What to wear to your family photo session | Happy Valley, OR photographer

Today, we’re looking at what to wear to your family photo session. [If you’re looking for what to wear to your newborn lifestyle session, you can follow a lot of these same ideas, but I’m going to have a separate post for you soon!] I know it’s hard to setup family photos — you have to check everyone schedules, think about naptimes and eating times, and then you’re left with the seemingly daunting task of figuring out what everyone is going to wear!

Blues and pinks for everyone!

Never fear! It’s a lot simpler than it seems and I’m going to break it down by steps.

Step 1: Choose the outfit for the person who’s hardest to choose clothes for. When I say “outfit”, we’re really only looking at shirt/pants/skirt/dress right now. We will look at accessories all together in a little bit! If you have a kiddo who’s extra lanky or super tiny or a husband who only insists on wearing his favorite blue shirt, choose the outfit for that person first! Make sure they look (and feel!) good and then choose all of the other outfits based on that person. If you can, try and avoid neon colors and bold patterns (like rugby shirts or bold checkerboard patterns), and also avoid logos of any kind (Nike, Adidas, sports team names and logos, etc.) unless you’re incorporating your favorite team for a reason. 🙂

I love how the daughter’s pants and her brother’s shirt are the same color — even mom’s necklace matches! 🙂

Step 2: Based off the first outfit, choose clothes for the other members of your family. It’s helpful to base most of your colors off of what “goes” together and not putting everyone in the same color.

What in the world does this mean? Here is an examples of color palettes I found on Pinterest (now you don’t have to go through the vortex of Pinterest… you’re welcome!):

The ultimate color guide for selecting clothes for your session                                                                                                                                                                                 More

Let’s go back to our outfits. If the outfit you chose for Person #1 was denim pants and a grey button-down shirt, you have LOTS of options of other colors you could use to go with that! Find the palettes with the blue and grey and see what other colors you can use for the other members of your family. Don’t feel like you have to use all of the colors in a palette! NO ONE in my family looks good in yellow. So, we might incorporate it into shoes or some fun socks as an accessory, but not as a part of someone’s clothing. This leads nicely to…

Step 3: Choose your accessories (wisely)! Don’t try to do too much! You want the focus of your pictures to be on the people, not on the clothing. Also, be mindful of your kiddos. If your little man doesn’t like wearing ties, don’t make him wear one. If your daughter has never worn a necklace before, maybe don’t make this the first time. If your children are going to be distracted by or uncomfortable because of something you’re making them wear, skip it. It’s so much more important that they’re feeling good and happy for their session. So, what kind of accessories should you choose? A scarf can be nice if it doesn’t block the person’s face, a cardigan as a “pop” of color can work very well, and fun shoes are super cute. Dress socks, ties, and suspenders are all fun too. Keep in mind that you don’t *have* to incorporate lots of accessories. Often, less is more.

See how the mom’s necklace matches the color of her daughter’s dress? A nice “pop” of color! And, all three shades of blue tie everyone together.

Step 4: Shoes. Yep, shoes get a whole category. Think about the location where you’re taking your photos before choosing your footwear. If you’re going to be anyplace with dirt, skip the sandals. If it’s chilly outside, throw on some cute boots!

Step 5: Consider the weather. If you’re getting photos done in the fall here in Oregon, wear layers and think about jackets you could wear in your shoot. If it’s June, bust out those sundresses! Consider the weather with your kids, too. Know their preferences for weather-related clothing and try to work with it as best you can.

Blue, pink, white, and grey here! Not too many accessories, but the ones that are here totally work. Everyone’s even wearing the same color shoes. 🙂

Okay! I know that was a LOT of information to throw your way. But, I know that when I get family pictures done, the question of What To Wear is something I really have to ponder. So, now you’re seen my process and I hope it’s helped you think about how to approach this hopefully-now-not-so-daunting task!