Dressing for Success: What to Wear for Your Family Portrait Session

Family Portrait Session

Capturing beautiful family portraits is a timeless way to create cherished memories that will last a lifetime. When planning for a family portrait session, one important factor to consider is what to wear. The outfits you choose for your family can greatly enhance the overall look and feel of your portraits. In this blog post, we will guide you through the process of selecting the perfect attire that will complement your family’s unique style and ensure stunning portraits that will be cherished for years to come.

Coordinate Colors, Not Match

When dressing for a family portrait session, it’s important to coordinate colors among family members rather than going for an exact match. Choose a color palette that complements each other and the environment. Opt for two or three main colors and add in some neutrals to create a cohesive and visually appealing look.

Consider the Location and Season

The location and season of your portrait session should influence your clothing choices. For a beach or outdoor session, lighter, softer colors such as pastels or earth tones can work well. In contrast, for an urban or indoor session, bolder and more vibrant colors can add a touch of energy to the photographs. Additionally, consider the weather and dress accordingly to ensure everyone is comfortable during the session.

Dress Comfortably, Be Yourself

It’s essential for everyone to feel comfortable and confident in their outfits. Choose clothing that reflects your family’s personal style and allows for easy movement. Avoid clothes that are too tight, itchy, or restrictive. When family members are comfortable, their true personalities will shine through, resulting in more genuine and natural-looking portraits.

Family Portrait Session

Avoid Busy Patterns and Logos

To keep the focus on your family’s faces and emotions, it’s best to avoid wearing busy patterns, large logos, or graphics that can distract from the main subjects. Solid colors, subtle patterns, or simple textures work well in portraits. However, a small amount of pattern or texture can add visual interest, as long as it doesn’t overpower the overall composition.

Pay Attention to Accessories

Accessories can elevate your family’s outfits and add a touch of personality to the portraits. Consider incorporating accessories such as scarves, hats, belts, or jewelry that complement the chosen color palette. However, be mindful not to go overboard with accessories, as they should enhance the overall look without overpowering the image.

Timeless Over Trendy

When selecting clothing for your family portrait session, it’s generally advisable to choose timeless and classic styles that won’t feel dated in a few years. Avoid overly trendy pieces that may quickly go out of style. Remember, the goal is to create portraits that can be enjoyed for generations to come.

Consider the Background

Think about the background of your portrait session and how your clothing choices will complement or contrast with it. For example, if you’re planning to have a session in a lush green park, earth tones or soft pastels can harmonize beautifully with the natural surroundings. On the other hand, if you opt for an urban setting with brick walls or graffiti, bolder colors can provide a striking contrast.

Time for Hair, Makeup, and Grooming

Pay attention to hair, makeup, and grooming for the entire family. Consider getting haircuts a week or two before the session to ensure a fresh and polished look. Keep makeup natural and subtle, enhancing features without overpowering them. For men, a clean-shaven face or well-groomed facial hair is recommended, depending on personal style.

Family Portrait Session


Should everyone in the family wear the same outfit?

While matching outfits used to be a common trend, it’s now more fashionable and visually appealing to coordinate colors and styles rather than wearing identical outfits. Choosing a color palette and allowing each family member to express their individual style within that palette creates a more cohesive and modern look.

Can we wear patterns in our family portrait?

While it’s generally recommended to avoid busy patterns that may distract from the main subjects, incorporating subtle patterns can add visual interest to your portraits. Opt for small, delicate patterns or textures that complement the overall aesthetic. Just remember to balance patterns with solid colors to maintain a harmonious look.

How should we dress our young children or infants?

When dressing young children or infants, it’s important to prioritize their comfort and mobility. Choose soft, non-restrictive clothing that allows them to move freely. Keep in mind that accidents may happen, so it’s a good idea to bring a backup outfit in case of spills or mishaps.

What should we consider when selecting footwear?

Footwear should be chosen based on the location and overall style of the portrait session. For outdoor sessions, consider comfortable shoes that can handle the terrain, such as sneakers or boots. For indoor sessions or more formal settings, opt for dressier shoes that complement the outfits. Avoid shoes with distracting logos or bright colors that may draw attention away from the faces.

Should we bring any additional clothing options or props?

Bringing along a few extra clothing options can provide flexibility during the session and allow for different looks and styles. Consider bringing layers like cardigans, jackets, or scarves that can easily be added or removed. As for props, it’s best to keep them minimal and meaningful. Consider items that represent your family’s interests or hobbies, but avoid anything that may overpower the focus on the family members themselves.

Should we avoid wearing all white or all black outfits for our family portrait?

While there are no hard and fast rules, it’s generally recommended to avoid dressing the entire family in all white or all black outfits for a family portrait session. Wearing all white can sometimes result in overexposure, while all black may lead to underexposure in certain lighting conditions. Instead, consider incorporating a mix of colors, tones, and textures to add visual interest and create a balanced composition in your family portraits.


Selecting the perfect attire for your family portrait session can greatly enhance the visual impact of your photographs. By coordinating colors, considering the location and season, dressing comfortably, avoiding distracting patterns, paying attention to accessories, opting for timeless styles, and considering the background, you can ensure that your family’s unique personalities and connections are beautifully captured. Remember, the most important aspect is to be yourselves and enjoy the experience of creating lasting memories together.

Also Read: Outdoor vs. Indoor Family Portraits: Which Suits You Best?

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