What to Wear for Family Photos

What to Wear for Family Photos

By Mary Christine Photography

Ah, the age old question with family photos, what to wear!  Styling can make or break your family photos, but do not stress, I am here to help!

Let’s start out with a few things to consider: your personal style, location, and home decor.  

If the location is very green (let’s say in a field or woods), you would want to avoid wearing green.  If the location is urban, a more modern look would do.

The goal of the session is to hang the portraits on the wall, so we should also consider what the colors are in your home.  For example, if you have a lot of neutrals, red may not fit in with your home decor.  If you have accent colors (pillows or a table), that may be a great pallet to start with!  Our home has a lot of grey tones and white, so we tend to stick with neutrals for our family portraits.

Let’s get shopping or not!

Before you head out to the mall or start looking online for a whole new wardrobe, start with pieces you already own and love!  Chances are, they can be used for your wardrobe. You can always add new accessories to a new look.

The goal is a well coordinated look, not matching.  I highly recommend avoiding busy patterns, stripes, and logos.  Keep comfort in mind as well!

If you do buy something new, be sure to keep the tags on until the day of your session.  That way if you change your mind, you can easily return it.

Always, always start with mom’s outfit first!

Choose a base outfit that you love and feel great in! Keep in mind bare arms or legs will draw attention in photos.  Love yours?  Show them off!  Dresses can look great for casual and more formal photos!  If wearing pants, pair with a blouse or a sweater.  A necklace is always a great accessory!

Don’t forget to wear a great lipstick on the day of your session!  Avoid a nude color, trendy, or super dark color.  If your lips pop a little, it will add definition to your face.

This is the hardest part, so rest easy, dear friend, it only gets easier from here!

Next, let’s dress your daughter(s).

Dresses and skirts are always a great choice for your girls.  If going with pants, sweaters and blouses work well as well.  

Shoes are also very important, I recommend staying away from tennis shoes unless they are a perfect match.  Not sure?  Feel free to ask me! 

Let’s dress the little man in your life!

Depending on the season and the look for your session, grab some shorts or pants (plaid is great unless there is a pattern in your or daughter’s outfit) and a shirt that compliments the colors in the girls outfits.

A button up shirt, vest, a little bowtie, or even a hat can be a stylish addition.  A nice pair of shoes always make for some darn cute photos!

Plan for haircuts for 1-2 weeks before the session so it has a chance to grow in a little naturally! 


This is where we pull the look together, but be sure to ask for his input on the outfit.  After all, getting dad on board for the session is often the hardest part.  We want him to feel confident and polished.

Start with his favorite pants (jeans are fine!) and add a button up shirt, polo shirt, or a great v neck.  Roll up the sleeves of a button up shirt for a more casual look.  Blazers are a great option in cooler weather.  Be sure his shirt compliments all the other outfits and you will be good to go!

Just like with the boys, be sure to get the hair cut 1-2 weeks before the session.

Let’s put it all together.

Layout all the outfits together.  Even better, lay them out in the room where you are going to display the images.  Have everyone try on their outfits at least a week before your family photos to make sure it fits properly and they are comfortable.

Once you have settled on it, hang them all together with undergarments in your closet and wait for picture day!  

That’s it!  You made it.   Not so bad right?

 Looking for visual inspiration? See my Pinterest boards.  I’m also happy to help, so don’t hesitate to contact mefamily photos

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