What to Wear – Family Sessions


What you wear is key for a successful session. Clothing complements who you are as a family, speaks to the environment in which the session is taking place, and coordinates with the home where final images will be displayed. Your style should be as unique as your family, so here are some tips on what to wear for a beautiful and relaxed session.

Please keep in mind that these are just tips and that you should dress in the way that best reflects the personality of your family. If you need some help, please let me know. I would be happy to guide you.

1. Coordinate using two to three colours

Pick two or three colours that are flattering for everyone, and work within these colours for every member of the family. See the lovely examples below using orange, navy and white. Mom is wearing an orange dress, dad is wearing jeans and a white shirt, the kids are wearing combinations of the three and this creates a lovely portrait.


The same family session where the mom is wearing white, dad is wearing a navy shirt and white pants, the kids wearing different clothes but in the same colours.


What to avoid for colours combinations:

  • Everyone in black or darks: while it may seem like a great idea, when everyone is in the same dark colour, it’s difficult at times to see where one person ends and the other one begins in group shots.
  • Identical matching outfits: there is no reason for children to be wearing exactly what mom and dad are wearing in an attempt to look unified unless that is the look you want to achieve.

2. Texture and accessories

The best way to also add personality to your images is by integrating texture in the clothing. Items like a nubby sweater, tweed scarf or furry vest can add a lot of personality to a portrait. Think of varying textures in the clothing. Have fun with accessories and layers to add dimension to your photographs. Accessorize with jewelry, belts, scarves, headbands, ruffles and buckles… 



3. Iron your shirt, shine your shoes

Photographs record everything including wrinkles so make sure your crisp white shirt is ironed and your shoes are shined. So the night or morning before your shoot, take out all the clothing you intend to wear and make sure each item is unfolded and ironed, this includes T-Shirts. The camera picks up everything.

4. Go for Classic Styles

Try not to be too avant-guard when choosing your outfits unless this is who you are (fashionista). Classic clothing will give timeless images. But timeless doesn’t necessarily mean stuffy and stiff. You can incorporate trendy colours with classic cuts to be current and classic at the same time. You can also add pizazz to classic clothes through accessories.


Large logos or fussy prints are to be avoided, if possible.

5. Comfort

This applies to children especially, try to choose clothing that is comfortable. Crispy crunchy dresses or suits and ties may seem like they would be ideal for a pretty portrait but most children cry when they are in clothing that is simply not comfortable. Choose clothing that children can easily run around in so that they feel as natural and free as they can, and they will be happy for their portraits. If formal attire is required, then make sure they have a quick change of clothing after the fact.

6. Make sure it fits

For babies, please make sure the outfits your select fit the size of your baby. Clothing that is too large will simply appear too large and the baby will look like he or she is swimming in it.

For children and adults, it goes without saying that clothing that is the right size is best. Overly baggy clothing is simply not flattering for anyone.