6 Tips for What to Wear in Your Family Photos

What should we wear in our family photos? This is an extremely popular question for every professional portrait photographer! Here are some tips to consider.


1. Take a look at the Wall Colors in your home.

It might sound funny to think about your wall colors as you are selecting outfits for your portrait session. However, this is an important tip since the portraits will be hanging on the walls. Select a wardrobe color scheme that complements the colors in your home (more on that below). In this example, their outfits along with the session location background "POP" out against the neutral gray wall. 



2. Go for Classic Clothing Looks.


Trendy clothes are fun, but they will begin to look dated over time. Classic looking clothes will make your family portraits feel timeless. A mix of trendy and classic clothing pieces can work together with some planning. Avoid wearing big bold graphic clothing and garments that shine. Both can be very distracting in photos.




3. Choose Comfort!


Always choose comfortable clothing that fits your body and that you feel good wearing! Avoid pieces that are too big or too small that require constant adjustments. If you feel uncomfortable in your clothes, it will show in your facial expressions, posture...and in your portraits.




4. Coordinate Outfits.


The decision to color coordinate or match wardrobe colors always comes down to a personal style choice. The current trend in family photography is to color coordinate outfits. Either choice looks great in photos!


Select a color coordinating color pallet:


  • Neutrals; white, ivory, beige, khaki, taupe, gray, denim, navy blue or black, add pops of color....avoid wearing all white or all black clothing, large amounts of these colors sometimes look blown out or lack luster in photos.  
  • Colors; choose a complimentary mix of 1-2 colors + a neutral. Wear the colors of the season: 





pastel tones: bright tones: berry and jewel tones:
lighter shades of pink, yellow, lavender, green, blue etc. caribbean blue, turquoise, yellow, hot pink, coral, green etc. magenta, purple, mustard, cinnamon, royal blue, forest green, orange, red etc.


Clothing Color Chart


Pick the main color you want to wear and then use this chart as a guide for selecting 1-2 complimentary or tonal colors. Visit my blog post, Best Colors for Family Pictures for more details about choosing a color scheme for your outfits.




5. Wear Some Makeup.


Keep your make up fresh and natural. Lipstick and mascara will brighten your face and give you a polished look without overdoing it. If you have uneven skin tones, consider using tinted moisturizer, foundation, or blush to help smooth out skin tones and reduce redness. If you are prone to oily facial spots, consider applying a little powder before the session to reduce shine. If you are not comfortable wearing makeup - do not wear it.


You may consider limiting your sun exposure for a week before your session to help the reduce redness in your skin tone.




6. Accessorize! And...Don't forget about your feet.


Show off your personal style with accessories. A simple belt, scarf or a layering piece like a vest or cardigan sweater will elevate your outfit and add texture to the photo! Add some jewelry for extra pizzazz.


Your shoes will be showing in some of your portraits. Make sure that they are clean and in good camera-ready shape! 






When in doubt, lay it out! Gather all the outfits, accessories and shoes and lay them out on your bed. Take a picture with your phone so you can envision how they will look in your family portraits. This step will give you a chance to add, change or omit clothing items as you see fit!