Clothing & Styling Guide for A Family Photography Session

August 16, 2017

Photography is something personal. Especially if it is a family portrait, as they convey emotions which never changes against the tide of time. They always hold a great importance even if decades passed.

Children grow up so fast. And family portrait really helps you preserve memory for the whole family. Just think about it, just by looking at the childhood pictures of you and your siblings, it will probably bring a smile to your face, as you will remember those moments when the picture was taken. There may be lots of stories behind that picture; you might remember your little brother just felt off the water while you were catching fish at the river.... All these little things would just pop up when we look at an old family photos.

Okay, so now that you have decided to go ahead and book a family photography session, and you are worried on what to wear for the day. Well there is no reason to be worried; we are here to help you!

What to wear in your next Family Photo Shoot

Deciding what to wear in a family photography session might be a big challenge for some of the parents. It is true that your selections of clothes take an important role. If you could pair the outfits perfectly among family members, you might have halfway succeeded in getting a superb family photo done.

1.Colour Matching

As said earlier, coordination of clothes plays a key role in family pictures. That's why, while taking a family picture, one should take a special consideration to choose what clothes to wear and what clothes to avoid.
The fact is, it's not about clothing of one particular person but as whole of the group. The clothes of each of the individuals should complement each other. You should, coordinate colours but not matching exact same colour for each individual member. Instead, try wearing few colours that can fit into a same colour scheme.
When picking outfits, it will be easier to find a centre stage pieces from female clothing. So I would advise to start from the ladies and try picking clothes for the boys that go well with them.

2.Patterns and Logos

Moderate patterns can be good, in adding textures and personality. Try to avoid busy patterns at all cost, they are distracting and take away your focus point from subjects. You can also try doing just one person with moderate pattern, and the rest of the family in plain, solid colour. Or another option would be, for all of them to wear subtle patterns and in soft colour.
Besides patterns, logos / graphic / brand name would be best to avoid as well. Not only they are distracting (viewers will most likely notice the Nike / Adidas logo before seeing the adorable face of your little ones), with them in the portrait the photo will dated quickly. It is easy to spot your outfits belongs to the 90s with that Gap jeans you were wearing (for the same reason please try to avoid obvious fashion trends too).
Most of the time we prefer clothing that will give us a timeless style.

3.Adding Textures

Layers and textures also play a vital role in a photo.
For example, let's say in a family portrait, a toddler is wearing an embroidered sweater. Even if there are other people involved, the eye will more often than not go to that little kid who is wearing that sweater. This type of details makes a picture unique with its own accord.
Smocking, ribbons, lace and crochet, they all are different material and present different textures to the viewers. Use them wisely; matching them with soft colour is a brilliant way to start with.
We totally love using multiple textures and layers, especially in winter, as the temperature permits us to dress in more layers. This added depth and dimension to the overall texture of the portrait.


Accessories are good to show off the personality of an individual. Hats and scarves are good in attracting eyes. Jewellery, flowers are some extra options for the girls. Accessories also help you adding layers to the photos, but don’t get carried away and overdo it. Accessories are meant to compliment the subjects, but not to be taken as the centre stage.
Another use of accessories is to change them up abit during the shoot, that would give you multiple looks without changing different outfits. For example you can have a few photos with a scarf on, and a few photos without that scarf but having a hat on you. Doing mix and match with accessories can do wonder to your photos sometimes.
One more great use would be to add something that the family members can interact with. Like your toddlers wearing mummy’s hat or scarves, wrapping them over their faces, that would be a cute portrait. Or even sharing a big scarf between siblings, that would produce a warm scene to shoot with.

5.Tight pants / clothes in a photoshoot

They can look good sometimes, but I would suggest avoiding tight clothing on children. This will prevent them from moving freely and eventually they will lose patience during the session. Letting them choose their own outfits, or help deciding on clothing is a great idea to get them involved in the preliminary stage of the shoot. Children who helped dressing themselves tend to be happier in the shoot.


Please don’t wear sneakers, unless they go super well with the theme / feel of the shoo (and most of the time they don’t). A pair of nice boot or colourful ballet flats will be great choice. They can tie everything together and bring a complete sense of feel to the whole session.
A lot of times wearing No-Shoes can look best, especially if you having an outdoor session in a natural habitat. Think about it, when you posing for a shot, seated on the meadow, very likely the bottom of the shoes can be seen, in this case we would really prefer bare feet than shoes bottom 🙂


Props are another way to bring dynamic into a picture. Props can be anything. For example, for a small kid, holding a basket of flowers could also be a prop. Or something that holds meaning to the family, like a vintage radio that grandpa used to use, or the kids’ favourite stuffed toys (brining toys for toddler would also help calming them in the session).
But you have to be careful when choosing props. The prop can actually enhance picture if it is done right. But it also can ruin the picture if you don't know how to use them well. Props should be subtle; never should they be the centre of focus.

So these are the tips we have given to you about clothing and styling of your next family photo shoot. If you want a personal advice on this, feel free to email or pm us via our contact page!

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