March 4, 2022

What to Wear to a Family Photo Session

“What should we wear to our family photo session?”

This has to be one of the most common questions I’m asked. If you’re not sure what to wear, or simply need some advice or visual ideas, this post is for you!

Tip #1: Be Yourself.

Dress in your own authentic style. I am not the kind of photographer that thinks everyone needs to be wearing a certain style outfit like a long flowy dress if you feel more comfortable in a t-shirt and jeans or vice versa. I feel strongly that the photos should be an authentic representation of your family. If you’re someone that loves bold colors, then don’t shy away from wearing bold reds or blues, for example. If you love neutrals, then stick to lighter colors or pastels.

What to wear to a Family Photo Session
Fun, stylish outfits at the Miami Design District.

Tip #2: Wear something that you feel GREAT in.

You know how you feel an extra boost of confidence when you wear something you feel great in? Wear an outfit that is not only authentically you but most importantly, you love the way it looks and feels on you.

There are also some colors that may look great on one person, but not so good on another. As a parent, you may put an outfit on your child that brings out the color of their eyes, or they simply look adorable in it. Keep in mind that what looks good online or on the hanger may not look good when you try it on, so be sure you try everything on beforehand.

beach outfits
All white outfits on the beach. A classic and beautiful look.

Tip #3: Avoid clashing with the background.

This simply means that if we’re photographing at a park, stay away from greens and browns. I want you to stand out from the background, not blend in with it. Blue at the beach however can still work, I just recommend pairing it with a contrasting color such as white which will help you stand out from the background.

What to wear to a Family Photo Session
These colors stand out really well from the greenery and look great on them, too.

Tip #4: Coordinate outfits.

For a cohesive look, make sure everyone’s outfits look good together. For family sessions, you can either go for a matching look of neutrals (for example, all white, white and jean, etc.), or mix and match colors that go well together (for example, whites, pinks, blues, etc.)

What to wear to a Family Photo Session
Coordinated outfits with a pop of color. Also very practical to wear shorts if you go in the water!

Tip #5: Add color with accessories or makeup.

This can be a red bowtie on a child, a hair bow or even a bold colored lipstick.

What to wear to a Family Photo Session
I love the addition of her white headband and his red bowtie and red shorts.

Tip #6: Dress for the location.

For a location such as Vizcaya, you should dress more elegantly than you would at the beach. You can even wear dress shoes/heels but do bring comfortable walking shoes as we move throughout the gardens. At the Design District, you might choose to wear something more fun and stylish. At a park, you can wear casual chic or dressier outfits- however you feel most comfortable.

For the beach, you’ll likely want to be barefoot, especially if you want to walk in the shallow water. Sometimes I have my clients stand in the shallow water if I can get a good reflection shot. For this reason, I recommend bringing a change of clothes and towels for photo shoots at the beach so you have something to change into after the session if your clothes get wet and sandy.

Do get dressed up for locations at Vizcaya, the Spanish Monastery, Ingraham Park, the Prado, the Secret Gardens and similar venues.

Tip #7: Remove all bulky items from your pockets and hair ties from your wrists.

Before starting the photo session, be sure to remove cell phones from your pockets and any other bulky items such as car keys. Also make sure to remove anything you don’t want seen in the photos: hair ties, perhaps a watch or wrist band you don’t want on, etc.

Contrasting colors (navy and white) along with a pop of pink for a cohesive look at the beach.

Tip #8: Make sure your clothes are ironed and fit well.

An outfit can easily be ruined if its wrinkled. It’s all in the details! So be sure all of the outfits are pressed and fit well (not too tight or baggy).

A cohesive look for the whole family – notice the details like his brown belt and dress shoes, the mother’s earrings, etc.

Tip #9: Change outfits mid-session.

Sometimes it’s nice to have a different look. For 1 or 2 hour sessions, feel free to swap outfits mid-session, just let me know ahead of time if you plan on doing so. You can bring one dressier outfit and one casual one, or simply bring different outfits to change looks.

What to Wear to a Family Photo Session
A mix of corals, pinks and khaki pairs beautifully against the blue ocean and sky.

Tip #10: Don’t stress too much about what to wear.

The most important part of a photo shoot is to have fun and showcase your family’s love. If you need advice or a second opinion on an outfit, feel free to contact me and send me photos. I want your photo session to be a memorable and joyous experience!

Their white and blue color combinations look great together, but what really comes through is the love they have for each other.

Get Inspired! Check out this Pinterest board for more visual ideas of what to wear to a photo session.

You can also go through the blog to see what people have worn to photo shoots in the past.

Contact me here to book a photo session in Miami!

A few more photos for visual inspiration:

Bold colored top paired with white pants is a great choice.
How adorable is he in these overalls?! His blue and white striped button-down shirt pair so well with the khaki pants.
Classic white.
Another classic: white and jean.
Traditional Indian outfits.
Their light colored tops pairs well with their contrasting darker pants.
A mix of colors: blues, browns, white, and bold red.
Notice how the pops of color make the outfit, from the pink headband to her pink shoes.
These sisters look so adorable in their matching dresses at Matheson Hammock.

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