You’ve booked your Newington, CT family photographer, and the photo session date is set! Now what? Now you need to decide what to wear for your family photos! For some of my clients, this is easy enough, but this task creates a huge headache for others! You want everyone in your family to look nice and feel comfortable for the family photoshoot. Plus, these portraits will live forever on the walls of your home or in a treasured album, so you want your clothing to have a classic look that will always look nice. 

Never fear! I have a few foolproof tips on choosing what to wear for your upcoming family photos. With my clients, I offer wardrobe guidance leading up to their session. We chat about coordinating a few colors, and I’ll even send over some outfit coordination sets with those colors to help them choose the best colors. Clients will even ask for my opinion on specific outfits and accessories; I’m always happy to help! You might have some items already in your closet, or planning a shopping trip can help create something new, especially if it’s been a while since you were dressed up! 

Without further ado, here are my top 10 tips on what to wear for your family photos!

Deciding what to wear for your Newington, CT family photos shouldn’t be stressful!

10 Tips on What to Wear for Your Family Photos 


1.) Start with the End in Mind – This might sound odd, but go with me for a moment! Think about how you plan on using your portraits from the session. Do you want to print a large wall art piece for your living room? Maybe create an heirloom album to create a time capsule of your family? Is this for a Christmas card? No matter what you choose to do with these portraits, taking a minute or two to think about your end result will help you decide what to wear! How? Because you’ll have that end goal in the back of your mind as you carefully choose the outfits for your family. 

Think about how you want to use your images before even deciding what to wear for your family phtos!

2.) Start with Mom’s Outfit – I tend to suggest starting with mom’s outfit (or just choosing one person in general) for a few reasons. The first is that moms tend to have the hardest time choosing their outfit for the session, so if you start with mom, then the hardest part is over! The second is that you can easily coordinate the rest of the outfits by choosing mom’s outfit first and creating that “anchor” outfit! 

Start with mom’s outfit and then choose the rest!

3.) Coordinate Colors, Don’t Match – Long gone are the days when everyone wore the same outfit for a family photo session! I suggest coordinating colors instead of matching outfits. This allows for children to pose with different parents or siblings without accidentally color-blocking. Once you choose mom’s outfit, choose 2-3 coordinating colors and look for the other outfits. Here are a few color palette ideas for each season. You’ll note that each one contains a white, gray, or a cream because those are great complimentary colors!

4.) Location Considerations – Think about where the session will take place and what will be your backdrop! For example, if it’s fall, and we’re heading to a nearby park, you can choose fall colors for your outfits. Or, if it’s spring and we will be in a garden, you can select springy colors and outfits. Summer session at the beach or lake? Maybe linens and light fabrics. If we’re in the studio, the sky’s the limit! We have many more options for your outfits because we’re not tied down to a specific backdrop or season. 

Think about location and season as you choose your outfits.

5.) Lean on Clothing Staples – Trends come and go (hello, crop tops and low-rise jeans!!), but the classics always remain! Polos, quarter zip sweaters, and button-ups always work great for men and boys. Women always look lovely in a simple dress or solid-colored blouse with or without a jacket. Girls can wear dresses, too! Jeans always look nice for a casual photoshoot. 

Clothing staples will never go out of style!

6.) Avoid Graphic T-shirts and Loud Patterns – Avoid wearing graphic T-shirts, neon or other super bright colors, and “loud patterns.” Some patterns are okay, but I don’t recommend more than one person wearing a pattern, as that can be distracting!

This beautiful mom’s dress has a pattern, but it’s muted enough that it doesn’t distract from their faces!

7.) Simple, Neutral Jewelry – Jewelry can add a nice punctuation to any outfit, but I suggest simple, neutral jewelry in family photoshoots. Avoid chunky necklaces, big scarves, or hats. Sometimes, scarves and colorful jewelry can tie in the color coordination nicely! It’s not that I don’t like those accessories in general, but for a family photoshoot, we don’t want to distract from your beautiful faces! 

Each of these amazing women are wearing a beautiful, simple necklace!

8.) Make Sure Everyone Is Comfortable – When choosing outfits for your family, please select something each family member is comfortable in. For example, if your daughter never wears dresses, don’t have her wear one for the session. Why? She won’t feel comfortable, and, in the end, the image won’t capture her essence! We want everyone to look nice and feel relaxed. Feeling relaxed = great photos! We want all the natural smiles during your photo session! 

Choose outfits that everyone will feel comfortable wearing!

9.) Have Everyone Try On Their Outfits – Have everyone in your family (including you) try on your outfits at least a week in advance! This will ensure everything fits nicely and there aren’t any surprise stains or tears. Everything should fit well and not be a dated outfit from 10 years ago. Trust me, you’ll save yourself from a frantic day of Target runs when you realize your son’s polo doesn’t fit!

Try on your outfits before the session to avoid any headaches!

10.) Take OFF Your Apple Watch – As your family photographer, I will catch this for you, but make sure you and your family remove any Apple or other smart watches, FitBits, hair ties, etc. Oh, and remove everything from your pockets before the session! All of these things will help make for less distracting items in your photos as well. 

No Apple watches here!

Newington, CT Family Photographer 

I hope these tips were helpful as you plan your family’s outfits for your upcoming photography session! As you can see, I have a lot of experience helping clients choose their outfits, and I am happy to do so. The most important thing to remember is that simple and neutral tend to photograph well (and some color too!). Looking and feeling your best in your photos will create a beautiful final result in custom artwork you’ll treasure forever (and we can help with that, too!).  If you want to schedule your family photos with me, please connect with me here!

The Flash Lady Photography is a full service studio located in Greater Hartford specializing in maternity, newborn, baby, child, and family photographs. We create special memories out of your lifecycle events including creative maternity and newborn sessions, personalized first birthday celebrations and cake smashes, and family and holiday portraits! We also support local small businesses and professionals with custom headshots for your professional needs. We are conveniently located in central Connecticut with easy access to major highways and plenty of on site parking. Please use our website contact form to contact us about planning your special photography session! We look forward to working with you!

Kristin Vacca

Wife. Mother. Photographer. :)
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