What To Wear for Family Photos – Styling and Clothing Tips


Deciding what to wear in family photos can feel overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time planning for one. But don’t worry! Below are helpful tips to help you pick out the perfect wardrobe for you and your family. The main thing to remember: Be Comfortable. Be Timeless. Be Yourself.

Coordinate colors instead of matching

Start with a basic color palette of two to three colors. It helps to have a central outfit with a pattern that the rest of the family’s clothing can pull from. Think of this “Star Outfit” as setting the tone for the overall wardrobe.

Don’t be afraid to mix a couple patterns! Just make sure the patterns aren’t so busy that they become distracting in the photo.

Think about your location

Make sure your wardrobe complements your surroundings. For example, stay away from wearing too much green when having photos taken in parks/grassy areas. You want to stand out from the background!

What will the images be used for?

This can help you decide your wardrobe theme. If you’re taking photos for holiday cards, you may lean toward more festive, winter clothing. If your goal is to print a nice canvas to hang in your living room, find inspiration from your home decor and color scheme.

Accessorize to add color and interest

Scarves, ribbons, belts, hats, jewelry, fun socks – these small details can make photos pop and also give you a chance to show off your family’s style and personality. Work in some textures, too – lace, ruffles, crochet, hand knit items, etc. Just remember that accessories should complement your outfit but not overwhelm the subject of the photos – you.

Layer clothing to create different “looks” for your outfit

Like accessories, layers add dimension and visual interest. Having a few layers in your outfit gives you flexibility in changing up your look during the session. Layers also give you something to interact with if you’re unsure what to do with your hands. Tipping your hat or wrapping a scarf around your loved one are small gestures that help you get comfortable in front of the camera.

Avoid wearing logos, all black, or all white clothing

Logos or other graphics can be distracting and can take away from a classic, timeless look in your photos. It’s also easy to lose detail in all black or all white clothing.

Shoes matter

Shoes can make or break an outfit and affect the overall cohesiveness of the family’s wardrobe. I recommend boots, sandals, heels, Sperrys, Converse, etc. over sneakers, character shoes, and flip flops. Barefoot is also a cute option, especially for babies and toddlers.

Get comfortable and move freely

If you’re not comfortable in what you’re wearing, it will show in the photos. Wear clothes you feel good in and that allow you to move freely. This is especially important for little kids who are more likely to enjoy running/jumping/dancing than posing. Some of the best photos are candid ones of the family just playing around.

When in doubt, simple and classic is best

Choose an outfit that stands the test of time. You want to look back at these photos years from now and appreciate how lovely and happy everyone is, not how dated some wardrobe choices look. Simple, classic clothes will always give your images a timeless feel.