What to Wear to Your Family Portrait Session

One of the most common questions clients ask once they book their family portrait session is, “What should we wear?” Dressing your family members for their photos can be a challenge, because you want everyone to look good together without matching completely. Not only that, you want your kids to be comfortable, or they’re sure to complain and lose patience. It’s a lot for parents to figure out!  You’re in luck--here are a few tips on dressing everyone in your family for your portraits. 


Avoid bright colors and obvious patterns

Even if you love to wear bright colors, they don’t look good on everyone, they’re incredibly hard to match, and they pull the eye away from the important part of the photo—your faces! To ensure your family is all dressed in the same color palette, stick with neutral colors that mesh well together. Neutrals offer a more timeless look and help you avoid the potential issue of bright colors clashing with one another and distracting from your faces. Large or bright patterns will have the same affect, and if one person is wearing patterns and others are not, that person will stand out.  And believe it or not, white has the same effect, unless your portrait is going to be at the beach.  I have found that various shades of blue work pretty well in this situation, but that is not cast in stone.


Play with layers

A great way to “stay neutral” and at the same time to spice up everyone’s outfits is by adding layers. This has the added benefit of allowing you to remove pieces for different looks without trying to get everyone changed. Go for jackets, cardigans, or even accessories like scarves and hats that can be easily taken on and off.


Try on your clothes ahead of time

Be sure to have everyone try on their outfits well before your family portrait session, especially if they’re new clothes. Make sure that everything looks good together and each style is suited to each member of your family. You can all wear different fits as long as it’s flattering to your body types. A fitted outfit looks much better than a loose one, as long as it’s still comfortable, which bring us to the next point>


Consider comfort and movement

Yes, you want everyone to look as good as possible, and you especially want your kids to look cute—but you definitely want them to be comfortable. If your kids hate wearing their outfits, they’re more likely to throw a fit or refuse to smile, and that’s the last thing you want! Keep it simple with a nice shirt and jeans or a comfortable dress—something that allows your child to move around easily, so they can play and have fun during your family portrait session.


Stay away from graphics and logos

It can sometimes be a challenge to talk your child out of their favorite shirt, but you want to stay away from graphic tees and other clothing with logos or brand names on them. Like patterns and bright colors, these designs distract from your smiling faces and take the focus in your photos away from you.


Make sure you’re comfortable, too

Don’t focus so much on your children’s comfort that you forget about your own! Ladies, if you choose to wear a dress or skirt, make sure it’s long enough so that you can move and pose comfortably. Try on your outfit beforehand as well and move around the house in it to make sure you have the full range of motion. Avoid itchy fabrics or anything that will be irritating throughout your session.


It takes a little planning, but you can choose outfits that make your whole family look amazing, ensuring you get photos you’ll love and cherish for years to come!


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