What to Wear for Family Portraits

Oh what should we wear? This is probably the number one question I get asked before a photoshoot. It can be pretty confusing and stressful trying to decide what outfits or colors would be best for your Family Portrait session… but worry not! This guide will help you with styling tips and tricks to select clothing options for a perfect outcome on photo day.

Gone are the days of 1990s family portraits where everyone in the picture would wear the same outfit. A good way to start planning a photo session is to choose a color scheme. Try to choose a palette that has a mix of neutral shades and a bright color. Another option is a color scheme with one main color and different variations of that color. One of my favorite places to search for inspiration is at Design Seeds. Here are some recent color palettes for the Fall. Tip: Once you select your main color, then all you need to do is accent it with the other colors on the palette.

'Color Harvest' Color Palette from Design Seeds
'Tobacco Tones' Color Palette from Design Seeds

Instead of having everyone in the photo compete for center stage, you may want to choose one person to stand out from the others. They can wear one impactful piece that inspires the accessories and colors in everyone else’s outfits. Typically, it’s easier to have a woman’s or girl’s outfit be the focal point of a picture. Once you’ve chosen one person to be the focus of the photograph, use a bright color to draw viewers’ eyes in. Everyone else in the photo can have accessories that match the bright color, making the photo look unified and complete.

Family portrait

Everything that is worn or used in a photo shoot affects the look and feel of each photo. This includes shoes. Don’t let shoes and footwear be an overlooked part of your outfit planning. A pair of shoes that doesn’t fit in with the rest of a photo can detract from the picture. Unless you have tennis shoes that are unique and fun enough to fit in with the vibe of a photo shoot, you may want to consider other footwear options for your pictures. For women, ballet flats come in almost every color. Choosing a pair of flats that fit in with the color scheme is a great way to make a photo look great and add a burst of color.

Family Portrait

Do’s and Don’ts

  1. Avoid wearing the same color or pattern. This makes a photo look dull and outdated. Choose a color palette and let everyone have their own take on it. This will create a photo that is coordinated and classy without being cheesy or overdone.
  2. Don’t choose clothing that has large pictures, labels, logos, or words on it. This often looks too casual for a photo shoot and detracts from the overall feel of a photo.
  3. If you choose a stylish, modern look for a photo shoot, make your clothing choices wisely. Choosing something that is overly trendy and doesn’t have any classic features will make your photos look out-of-date long before they need to.
  4. Stay away from white socks and sneakers. They can actually detract from the overall look of a photo.
  5. If photo subjects have jewelry or accessories they wear all the time, make sure that they fit in with the look of a photo before wearing them in a photo. Watches, earrings, necklaces, and other accessories may need to be removed for a photo shoot.

Now that I’ve given you some helpful tips on what to wear for this year’s Family Portrait Session, contact me today to book your session or email: vanessa@vanessakunpshotography.com


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