What To Wear For Family Photos


I find that the biggest stress factor for families when booking their family photo session 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. When in doubt, neutral colors and palette work for almost every skin tone. Think of them as the base for any and every outfit. Whites, creams, and tans if you want to go with a lighter Spring or Summer palette. Blacks, grays, and darker browns if you want to go with a darker Fall or Winter palette.

Start with a neutral color and then consider adding a fun pattern or a print for added interest! Think checkerboard, small plaid, or something fun and retro. Mix the colors so that you’re complimenting each other, not matching. If you’re a Mom reading this, start with your outfit 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 will make your life much easier.

Choose the right fabrics.

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 restricted. Softer fabrics also add an interesting element to photos since they tend to move more and have more texture.

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 for chilly temperatures. This particular family was visiting from California and chose to bring coats, sweaters, and tights for their Fall family photos.

Let the environment inspire your outfits.

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 darker neutral outfits perfectly fit in with the background architecture of Pioneer Square which is 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.

Let’s 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.

Don’t overthink it. Try not to be influenced by social media. Be yourself.

And finally, when you book a family photo session with me, I’m here to help! You’ll have access to my styling guide (it makes the process so much easier!). Visit my Investment page online to learn more about my family session packages.

with love,
Maria Alcantara

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