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What to Wear for Your Family Photo Session

Updated: Nov 7, 2023


You've booked a family photo session and now you're wondering what to wear on the day.


In this blog post, I'm sharing some tips and outfit ideas that I give my clients to help you decide on the best looks for you and your entire family!


First of all, it's crucial that you dress according to your personality. When you look in the mirror, you and your family members should feel comfortable and confident in what you're wearing.


When everyone is comfortable, it's easier to relax and enjoy the photo session, resulting in more natural and genuine interactions and expressions.


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

1. Coordinate Your Colours


Choosing a coordinated colour palette to achieve a visually cohesive look is a great idea.


While you can have your children matching if you'd like, it's probably best to avoid having the entire family in matching outfits.


Instead, pick one or two main colours and build outfits around them. For example, you could choose blue and navy, then mix and match with neutrals like beige, tan, camel, brown, ivory and white.


A mother kissing her young son

2. Colours to Wear and to Avoid


Dark colours such as black, navy, purple, and brown can help create a slimming illusion.


It's best to avoid wearing red, bright pink, vivid green, and bright colours in general, as they tend to draw attention away from expressions and interactions.


On the other hand, white, cream, beige, light blue, and pale tones complement each other and can help create a delicate and airy look.


Earthy tones like warm and muted shades of brown, green, gray, and beige will bring a cozy feel to your images.


A girl playing with sand on the beach

3. Prints and Patterns


While florals can certainly work, they can sometimes be a bit distracting. If you're a fan of florals, you might want to consider ditsy florals with minimal contrast in colours.


Remember, horizontal stripes may give the illusion of a wider figure, whereas vertical stripes tend to create an elongating effect. Small stripes can create a dizzying pattern in the photos.


Opting for plain colours is always a safe choice!


For a harmonious look, you might have one family member wearing a print or pattern, while the others wear solid colours.


Logos and t-shirts with faces or text printed on them can be very distracting, 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 choosing your outfits.


For an outdoor photo session on a beach or park, opt for casual or smart-casual attire.


For special occasions like a christening, first communion, confirmation, or wedding anniversary, formal outfits may be more suitable.


If you're having a maternity photo session, choose an outfit that highlights your baby bump.


For an in-home photo session, I often recommend clients to dress as if they were expecting guests to visit.


Sometimes, even loungewear or pajamas can work perfectly at home, especially if you're aiming for a cozy and intimate setting.


By aligning your outfits with the location and occasion, we can create a visually pleasing composition that perfectly complements the moment.


A girl with curly hair waring a winter hat

5. Consider the Season


Dressing appropriately for the season is really important.


In warmer months, opt for lightweight and flowy fabrics and complement your look with accessories such as necklaces, hats, and hairbands.


In colder months, it's important to stay warm, so layering is essential. Feeling cold and uncomfortable will reflect in your photos. Coordinate your outfit with accessories like scarves, gloves, and hats for a cozy and stylish look.


Be sure to 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 to follow fashion trends sometimes, I would recommend opting for timeless and classic pieces.


The goal is to have photos that you will always love looking back, even 30 years from now.


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

7. Hair & Make Up


Keep hairstyles simple, and ideally, hair should be off your face.

If you plan to wear your hair down, consider bringing a hair bobbin or clip with you. This way, if it's windy on the day and your hair keeps getting in your face, you can easily put it up in a ponytail or bun.


Your everyday make up is perfect for your family photo session. However, if you'd like to have your makeup done professionally, I'd be happy to recommend a few make up artists who can come to your home and look after you.


A little girl hugging a teddy bear at a park

8. Dressing Your Children


Dresses work wonderfully for toddlers and older girls, while dungarees are a cute choice for boys.


While baby dresses are really adorable, they can be a bit tricky to keep in place, especially when passing the baby to other family members for a photo.

Rompers and dungarees are excellent alternatives.


Consider having the babies bare feet; this way, we can capture those precious little toes in the photos, rather than socks or shoe soles.


Feel free to bring along your little one's favourite teddy or toy, as we can incorporate it into some of the photos.


If you're the mother of a teenager, let them express their style in whichever way they feel comfortable.


Before the Day of Your Photo Session


Make sure everyone tries on their outfits and that they fit well. Check for any wrinkles, loose threads, or stains that need attention to avoid any last-minute wardrobe issues or surprises.


A well-planned and coordinated wardrobe can really help achieve a visually pleasing representation of your family!


If you're looking for a professional family photographer in Ireland, I would love to hear from you and tell you more about my photo sessions.


Wishing you a lovely day,


Camila



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 camilaleephotography.com

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