Little Ones



view all


photography 101

Meet Claire



Little Ones
Photography 101

What to Wear For Family Photos | Phoenix Family Photographer

For Clients

3 tips for what to wear for family photosThe number one question I am asked, by clients and non-clients alike, is what to wear for family photos. I get it- choosing your own clothing is hard enough, but now you are trying to select coordinating outfits for yourself and the rest of your family. You want everyone to be comfortable and look amazing, compliment each other and not compete for attention. It feels like a delicate balancing act.

But choosing what to wear for family photos does not have to be a daunting task. In fact, it can even be fun!

One of my favourite things I offer my clients is a detailed styling guide that goes through lots of great information for planning your family photo session. It covers location and timing, how to prepare your husband and children for our time together, and of course, what to wear for family photos. Here are a few tips from the guide to get you started.

Select a colour palette to guide you in your shopping.

I like to head to the store with a specific colour palette in mind. There are lots of places to find inspiration for your colour palette. I have an entire Pinterest board dedicated to colour swatches that catch my eye. Inspiration can also come from the season, current trends, your home decor or favourite books and magazines. I once based our entire family portrait colour scheme off of a room I saw in a Coastal Living magazine.

While it can be tempting to just put everyone in white on top, denim on the bottom, the days of matching clothes for family portraits are behind us. And thank goodness! When everyone is wearing the same colours, it becomes difficult to tell where one person ends and the next begins. Instead, choose 3-4 colours that work well together, then use a different combination of those colours on each person. For example, mom can wear pink and navy, dad wears navy and tan. Your daughter wears a pink dress with a fun pearl necklace and baby wears pink and tan. Coordinating but not matchy-matchy!

Choose a color palette and base your family portrait outfits on that color palette

Do your research!

Once you have selected your colour palette, I suggest doing a little bit of research online. It is so easy to type in “navy dress for women” in the search bar of your favourite online store and have lots of options appear. I save items that catch my eye in a folder so I can refer to them while out and about.

I tend to buy my children’s outfits online, but rarely does ordering online work for me. For my clothes, I really need to go to the store and try things on. But, if I leave for the store with ideas in mind of what would look good together, it really helps to cut down how much time I spend wandering aimlessly. And don’t forget to shop your own closet! Some of my most favourite family portraits involve clothing that I already owned and loved. Choosing what to wear for family photos does not have to include new clothing for every member of your family.

what to wear La Jolla Beach family portrait session

Lay it all out and send me a picture!

I absolutely love it when clients are deciding what to wear for family photos and send me pictures and ask my opinion. I’ve been doing this photography thing for a few years now, and I’ve been coordinating my family’s outfits for over a decade. I am not exaggerating when I say, my husband asks me almost every Sunday which suit and tie he should wear because more often than not, our entire family coordinates our church clothes. Yes, I am that mom!

If you feel stuck or can’t decide between a few good options, text me a picture or give me a call! I’d love to run over and help you sift through the options. I’ve even gone as far as to lend a client a dress from my own closet for a session! I really will do everything I can to help you look your best come family picture day.

Tips for selecting what to wear for family photo session

Once you’ve chosen what to wear, your job is almost done! The only thing left to do is to show up at your session, ready to smile and have some fun. I’ll take it from here, and the beautiful family portraits you have dreamed of are just around the corner.


Are you looking for more tips on planning your family photo session? Check out 3 Things to Know When Planning Your Holiday Family Photo Session.

Manistee Ranch Couples Session






Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Let's be friends!

Sign up to be email buddies and be the first to get the scoop on Sweet Pea sessions & promotions!