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What Should You Wear for Your Family Photo Shoot?

What Should You Wear for Your Family Photo Shoot?

Should you wear matching outfits to your family photo session?  Matching?  No.  Coordinated?  Nah.  Should you go and purchase a new wardrobe for your family photo session?  No.  Unless you are in the need for some new clothes!  Bottom line: stick to neutral colors around your face: navy blue, gray, creams, denim, soft pinks and greens.  A great teacher once told me a perfect rule of thumb: wear your most flattering color, but in a neutral tone.  And if pattern is your thing, go with it! 

One other thing of note: I recommend no one wears the same thing for your photo shoot.  You don't typically match in your day to day, so why try to match in your family portraits?

See how the colors below don't match, but compliment each other and everyone's skin tones?  Plus, these are super casual clothes that still look put together.  They are all from Old Navy, so you don't need to break the bank, either!

Casual and neutral coordinating outfits for a fall family photo shoot in Denver, Colorado.  All clothes are from Old Navy!

If you hate all of those neutral colors--use the colors you love to wear, but make sure the colors you wear are a bit more soft so that they don't distract from the main attraction: you! 

It's funny.  When I first started taking photography seriously, I thought I was a documentary photographer.  Nothing should be changed, moved, edited out, or directed from behind my camera.  As I've grown in my craft, I've realized, one: I'm not a pure documentary photographer, and two: people want to look their best even if we're creating images of their every day. 

This means finding clothes that you feel comfortable in that aren't loud and noisy.  Unless that is what you wear all the time and it truly represents who you are. 

The reality is: neutral colors with pattern truly make you and your family the stars of the show.  Your clothes should compliment you vs. compete for the attention in the frame.  And selfishly, editing photos of loud and crazy colors can be challenging.  Oh, I can handle it.  But I'd rather save some time in the post-production phase of your family photo session. 

The one exception I would make to this rule is if you have a let's say, "particular" toddler/child who feels very strongly about his or her wardrobe choices.  In that case, go with the flow.  I love it when little kids wear their personality on their sleeve :)  It makes for more authentic photos. 

Confused yet?  Am I speaking out of both sides of my mouth?  I guess.  But a little common sense goes a long way when it comes to choosing your outfits for your photo shoot.  You are investing your hard earned money in photos that will stay in your family for generations.  Don't you want to look your best?  This does not mean dressing up for your in-home family photo session.  You can be in yoga pants and a pullover!  I'm just saying maybe consider the colors of these pieces as a whole since you will all be together in many of the photos.  And also maybe make sure they aren't stained and ripped? :)

I recommend grabbing the clothes you plan to wear and lay them out on your bed, or a neutral surface and just see how they work. 

Colors I would absolutely avoid: flourescent anything and other bright colors (orange, red, green) that could give a color cast to your skin.  Also avoid shirts with characters, ornate designs, or writing that is too hard to read. 

The best advice I can give is: don't stress!  And also, since I typically shoot in your home, you can always change!  :)



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