Family Sessions | 5 Tips on What to Wear

October 6, 2015

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I get this question A LOT! Especially around this time of year when family sessions are the most frequently booked because the holidays are approaching. It’s something I answer almost every pre-session consultation in email format or over the phone, so I decided to write my response and advice in blog form today. To be honest, it is one of my favorite questions because it means you really care about the look of your photo session. The question is, “Do you have any suggestions for outfit coordinating?” And the answer is always, Yessss!

When I first started my career as a photographer, one of the things I wasn’t very good at was communicating everything the client needed to know for their session. I think that lack of communication was apparent in how stressful the shoot was, either for me or the client. When I started to communicate as much as possible, I noticed sessions got easier and easier for me AND the families enjoyed the whole experience way better. Part of that communication is helping my clients feel confident in their outfit choices.

I really can’t believe that I’ve waited this long to write a post on this topic. I have been answering this question for YEARS and my families have consistently showed up with amazing outfit coordination.

If you haven’t read my “7 Tips on How to Prepare for Family Shoot” from last year, you should read that too. After reading both, you can confidently go to your shoot and have a blast while focusing on the connections and love within your family and not worrying about the details.

Here are my top 5 tips on how to coordinate your outfits for your family shoot.

  1. Pick 2 -3 main colors that compliment each other. This may seem overwhelming, but remember coordinating is better than being “matchy matchy.” When you pick a color palette, don’t be afraid to choose different colors in the same family. For example, a Burgundy and blush pink. Also, neutrals are a great way to add  a color into almost any color palette. I recommend using a neutral to complete the coordinating looks.


delaware family photographer

2. Do not be afraid to have more than one pattern. Wearing all solids for a family of four or more is probably too much solid. I find that one or two complimenting patterns mixed in make the outfits look more natural and the photos more warm and relaxed.



3. Accessorize – Belts, scarves, shoes, and jewelry. All these things can help tie in the outfit coordinating.



4. Pick out outfits that match the season you are shooting in OR what you will do with the pictures. For example, if you are going to be sending Christmas cards, then fall or winter colors would be perfect. If you are going to be hanging the photos in your home for a very long time, well, maybe neutral tones are the way to go.




5. Pick an outfit you love! Something that makes you feel good, that fits your personality and that you are super confident in.  Don’t pick something out you would never wear. For example, I am not comfortable wearing strapless dresses, loud prints or colors so I would never wear one for our family shoot. Feeling comfortable and confident will come across in your pictures.






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  1. […] outfit coordination can be stressful. It’s one of my most frequently asked questions. Click here to read a blog post I did of my top 5 tips to help choose your […]

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