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A Style Guide for your Family Photo Session

Updated: Aug 11

You booked a family photo session and now you are wondering what to wear on the day?

In this blog post I am sharing some of the tips and outfit ideas that I give my clients to help you decide on the best looks for you and all your family!

Family photo sessions are without a doubt a wonderful opportunity to capture special moments and create lasting memories. To ensure that your family's personalities and connection translate in your photos, choosing the right outfits is essential.

First of all, it is really important that you dress according to your personality and when you look in the mirror, you (and your family members) feel comfortable and confident in what you are wearing. When everyone is comfortable, it's easier to relax and enjoy the session, resulting in more natural and genuine smiles and interactions.

Family of mother, father and young daughter walking at a park

1. Coordinate colours

Choosing a coordinated colour palette to achieve a visually cohesive look is a good idea, you can have your children matching if you would like but avoid having all your family matching. Pick one or two main colours and build outfits around them. For example, you can pick blue and navy, and mix and match with neutrals like beige, tan, camel, brown and ivory or white.

A mother kissing her young son

2. Colours to wear and not to wear

Dark colours like black, navy, purple and brown can help achieving a flawless look as they create a slimming illusion. Avoid wearing red, bright pink, bright green and bright colours in general as they stand out and take the attention away from the expressions and interactions. For a fresh look, white, cream, beige, pale yellow, pale green and light blue work well and pair nicely with jeans and denim jackets.

A girl playing with sand on the beach

3. Be careful with prints and patterns

Floral and stripes can work but sometimes can be a bit distracting. Solids are always a good option. Try and avoid family members wearing different kind of patterns, for example if one person is wearing floral or stripes, it would be a good idea to have the others in solids. Logos are a big distraction, I recommend avoiding them.

A formal family portrait at a park

4. Dress appropriately for the location and occasion

Consider the location and occasion of your photo session when selecting your outfits. If you're having a beach or park session, go for casual or smart casual. If it is a special occasion like a first communion, confirmation or wedding anniversary, formal outfits might be more appropriate. For a maternity photo session choose an outfit that emphasises your baby bump. For an in home session, I usually advise my clients to dress like if they were expecting friends or their mother in law to visit or sometimes loungewear or even pyjamas work at home too if you are looking for a cozy intimate setting. Aligning your outfits with the location and occasion helps create a visually pleasing composition.

A girl with curly hair waring a winter hat

5. Consider the Season

Dressing appropriately for the season is crucial. In warmer months, choose lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton or linen and complement the look with accessories like necklaces, hats and hairbands. In colder months, be sure to wrap up warm, layering is essential, if you are feeling cold and uncomfortable that will reflect in your photos. Again coordinating your outfit with accessories like scarves, gloves and hats will create a cozy and stylish look. Avoid scratchy fabrics or clothing that restricts movement.

A couple looking at each other and a toddler girl playing in the background

6. Keep It Timeless

While it can be tempting for some to follow the latest trends, I would recommend going for timeless and classic pieces. The idea is to have photos that look timeless, that you will love to look back on in 10, 20, 30 years.

A family of two parents and two small children sitting on a bench at park

7. Hair & make up

Keep hair styles simple and ideally off the face. If you are wearing your hair down, bring a bobbin with you so you can make a pony tail or bun if it's windy on the day and your hair keeps getting on your face.

Your everyday make up is perfectly fine for your family photo session but if you would like to get your make up done professionally done, I can recommend a few make up artists that would be happy to come to your home and look after you.

A little girl hugging a teddy bear at a park

8. Dressing your children

While baby dresses are really cute, it is very hard to keep them in place specially when you give the baby to another family members to hold for a photo. Rompers and dungarees are great. Dresses are perfect for toddler and older girls and dungarees are cute for boys. Having the baby's and children's bare feet can be a good idea so we can get cute little toes in the photos instead of socks or shoe soles.

Also feel free to bring your little one's favourite teddy or toy so we can include it in some photos.

If you are a mother of a teenager, let them express their style whatever way they prefer.

Before the day of your photo session

Make sure everyone tries on their outfits and ensures they fit well. Check for any wrinkles, loose threads, or stains that need attention. Doing a test run helps avoid any last-minute wardrobe malfunctions or surprises.

A well-planned and coordinated wardrobe can really help achieve a visually pleasing representation of your family. Remember to coordinate colours, dress for the location and season, and prioritise comfort. With some planning and attention to detail, you will help your photographer can create a beautiful collection of family photos that will be treasured for generations to come.

If you're looking for a professional family photographer in Ireland, get in touch, I would love to tell you more about my sessions.

Have a lovely day,


A female photographer holding a camera

Camila Lee is an Award Winning Family Photographer serving Dublin, Meath, Louth, Kildare and Wicklow

Check out my website

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