I’ve just dropped my little boy off for his second session at preschool and I have big plans to start using my alone time wisely, starting with some blog posts to help my clients plan their family photo shoot with ease.  What to wear for a family photo shoot is one of the biggest questions I get asked and although I’m more than happy to talk outfits for hours with you, having all the info in one place will definitely benefit both you and me. So let’s break it down and talk about some of the most important aspects of styling your family shoot. 


Less matchy matchy– coordination is key

Often people assume that matching outfits are the way forward when they are planning their shoot but actually the key is to coordinate clothes so they work well together and look pleasing to the eye. I have a style guide I often send out before a shoot, which is currently in need of an update, and within that guide I suggest wearing shades that compliment my editing style. These range from burnt orange, khaki green, navy blue, cream and sometimes black depending on the piece of clothing. I recommend choosing your main outfit colour then finding pieces to coordinate with this. For example, I have what I consider a burnt orange wrap dress in my client wardrobe and this goes really well with darker shades of orange and mustard. I also have two khaki dresses and a khaki jumpsuit that are available for clients to borrow & these also go really well with dark red, mustard & navy. 


family of 4 sitting on a fence at the edge of a river

family of 4 standing in a golden crop field


Hair & Make-up

Although this one isn’t about clothing, I think it’s probably one of the most important tips to consider when planning your family shoot. I don’t know about you, but as a mum I rarely find the time or energy to apply makeup or style my hair on a daily basis. So if was having any type of shoot I’d 100% want to take the opportunity to do myself up and make myself feel beautiful. These are images that are going to be hung around your home and although I want you to feel like yourself, I also kind of don’t want you to feel like yourself! I want you to feel like the best version of you, even if it is only for a couple of hours. You know that feeling you get when you’re going out out and you’ve got your best clothes on and your hair isn’t in a mum bun for once? Well this is how you should feel during your session. Not only will you look beautiful in the images but your confidence is more likely to shine through during the shoot and you won’t feel as self conscious. 

mother holding her daughter


Limit patterns

Ok so back to clothing. I am a great lover of plain outfits but actually having one family member in a pattern can work really well. Again, nothing too busy or multi coloured as this will draw the eyes to that outfit but simple spots or stripes can be a perfect addition to compliment your other choices of outfits. If you choose an outfit for yourself that has a pattern on I would suggest everyone else has plain outfits so there isn’t a pattern overload! Whilst we are on the subject of patterns, please please avoid any characters when dressing your child. I know kids love their fave Frozen top or Spider Man jumper (my child would wear his digger t-shirt everyday if I let him) but these are big no no’s for family images.

what to wear for a family photoshoot. Coordinating outfits and colours

family of 5 standing in a field of long grass. Coordinating outfits for their family photo shoot


What about shoes?

If your shoot is in the summer and you’ve opted for an outdoor location, I will suggest flip flops & strappy sandals for women and girls and for the men and boys I would go for a smart and relatively plain shoe. To be honest, I tend to prefer bare feet in a lot of the shots anyway so please bear this in mind when dressing small children. Also, you might want to consider your toe nails! And whilst on the subject of nails, hands do tend to appear in photos quite a lot so bear this in mind and give yourself a manicure the night before. For winter sessions, plain wellies or smart walking boots are fine.

mother and children holding hands in a feudal of cut crops

what to wear for a family photo shoot


I hope these tips help you when you’re looking at what to wear during your family photo shoot but if you’re still stuck for ideas head over to Pinterest and search ‘family photo shoot outfits’.

You can find out more about my family sessions, including pricing right here.