like you go together without matching. My usual suggestion is for mom to pick something that she really loves like a dress or a blouse (we all want mom to look amazing, so start with her). Then have coordinating colors based off mom’s outfit. I love when moms choose to wear a gorgeous patterned dress or blouse and then the kids and husband all mesh well.


Wear COLOR!!! If you haven’t noticed my love for color yet, you haven’t been paying attention. I LOVE color and the best way to incorporate color into your session is for you to be wearing color! Bold colors are great, bright colors are fun but remember that neon can cause weird reflections (color casting) on your skin. Its also fun to bring colorful blankets to sessions as well. I have some that I usually bring with me but if you have one that you cherish bring it along!

I think that is enough for now. I will probably have to write a part 2 someday but for now, this is a good start. If you are booking a session with me and you ever want help with outfits I am happy to guide you in your decisions but I don’t style your sessions for you. No need to go out and spend a bunch of money. Look in your closet, find your favorite things and run with it.

Ready to book your family session with me?

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