What to Wear for Family Pictures

As a photographer, I get asked quite often, what should I wear to my photo shoot? I typically tell anyone who asks me this question, to wear what feels like YOU. But of course, here are a few tips to help you along the way …

While I’m no fashionista, (although, I really thought it would be awesome to be a fashion designer when I was younger) I've learned a thing or two about what to wear and what not to wear when getting your photograph taken.

Anyway, firstly, I stand by my statement that I truly believe you’ll be the most comfortable in what makes you comfortable, but let’s take comfort a step further. Meaning, sure, you love those comfy sweatpants you wear around the house most of the day, but let’s be honest – it’s probably not what you’ll want to see yourself in when you’re getting a professional photo.

So think about the colors you love the most ... are they blues? Pinks? Purples? A combination of them all? :) We all have a favorite color - so start there. Think about the colors you truly like the most. Or perhaps the colors you know you look good in. Come on ... you know that ONE color that you can wear and you look good in it, no matter what! And no self-hating talk. There truly is that ONE color for ALL of us ... so go on. Check out your closet. What color do you see the most of?

On a personal level, I tend to think I look a-ok in purple. Not sure why. I think it has something to do with my brown hair and brown eyes – and my oh so pale skin.

So start to think about your features and enhance them with your clothing and accessories. But remember that no matter what you’re wearing, you’re beautiful. ALWAYS. It's true!

The location of where your photo shoot will be should also determine what style of attire you’re going with. If you’re taking pictures outdoors, in a natural environment, nature tends to look real nice with solid colors – with a combination of deep and neutral undertones. So if you’re wearing a dark blue shirt, with jeans, maybe accessorize with a white scarf – or a yellow necklace. If you’re taking family photos and your little boy is wearing a yellow button down shirt, pair it with a dark blue bowtie or vest. When you’re thinking accessories – think of them as accents to what you’re wearing. You can change the feel and look of an image in an instant with adding them and removing them – so remember they should accent your outfits.

When you’re gearing up for your photo shoot, whether it’s with your significant other or your family, I tend to think starting with the ladies of the family works best. Because come on girls – we’re the ones trying on everything in the house before we head out the door just in general. That’s what we do. So pick out your little girl’s outfit – or your own outfit, and coordinate everyone else around that. It's not about matching outfits - it's really all about coordinating colors - and even textures!

Avoid the flashy jewelry, but wear pieces that accent what you're wearing! If you're wearing all black - or all white - adding a piece of color, whether it's a necklace, earrings or even a bracelet can bring a nice pop of color to your image.

Remember – comfort is key. You want your images to be timeless – so wear clothing that matches your personalities and who you are. You don’t want to look at these images 10 years down the road and have regrets. You want to look at them and remember the moments and memories you made while taking them – not saying to yourself we should have worn this, I shouldn't have worn that.

Think about your shoes too! You probably don't want to wear your 10 year old sneakers that are probably worn and not in the greatest shape! When choosing your outfit, keep your feet in the back of your mind too!

Honestly, I don't think there is a real science to picking that perfect ensemble for your photo shoot – but you can have some fun with it. Just make sure to look in the mirror before you head out the door to catch any wrinkly shirts, buttons missing, or forgotten milk mustaches!

And remember that you don’t have to be perfectly matching to get a great photograph. All you really need is a whole lotta’ love and don’t forget the laughs.

Emily Allison is a portrait/wedding photographer in South Bend, IN. You can reach her at emily@heysistersphotography.com. To view more of her work, check out heysistersphotography.com.

All images © 2013 Hey Sisters! Photography



About the Author...
Emily Allison

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