What to wear to your family photo session

So you have found your photographer (hopefully me…. hee hee), decided on a location, secured the date, and as it comes closer you realise that you have no idea what you and your family are going to wear. Don’t worry – I have you covered with what to wear to your family photo session.

Gorgeous family in fall colours

The main thing to remember is that you have to be comfortable! And these are only ideas – your personality should shine through!

General Tips

  • No bright colours, go with muted tones, these are more likely to complement each other and keep the focus on your family and their connection.
  • Don’t have outfits matching, but complementing. So don’t have everyone in the same shirt, instead mix up patterns and textures.
  • Light coloured solids are universally flattering, so this is an easy go to suggestion for outfits.
  • When building outfits for the whole family don’t have everyone in patterns, if you want to include a pattern have one person (maybe Mum) and then pull colours from that pattern into the other outfits. 
  • Lay out outfits before the day, so you can check that they do actually match, and remember the shoes! These can make or break an outfit!
  • Let your kids have a say in what they are wearing, if they don’t like dresses don’t make them wear it – happy kids lead to happy photos! 
  • Plan for the weather, ideally layers so they can be taken off if required. 
Beautiful family in home


Start with a neutral colour for all family outfits – cream, grey, navy etc. Then add a few colours for example

  • Navy, grey, cream, yellow
  • Cream, maroon, navy, grey
  • Black, white, denim, green
  • Creamy white, pink, navy
  • Even if it is photos for your holiday cards don’t choose ‘holiday’ colours, let your card design include the colours of the season, so you can enjoy the photos year round.
Colors to wear to photo sessions

For more ideas on color please visit my pinterest board https://pin.it/51rXoPr

Beautiful color palette family at river what to wear

Texture and layers

  • Include texture when you can (I know that we live in Texas so the temp can be an issue!) But texture can add depth.
  • Layers are also great, include denim, scarves, cardigans, belts, jewellery (maybe stay away from big necklaces – these can move when we are playing with the kids, earrings are a better choice to dress up an outfit).
family in trees

Yes to…

  • Comfort
  • Texture
  • Patters (large)
  • Properly fitting clothing – complements your shape – we don’t want it to be too baggy or too tight.
  • Women should have balanced outfits – so blousy shirt and tight pants, or tight shirt and flowing skirt. 
  • Maxi-dresses
  • Go for classic styles

No to…

  • Plaids and stripes
  • Athletic shoes (Converse and Vans are fine)
  • Logos and text
  • Very saturated colours – go for more muted tones
  • Make sure clothes don’t match surrounding colours – think about the greens / oranges in trees etc. 
  • Neon
  • Bright White – try cream instead
family photo shoot at river

It is important to know what you are going to wear to your family photo session, but the main thing is to be comfortable. When you are comfortable you are confident! And that shows in photos! This goes for children and other halves too – if everyone is happy with what they are wearing they are more likely to be happy in the photographs, and it will let their true personalities shine through.

Would love to hear about any ideas you have, and if you would like to book a session with me please get in touch http://www.clairethomphotography.com/contact

And I know that COVID is still a real worry, so please have a look at my tips for scheduling a session during this time. https://clairethomphotography.com/5-tips-for-booking-your-post-covid-19-photography-session/

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