What to wear to your family session | CT Family Photographer

Deciding what to wear for your family photography session with CT Family Photographer-Elizabeth Frederick Photography may seem like the hardest part of the booking process. These photos are going to be hanging on your walls, passed on to your kids and sent to all your loved ones, so they need to be great. Well, I’m here to day to give you my top 10 tips so that task doesn’t seem as daunting. Remember these are not rules, only suggestions or guidance. At the end of the day they are your family photos, let those personalities shine through.


Coordinate, but don’t match! Nothing says outdated, or ordinary, as much as white shirts and khakis on the beach, or black tops with jeans in the woods. We really want to make your photos unique as you and your family are. But what colors should you wear? Start off with 2 colors that coordinate well with each other. Then add in softer tones of those colors to accent those colors completing your color scheme.

What to wear to your family session | CT Family Photographer

Consider your home decor. Since your photos will likely be hanging in your home for all to see, pick outfits and colors that will blend seamlessly in with your home’s decor.

Consider the season. Each season is associated with different colors, weather, and landscapes which will be an important item to consider when picking out what everyone will be wearing.

Consider the location. Select a color palette for your outfits that will complement the setting. Pick out items of clothing in colors that will complement your background and not compete with it.

Consider your personalities. Think about your family’s personality. If you like to get dressed up for formal events, pull out our favorite formal dress you thought you’d only wear once. If you are more down to earth casual, then maybe a flowy dress for mom would be best.


Consider Comfort. This is important for all members in your family, but especially kids. If a kid is uncomfortable in their clothes, it is going be reflected in your photos. Be sure all clothing matches the weather and fit properly to ensure there are lots of smiles to go around.

Limit Patterns Too many patterns can be distracting making it hard to know where your eye should go to. It’s best to stick with solid colors, but if you find a floral dress for one member of the family you are absolutely in love with, then pull colors from the dress for the rest of the family. Patterns can be very beautiful in an image, but too many will compete with each other.

What to wear | CT Family Photographer Elizabeth Frederick Photography

Add Accessories. Add texture & dimension to your photos with accessories. They can also be used to tie colors together. For example, the image below from Kate L Photography uses a scarf/poncho for mom with lots of colors, then the outfits of the family are pulled from the accessory, tying them all in together.

What to wear to your family session

(source: Kate L Photography)

Say No to logos or characters. They really add no value to the photo and can date the photo.

Avoid all black or all white, or even a mix. White is a very popular choice for family photography. Do be aware that your eye will go to the lightest area in a picture, so white jeans will draw the eye and might make you look larger than you are. Black can be a bit dark for family photography so blue or grey would be a better choice as it is softer. Certainly don’t dress half the family in black and half in white as that will create contrast problems in your images.

Don’t forget about shoes! Shoes are often forgotten, but very important part of an outfit. If you can’t find shoes you love, consider just going barefoot if the location, or weather, will allow for it.


Need some more inspiration. Check out my Pinterest board of family outfit inspiration HERE, or my Amazon Outfit Finds HERE

Looking to book a family session with CT Family Photographer Elizabeth Frederick Photography? Mini Sessions are updated frequently HERE







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