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What to Wear for Family Photos

What you wear for your family session can totally change the look of your images. What to wear is one of our most commonly asked question. Here are 10 Tips You Need to Know!

1. Consider the Weather

Nobody wants to be uncomfortable while they take photos, so make sure you consider the temperature where you’ll be taking them. This is especially important with kids, as they are less likely to cooperate if they’re not comfortable. Layers are excellent because you can add or remove based on how hot you are.

2. Choose Complementary Colors

Colors that complement each other will stand out in your photo, much more than colors that perfectly match. If you’re going for warmer colors for fall photos, you might want to mix burgundy with orange and brown. However, if you’re looking for spring colors, you might mix gray, blush, light blue, and pastel yellow. There are endless colors you can go with, so choose what you’re comfortable with and what will match with the backdrop you’re working with.

3. Start with One Outfit

It’s easy to become overwhelmed when you’re trying to decide what multiple people will be wearing. To avoid this stress, begin with one person. Once you have their outfit and colors picked out, you can continue choosing for every other individual until you have everyone figured out.

If you have a new addition to the family. It may be easier to start with them and go from there. Check out these well dressed little ones:

4. Plan on Nice Shoes

Shoes are the final detail to any complete outfit. Make sure to remove scuff marks and wipe down the shoes that you’ll be wearing because it will show through in photos. If you plan on going barefoot, then bring sandals or any other shoes to wear as you’re walking around in between shots. It’s recommended to avoid athletic shoes, especially if they’re your everyday shoes and show a lot of wear and tear.

5. Keep Comfort in Mind

When it comes to kids, comfort is crucial to get happy pictures. If your child doesn’t like a bow tie, belt, or hat, then re-think the outfit. If your little one is comfortable and able to move around like normal, then they are much more likely to smile during pictures and stay happy for the duration of the shoot.

6. Avoid Trends

If you want to achieve timeless photos, then it’s important to avoid trends in your clothing. Instead, opt for pieces that are neutral and that don’t have bold patterns or prints. Ask for opinions from trusted friends or family members to see if they like the way outfits look if you’re worried.

7. Try Clothes On


Clothes that are too baggy or too tight may not turn out looking great in your pictures. This is why it’s a good idea to try outfits on before you take your pictures. Have someone else take your photo to see what it looks like on film, just in case you feel uncomfortable. If you have time, try on your outfits all together to see how they look together. This might be what you need to choose final accessories or decide on last-minute changes.

8. Avoid Holiday Color Mistakes

For holiday photos, a lot of families are tempted to wear holiday colors that match the theme they’re going with (such as red and green for Christmas). However, if you want to be able to use these pictures year-round or for household framed photos, then you may want to go with neutral colors instead. You can still incorporate the holiday cheer with your card design so you don’t miss out on the look you were going for.

Butttttttttt….if you look as smooth as this young man below, then you can pull it off 😉

9. Choose Patterns Wisely

Generally, solid colors are the best to show up on film (aside from neon and stark white). It’s recommended to avoid small plaid patterns as well as any others that are intricate or complicated. While these might look nice in person, they may not look as great when you get your photos back. A solid neutral color is going to be your best bet, although dark colors tend to look great as well.

10. Lose the Logos

A logo on your dress or shirt is going to take away from the photo and draw attention away from your face. For this reason, it’s best to avoid anything with texts, including quotes or logos.

Yes and No Cheat Sheet for Choosing Family Photo Outfits

Say Yes To:

– Lenses with anti-reflective coatings

– Clean shoes- Button-down shirts

– Cardigans, blazers, maxi dresses, and A-line dresses for women

– Button-down shirts, collared shirts, cardigans, blazers, and leather shoes for men

– Navy, coral and white for summer

– Yellow, denim, and white for spring

– Blush, tan, and ivory for spring

– Burgundy, denim and gray for fall

– Brown, maroon, and tan for winter

– Beige and ivory for winter

– Incorporating different textures into your outfits, such as lace or herringbone

Say No To:

– Too loose or too tight clothing

– Complicated patterns that don’t show up well on camera

– Strapless or sleeveless shirts

– Diapers showing on little ones

– Neon and bright white

– Matching outfits

– Outfits that don’t coordinate with the season or background

– Trends that will date your photos in 5 or 10 years

– Choosing uncomfortable outfits or accessories for kids

Planning the Perfect Look for Your Photos

The tips above should help you plan outfits that complement each other and look beautiful on camera. However, if you’re not quite sure what will work, talk with your your family photographer in Columbus Ohio! That’s one of the best ways to ensure you achieve the look that you’re going for based on the lighting and background. With enough planning and this in mind, you’ll be able to look back on your photos with happiness and enjoy them for years to come!

Here are a few more images of Vision & Style Photography’s amazing families:

Oh……and the dog is just fine in his/her birthday suit haha

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All images are copyright protected by columbus wedding photographer, Vision & Style Photography. Please check out our Weddings, Family, Maternity and Senior galleries. Also, check out our blog for our latest work and wedding inspiration. Vision & Style Photography is a Columbus Ohio based wedding & portrait photography company. We also partner with Ice Cream Rollery to give our customers the best wedding & event experience ever!