November 1, 2020

The Do's and Don'ts of Family Photography Outfit Choices


I get lots of questions about what to wear for your photos - and ultimately, that's totally up to you! But I want to give a little guidance so here are some of my biggest suggestions, after many years of family photo sessions!

1. Coordinate vs. Match

DO: Take the time to come up with a color scheme.

DON'T: Go matchy matchy!

  • Don't over match, don't think that every person needs to wear the same color in order to be coordinated. This can lead to people blending together in photos and also draws eyes away from individuals. And please don't all wear white or black! They're never the same shade, so it's hard for the photographer to level their lighting!

2. Comfortable vs. Sloppy (This one is long but bear with me!)

DO: Be comfortable. Kids, and all of us really, love to be comfortable.

  • Don't feel like you have to "dress up" for photos. Make sure your clothes fit comfortably, even shoes. Kids shoes hurting because they're squeezed into last years dress shoes can make it really hard for them to smile and have fun. I'd rather a kid wear sneakers than tears any day!
  • Don't over dress, you want to look like yourselves! Often my favorites looks include jeans and nice sweaters!
  • FLATTER YOURSELF: Women, this ones for you! Wear clothes that fit! Often times, when we're uncomfortable with our bodies, we wear oversized, square or baggy clothes and then we are frustrated that they don't look slim in our photos. Although outfit is not everything, choosing an outfit that shows off and accentuates our curves, in the right way, can change your whole look in photos! Wear waists, accentuate your hips, don't wear big boxy button downs!
  • Check out this cool article to see some examples of how outfit choices can completely change a persons look!

DON'T: Be frumpy!

  • As I touched on a little in the last bullet, often "comfortable" can be translated to baggy, oversized or frumpy. Make sure your clothes are the right size, well fitting and highlight your shape!
  • It is nearly impossible to remove wrinkles in Photoshop, so be sure to steam or iron your clothes before your session. Don't worry about little creases from the car right but don't grab your shirt out a pile of laundry (like I do for work every morning) and then get your photos done! That 10 minutes of ironing will change how you feel in photos forever!

3. Patterned Accents vs. Going Crazy with Patterns

DO: Embrace the accent a pattern can provide

  • Considering adding small patterns to your outfits, a little striped tshirt, a plaid scarf or a polka dot top is fine - within reason! Even a plaid flannel, on one person, is sometimes super flattering!

DON'T: Go Crazy with the patterns

  • Keep the patterns to a minimum. Your eye should go to the faces in the portrait, not what the subjects are wearing. Too many patterns can really draw attention away from the subjects, so I would always suggest that you coordinate with your family and try to make sure only 1 person is wearing the pattern and make sure it’s subtle and doesn't take away from the rest of the family!

*** You can also head over to the Printique Pinterest board on what to wear, we have more than 45 boards lined up to help you get it right.