What To Wear To Your Family Photo Shoot

by | Apr 16, 2024 | Family Photography

One of the most asked questions I receive is “what should we wear” when. family books a newborn or family photography session with me. What you wear to your photo shoot will have such a significant impact on how your final images will look and feel. I am the furthest thing from an expert in this field, but from years of experience photographing families – I have come to learn what works, and what doesn’t and I hope these tips will help you in picking out pieces for you and your family for your upcoming photos!

Family Photographer Ireland

What You Wear Matters

The colours you choose to wear, the tones, textures, material, flow and pattern of your clothing will all impact the final look and feel of your photos. The recommendations I make are always with the final result in mind and the goal of achieving beautiful bright and light images that focus on the people within the image. 

Start With Your Colour Palette

I always recommend sticking to a neutral colour palette. Whites, creams, and pastel colours such as baby blue or blush pink look beautiful in photos. They also remove the focus from what you are wearing and bring it back to the people in the photo. Fine floral prints, delicate patterns and fine (barely-there) stripes photograph really beautifully also.

If you are tasked with dressing the whole family, it’s always a good idea to start with one outfit and pick tones from it. For example, a floral print on a skirt might have lovely shades of pastel blue, yellow and cream running through it that you can pull through everyone else’s outfit. 

Finer patterns, used sparingly photograph better than bolder prints. Fine floral prints, delicate patterns and subtle stripes photograph beautifully.

Introduce Texture & Layering

Relaxed, finer, more natural textures will give a more natural feel to your images and photograph really well. Loose and flowy clothing is really flattering and can add a feminine touch to photos whilst having the added benefit of being very comfy!Textures such as linen and cotton work well, with bauble knits and fluffy cashmere being really beautiful for colder months. Floaty summer dresses and knit cardigans that introduce layering add movement to your photos which really helps to bring them to life. 

Consider Your Location

Location should play an important role in your outfit selection. I will always try to incorporate the landscape and nature into your images and your clothing should compliment this instead of working in contrast with it. White linens  and bare feet are ideal for a beach location, whilst this would look out of place in an estate garden where a floral dress and sandals would work perfectly.  Consider the tones of your background and how what you’re wearing can compliment the colours that will make up your final image. 

What To Avoid

You want your photos to be timeless, and there are certain things I would always recommend avoiding to prevent your photos from dating before their time. 

I would always recommend avoiding branding, logos or text – these tend to be centrally positioned on clothes and draw the eye towards them as opposed to the focus being on the people. Bold stripes, harsh patterns, or anything metallic or shiny should also be avoided. These can date and go out of style and you want to look at these images in years to come and still love them as much as you did the day they were captured.

Keeping your clothing simple will produce more timeless photos.

It’s also important to consider that the colours you wear will reflect onto your skin. So, with this in mind, I would stray away from dark tones such as black and navy. Maroons, red tones, greens and cerise pink should also be avoided as these can cast a green / pinkish hue onto the skin and especially onto children’s skin as it’s much more delicate and often paler than adults. 

Above All Else, Be Comfortable

Above all, the most important thing is that you and your family are comfortable in what you are wearing. Likewise, you want to feel good about yourself and at ease, and this will lend itself to beautiful images. You want to be able to move, carry, walk and feel at ease and your clothing should allow you to do this, rather than restrict you.