Tips for choosing family portrait outfits

There’s not a lot that you need to do to get ready for your family portrait session. For the most part, you just need to bring some happy, healthy family members to the location, and let the photographer (that’s us!) take it from there. We’ll do our best to make you comfortable, make the kids laugh and capture all the best moments.

However, one area you’ll have to come ready with is your outfits. Because it’s a special occasion, you’ll probably want to put a little thought into it and come dressed a little nicer than normal. After all, how often can you wrangle all the kids and get the smiling at one time?

As you look at your own closet (or maybe as you start to survey your kids’ or your spouse’s closets) you may be wondering — what to wear?! We’ve compiled a few tips for what to wear to your family portrait session.

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  • Compliment, don’t match
    You family’s clothing should go well together but not be exactly the same. Try to dress everyone in the same color scheme, but don’t all wear the exact same thing — you don’t want to look like a cult! We’ve seen great options where all the members wear jeans and some version of red-brown-orange-white combo for shirts, shoes and accessories. Sticking in the same color scheme will help make your family look put together, without looking creepy.
  • Stick with the same style
    Figure out what you want your family portrait to say. Are you an adventurous family who loves to go hiking? Great, don flannels, jeans, vests and beanies! Are you getting portraits done by your fireplace for holiday cards? Maybe nice dresses, slacks and ties would be better suited for you. Figure out what style you want your family portraits to have and then dress everyone in that style. It won’t look great to have one member in sweat pants and another in a ball gown!
  • Avoid logos, words and pictures
    These portraits are about your family, not an ad for the place where you bought that shirt. Avoid clothing with logos, words or pictures. Instead, go with solid colors and patterns that don’t distract from your face. Speaking of patterns…
  • Avoid clashing patterns
    If one member is wearing plaid, don’t let another member wear polka dots. Instead, find patterns that compliment each other, or avoid loud patterns altogether.
  • Be comfortable!
    Above all else, make sure everyone is comfortable in whatever they wear! One of our favorite techniques is to let the kids pick out their own clothes. Maybe you give them three options and they get to chose their favorite shirt (or maybe THEY give YOU some options — we’ve seen it work both ways!) This way, kids will feel involved in the process, and they’ll be sure to have more fun!

Are you ready to book your family portrait session? Let us know!

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