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  • Writer's pictureMarsha Combs

What to Wear for Your Family Photos

This is probably one of the most common questions I see when families book a photo session. It’s understandable. You’re likely investing a fair amount of money into your session, so you want to look your best. Well, read on to get my best advice for how to dress for your family session.

First and foremost, be yourself! I recommend staying true to your style and not getting too hung up on what’s trendy. You’ll have these photos forever, so when you look back at them, you want to see your family as you were at that time. If your family is known for staying up on the latest trend, then sticking with what’s trendy is great! But if not, then don’t stray too far from how you would normally dress. Your clothing should make you feel comfortable and confident.

That being said, I know it can be overwhelming to plan your entire family’s outfits, so here I offer some general rules to help you coordinate everyone’s clothing.

Coordinate - I find it best to coordinate with one another rather than wearing completely matching tops or bottoms. I suggest choosing one person’s outfit, then choosing everyone else’s outfits using colors and/or patterns that compliment the primary outfit. When doing this, think of it in terms of tones (i.e. earth tones, pastels, neutrals, or blue tones).

Solids – Solid colors tend to work best as they’re less distracting. However, one or two outfits with pattern can be great. I do suggest staying away from anything that is too busy though.

Location – Consider the location of your session. If the photos will be taken in a more urban setting, anything from casual to formal clothing options can work, however if your photos will be taken in a field, somewhat dressy is great, but I wouldn’t suggest dressing too formal.

Season – Dress for the season. Fall photos make for a great time to wear chunky sweaters and boots, and summer is a great time for sun dresses. Then again, Christmas photos call for warmer clothing. Think about the time of year you’re having photos taken and if they are for a specific occasion when choosing your outfits.

Accessories – Accessories can make a great addition to your outfits, if done well. Don’t over accessorize. A scarf or a fun hat and some smaller pieces of jewelry are all you really need to take your outfit to the next level. Too many accessories can draw your attention away from the main subject of the photos…YOU!

Layer – I suggest just taking one outfit to your session, as taking the time to change mid-session can take away from your session time. Instead, bring layers to add or take way from your outfits to create different looks. Think jackets, cardigans, or vests. Even scarves and hats can be added or taken away. Plus, layers add more visual interest and can give your outfit that extra pop.

Things to avoid:

Neon – Try to stay away from neon colors. They don’t photograph well, and they can be distracting.

Graphic Tees – Like neon, graphic t-shirts can be distracting and take focus away from your beautiful family.

Again, the most important things to consider when choosing clothing for your family photos, is that you are comfortable, confident, and that you feel like yourselves. As long as you stick to this, you will love your photos!

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