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what to wear

What to Wear| Part 2


What to Wear| Part 2

Without a doubt, one of the biggest anxiety producers around family portraits is WHAT DO WE WEAR??!?  

Here's a few rules of thumb:



Not all fabrics are created equal. Jersey knit is NOT your friend for a family portrait session. I'm sorry, I love knit too, but it's NOT going to look timeless. Instead you want to focus on fabrics and garments that have lots of texture.

Lace, ribbing, ruching, tulle, embroidery.

In larger groups, the more texture the better, BUT make sure the color palette is pretty simple. Above is a great example of attention to texture while keeping the colors to a minimum. This lets us focus on the people but also gives the entire image more interest and that coveted 'timeless' feel. 


Shoes can make or break this thing, it's so important to pay attention to footwear! Avoid sneakers at nearly all costs, as well as anything with cartoon characters or lights.  Make sure to try on the shoes before the actual session, the worst case scenario is they don't fit your kiddo and they cry and refuse to wear them....  

Pick shoes that accentuate the quirkiest part of your outfits, fit great and make you feel like a million bucks.


Keep your colors palette to about 3-4 major colors, that INCLUDES neutrals. This gives your images a sense of cohesion and intention. Don't be afraid to choose bold and bright colors or patterned garments in your color scheme!!

Remember it’s 1-2 colors with textures OR 3-4 colors with patterns.


As you plan the final set of outfits, make sure each outfit is something you would wear in another situation. Ideally, your outfit would be great for a baby shower, wedding guest or other semi dressy event.  You want to look put together and comfortable; not so comfortable it looks like you stopped by the session on your way to beers with the guys! 

Pro Tip- Make sure you’ve worn your outfit at least once so you know exactly how it fits and feels as you move around in it.



What to wear for a family session


What on earth to I put my kids in? My partner? MYSELF?!?!?  


Family pictures are a big investment and I know you want to make sure everyone looks good. You also want everyone to look timeless and NOT dated (mom jeans anyone?)!

Choosing the clothing is overwhelming and for a lot of people super, SUPER stressy.  

Let's take some of the terror away!



Big Idea #1

Coordinate but don’t match. When styling a session, I like to start out with a basic color palette and go from there. It can help to have one “rock star” in the photos who carries a pattern in their outfit that the rest of the group’s clothing or accessories pulls from, while keeping everyone else’s outfits more simple.

boho baby

ie. a pink tutu or a rocking reindeer sweater!

Big Idea #2

Think about subtle props that blend with the vibe of the session as well, but keep them simple and meaningful. A handful of flowers that are a natural, neutral color or that coordinate with color pops in the subjects’ clothing … a vintage camera … a basket of apples … or the absolute best type of prop is something that is meaningful to the subject (grandpa’s vintage camera, their favorite stuffed animal, a quilt made by great grandma, the family’s beloved pet).


Big Idea #3


Shoes matter. Please don’t wear sneakers … unless we’re talking about some funky Converse that go with the feel of the session. The choice of shoes can make or break an outfit. Slipping on a pair of hip, distressed boots or some colorful ballet flats can tie everything together and complete the feel of the session. Think about coordinating those bright and colorful shoes with other accessories and clothing in the photo – not necessarily on the subject themselves, but rather match little sister’s bright turquoise shoes to the sweater or scarf her mama is wearing. It ties everything together without looking too match-y match-y. And many times NO shoes looks best, especially if you’ll be sitting or in poses where the bottoms of shoes can be seen – that never looks pretty. And don’t forget some funky socks to add another splash of color or personality if your overall look of the session is fun and bright.

Some No-No's

• Avoid anything with logos, graphics, characters, labels, etc. These tend to take the “finished” look of a professional portrait down a few notches, can be distracting (who wants people to first notice the Nike or Gap logo before the adorable little kid’s smile?) and will date a photo quickly

• If anyone is needing a trip to the salon, be sure to let the hair cut grow out a week or so in order to look most natural.

• Don’t make everyone wear all the same color … matching is boring and dated. Coordinate colors and looks, letting everyone have their own spin on the color palette (and every person does not – should not – have every color used in the color palette). And please no families all dressed in khaki pants, or all in denim and white shirts.

• While trying to stay current and fashionable, do avoid obvious trends that will be dated soon. You can do fashion forward while still remaining timeless.