One of the number one questions I get asked by my clients is “What do we wear?”.  This is a very valid question considering the investment you are making into your session and because you want great pictures to share with family, friends, and to hang in your home.  So here are my top 7 tips for what to wear to your family photo shoot.

Dress It Up or Dress It Down

You will never be upset with your photos if you dress it up.  Go for it! These are memories that you will cherish and you have made an investment in this photo session.  If you have a willing family then totally go for it and dress to the nines.  You will not ever regret it.  

If you are a more casual family then do a dressy casual look.  Dark jeans with fantastic sweaters make for a great look for the casual family that wants great family photos.  

Coordinate Outfits

Making sure to coordinate outfits is imperative to great family photos.  Now let’s get something straight, I am not talking about matchy-matchy.  Do not show up to your family photo shoot with everyone wearing the same black and red flannel shirt and jeans, or everyone in a white shirt and jeans.  These will not make for great photos because you will not be paying attention to you and your family when you look at the photos, but the outfits.  

So what does coordinate mean?  It means making sure your family is in complementary colors.  Pick 2 to 3 colors that blend well together for the family to wear.  If you need ideas, you can head over to my Family Photography Outfits board on Pinterest.

Avoid Neon Colors and Loud Patterns

Nothing stands out in a photo more than a neon color. Anyone who views your photos will be pulled directly to the neon color. It is the same for loud patterns. If Dad shows up to the session in a Hawaiian shirt, that is the first thing a viewer of the photo will look at. We want people to see you and your beautiful family in the photos, not your outfits. 


Great accessories can really add to an outfit and change the feel of your photos. A great statement necklace for her, scarf for the kids, or a pocket square for him. These details add layering to both your outfits and your photos.

Well Fitting Clothes

Making sure that the clothes you choose for both yourself and your family fit well is essential. When you are wearing well fitting clothes you not only look better but will feel better. 

This is especially important for the littles in the family. I know we tend to try and purchase clothing that is big enough to last long for growing kids. Your photos will look better if the clothing your children wear fit well. Again this is an investment in memories that will last a lifetime and I want you to love your photos!

Don’t Forget About Your Shoes

Make sure your footwear selection matches your outfits.  There will be full body shots that include your feet and you don’t want your footwear choice to clash with your outfits.  If you are worried about walking in the environment bring a comfortable pair of shoes to walk to the location in and then switch them out.  We have got time and I want your photos to be spectacular down to your feet.

What to Avoid

Avoid choosing clothing that has logos, characters, or words on them.  As humans we are programmed to look for alpha-numberic characters or logos that we have become accustomed to seeing.  As a result of that, when we look at photos, our eyes are immediately drawn to these recognizable symbols.  I want you and those you share your photos with to look at your and your beautiful families faces, not to be distracted by symbols on your clothing.  

Finally I want to remind you to have fun during your photo shoot.  If you follow the tips above you can relax during your session and just have a blast making memories with your family.  If you are ready to book a session with me please head over to my booking page!  I can’t wait to meet you and your family!

If you want to see some excellent styling choices for an extended family session head on over to Delanie Potts site and see what this Melbourne Family Photographer did with this beautiful family.

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