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 always send out before a shoot to help you decide what outfits might work for you and your family. I have a very good selection of dresses in my client wardrobe that are available for you to wear as part of your shoot and also some lovely bits for babies and toddlers. 

family of four standing close together in a field of long grass during sunset

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. 

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.

mum and dad holding a blanket up whilst their children run under it

family of five sitting on a blanket in wild meadow

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.

family of 5 walking hand in hand near a barley field during sunset

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.