What to wear to a family photoshoot


What to wear to your family photoshoot

Photographing so many families over the past 10 years, I have learned so much about planning for fun, easy going family photo sessions.

The key to great family photography is to ensure that you all feel comfortable and happy in the outfits you have planned for your family shoot.

The question of what to wear to your family photoshoot is asked by every family I book for a session. The thought of planning outfits for your whole family to wear can feel pretty overwhelming. I always ensure that during the planning call before your shoot we spend time talking about what clothes to wear to help ease any worries you may have.  

I promise it will be fun to pick out clothes to dress everyone and plan for photos that you will treasure forever.

I have lots of tips and advice on how you can plan your outfits to be comfortable on the day and how to style your family’s outfits to create timeless, beautiful warm hearted images you will love to look over in years to come.

Comfort First

Comfort First

First of all, the most important thing is that you and your family are comfortable in what you are wearing.

For your family photoshoot I want you to feel absolutely comfortable and good about yourself. You want to feel relaxed and not be dressed in fussy clothes or clothes you are not sure about.

Feeling relaxed in clothing that makes you feel good will make you all feel happy and will  allow me to create beautiful, timeless family photos for you to look back on.


During your photoshoot I will be asking you to sit on the floor, pick up your child or play games and you will want to be comfortable in your outfit to be able to easily move around to allow me to capture a variety of story telling images as you all play family games together and give each other lots of hugs and cuddles.


Not just only does clothing need to be comfortable but also your shoes too. This is one thing that is often forgotten when planning for your family outfits.

Pick A Colour Palette

Once you have given some thought to the style of clothing, whether it will be casual or a boho vibe we can move on to choose the types of colours you will want to wear.

When choosing your clothing colour palette, think about the location and the time of year for your photoshoot as the colours of the seasons you have booked your shoot for can help direct you with colours of what to wear.

The outfits you choose can completely change the feeling of your photos. Take the time to to think about your style. 

Do you want soft, warm natural colours for your family images or bold bright colours? 

Do you wish to capture photos with a boho feel wearing long flowing dresses with flower crowns or a more classic, relaxed look in casual denim.

What style of clothing will capture your families personality that you will love to look upon time and time again.

Comfort First

Examples of Seasonal Colour Palettes




Don’t Match - Co-ordinate

Create a colour palette with a mix of complementary colours, I recommend avoiding having everyone matching, we want to show the individual personalities of each family member.

By using complementary colours to co-ordinate the outfits we can add a mix of interesting colours and textures to the family photos.

For example if it is a summer shoot, and there will be lots of green foliage around you, consider shades of red’s and blue’s for your subject’s clothing. 

Choosing to dress your family in complementary colours is a great way to not only make your images visually pleasing but it will also separate your family from the background location to help focus on you as a family unit.

Photo of a sister and brother as part of a photo shoot with and Essex family photographer

At home photo shoot

If you are having a shoot at home, my advice for you would be to take a look at your home style and choose colours to co-ordinate with your home. 

Ask yourself questions about your home style:

Is your home light and bright or dark and moody?

Do you have a key colour theme running through your home.

Is your style bright and busy or clean and minimalist?

Newborn_at _home_photoshoot_mother_feeding_her_daughter

Accessories | Patterns | Textures

I would recommend avoiding wearing clothing that has big branding or very busy patterns.  We want the family taken to be timeless and ones that will not look out dated in years to come when fashion trends change.

You will want to look at these images in years to come and still love them and not be distracted by what you were all wearing at the time.

Adding layering or accessories to your outfit’s is a great way to add pops of colour personality, and interest to your photos. Hats, headbands, scarfs, cardigans, gilets all help to style and co-ordinate all the family outfits to connect and balance colour.

The trick here is not to all match, blend your family outfit colours together.

For example you can decide on your favourite colours from your colour pallet, then give each member of your family something different in that colour – is a top, shoes, shorts, socks, or a hat. A different item for each family member in different shades can help connect and blend all the outfits together.

Layering is also a great option during early spring or the autumn, when the weather is cooler. If you don’t want everyone to wear their coats, layers can keep help keep you all warm instead.

When you have your selection of clothes

Lay out the outfits on your bed or floor to see if they blend nicely together. If one particular item stands out too much consider changing it, unless of course you’d like the focus of your session to be on that family member. This could work well if you have one child.

Get everyone to try on their outfits, make sure it all fits and you’re comfortable. This is particularly important for children in case they are wearing something new or an outfit they do not wear often.

You are more than welcome to send me a photo or two of your outfits and accessories, if you need another opinion.


I want you to pick an outfit that you absolutely love and will make you feel amazing as ultimatlaty if you and your family all feel comfortable you will all feel happy allowing me to capture beautiful warm-hearted images of you all.

If you have any more questions or worries do get in touch with me and I will always be happy to help.  I always see this as a good opportunity to have a look through my wardrobe and pull together my favourite clothes or a good excuse to go shopping for a little treat.