What To Wear For Family Photos | PNW Seattle Family Photographer

The Storyteller

I find that sometimes the biggest stress factor for families when booking their family photo session with a photographer is figuring out what to wear. Since I’m on the other side of the camera and have basically seen and photographed hundreds of families and kids, I have some easy tips and tricks that can make this whole process a lot easier.

You’re going to hear me say this in my booking email as well, but it’s because it works every time: neutral colors and palette work for everyone. Think of them as the base for any and every outfit. Whites, creams, tans if you want to go with a lighter palette. Blacks, grays, and darker browns if you want to go with a darker palette. Start with a plain color and then consider adding a fun pattern or a print for added interest. Keep the prints patterns small so they don’t become the center of attention – I want to make sure the camera is focusing on you and your people! Mix and match the color so that you’re complimenting each other, not matching. If you’re a Mom and Dad reading this, start with your outfits first. I know it’s tempting and more fun to dress the kids, but trust me when I say that making sure you’re taken care of first will make your lives much easier.

When choosing fabrics for kids, try to make sure they can move and play in them. Kids are going to be much happier having their picture taken if they don’t feel stiff. Softer fabrics also add an interesting element to photos since they tend to move more and have more texture. You’re going to want to see a bit of movement in your clothing choices. It’s part of what makes photos nostalgic, and memorable.

Consider the time of year you are choosing to take photos. Every year, I get a family that underestimates how cold it is outside. Happy kids make happy parents. You can always take a layer off when we’re outside, but you’re going to want to be prepared. This particular family was visiting from California and chose to bring and wear coats, sweaters, and tights for their girls. Their older son was wearing light colored jeans which perfectly blended in with their neutral outfit choices. If he had worn jeans, it would have completely stood out from the rest of their clothing colors.

And lastly, be inspired by the environment and landscape you choose to photograph at. This family of five requested city vibes for their family photos. They had already done the grassy field photos that are so common with family photographers, so they wanted something different that was authentic to who they truly are – highly recommended! Their outfits perfectly fit in with the background architecture of Pioneer Square just near the The Smith Tower in Seattle, WA. I love how their outfit colors compliment the buildings in the background. A short walk away to a lit alleyway added an extra interesting city element to their family photos; I’m obsessed with this fun capture of their parents walking their kids down the alleyway. You can really tell how much fun the kids were having and this is always what I want to help you achieve in every photo session. Simply be yourself and the photos you dream of will happen.

To recap:

Start with neutral colors as a base so that adding additional colors will be easier

Accessories like hats, jackets, coats, caps, and beanies are always encouraged

Dress for the season and the environment you choose to photograph at for photos that feel authentic

Don’t want to commit to one outfit? Bring a backup! Extra outfits will only add more interest to your gallery.

with love,
Maria Alcantara

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