top of page

What To Wear For Family Photos | Building Outfits, Picking Colors & Tools From A Pro Photographer

Girl - if I had a penny for every time I heard this question!

Trust me you are NOT ALONE as you try to figure out what to wear AND how to dress everyone for your family photos.

Let's start at the basics: EVERY family is different...and every person WITHIN the family has their own personality, style and tastes. So it's now wonder that trying to figure out what to put everyone in can be a real challenge.

But You're Note Alone! Here are #4Tips for not only dressing your family but helping everyone's personality shine while COORDINATNG but NOT MATCHING.


Looking for the quick and dirty? Here are the Highlights...


Not Sure Where The Heck To Start Outfit Planning? It's OK, Start Here...

I promise Sis, you're not alone if you feel overwhelmed in what to wear or even where to start when it comes to planning your own family photo session. There are just so many factors like everyone's personal style, the changing seasons, and so on and so on...

I mean look... not everyone is a fashionista. But we sure know we like something when we see it don't we? lol.

Well girl... here's the BIG SECREAT: The best place to start when building a family's look is to START WITH YOUR OWN OUTFIT FIRST.

I know, I know... you're yelling at me. You planned to find the kids outfits first. NO. DON'T FALL INTO THAT TRAP. And here's why...

You are going to be the HARDEST TO DRESS. The hardest to please. So start there first and then have the other COORDINATE with you...NOT the other way around. Think about it... Once you find a look you love and feel comfortable in, you'll be more confident in your choices and excited to take on the rest... instead of the other way around. Feeling deflated and even defeated. Let's slay the DRAGON FIRST... then take the castle.


Here are some tips how to do that...

  • Think about what shape your body is (ie. Are you an apple? A pear? Hourglass? etc.) Are you chesty? Do you have hips? What areas do you LOVE? What areas are you looking to minimize?

  • Pull your favorite outfit out of the closest. Maybe it's a work outfit you feel powerful in or a sundress you feel flirty in. Whatever it is, pull it out , put it on and consider what it is you love about it so you can look to create it again.

  • Shop classic silhouette styles that you love. Avoid overly trendy styles that will are currently "in" but will just as soon be "out" (ie. Acid Washed Jeans, Adult Overalls, etc.)

  • Avoid Logo'd items. They are distracting from your style and can make things look cheap...even if it's an expensive brand.

  • Build outfits that allow for movement (I love long skirts!), use texture / layers and accessories to make the look more high end and complete.


Pro Tip: Still not sure what YOUR STYLE is? I'm always texting with clients on outfits as they put things together. So don't forget to LEVERAGE YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER'S STYLE to help if you need it.


Layers, Accessories & Colors Matter

Sis, I can't stress this enough! Layers, textures and accessories are your friend! But why? Well it does a few things:

  • Allows more personality of each person to show through

  • Adds depth, interest and creates a more high end look

  • Great way to add in trendy styles without "dating" the look

Seasonal accessories are personally one of my favorite things to include with all family sessions. For instance, in the fall and winter months puffy vests and pom pom hats are an easy, practical accessory that can be added to one or two people which help time everyone's looks together.

Another great option for cooler months include fingerless gloves, tall socks and cute boots.

In warmer months accessories like big earrings, jewelry, lace bralettes are great touches to round out one's look.


Coordinate Don't Match

In terms of what colors you should pick to go with there are a few pallets that are classic and never go out of style. I always love seeing outfits that are a mix of earth tones and jewel tones, myself. I also REALLY love a mix of good neutrals, which is what I actually opted for in my own family photos last month.

An easy way to make sure your outfits coordinate is to use a mixed color pallet that includes neutrals and a bit of color.

Pinterest is really good at helping people visualize this, so I've created this tool to help with this idea if you need it. I've broken down some of my favorite color pallets for each season and their are samples of how to bring them all together in multiple outfits as well.

The days of all the kids in matching shirts or mom and dad in jeans and black shirts is well past us. And honestly - COLOR- is one of the easiest ways to COORDINATE everyone's look.


Need a little more help? Shop MY Favorite Looks: From Fast Ship Fashion ($) to Boutique Styles ($$$) Finds

No problem, Sis. I've pinned a ton of outfits that I love and know will photography beautifully to boards to make shopping easy! These looks include regular sizing, plus sizing, different season and everything from fast Amazon fashion ($) to more unique boutique ($$$) finds. Check them out below. I'm constantly adding to them and creating new style boards so be sure to check it out:

Hey You... Let's Be Friends, K?!

Hey there - I'm Chelsea! A coffee worshipping Hoosier native, just trying to raise a kiddo and capture vivid memories in central IN for my families & brides. To see more of our work, make sure to FOLLOW us on Facebook and Instagram & sign up for our VIP club to get first dibs on open session date! Curious about me? Dive into my story of how I flushed my comfortable Fortune 500 Marketing Career to take on the life of a SMB owner at Hashtag Memories Photography!

Or maybe the idea of photos stresses you out? Check out this blog post where I get REAL about how shooting a session of my own kiddo taught me how to help YOU mitigate Mommy Session Stress - or this one where we share basic planning tips & FAQs to help set you up for success on your next shoot.

Dreaming of your own family session or personal styling?


bottom of page