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What to Wear for Family Photos

Family photos, they have long had the bad rap. But at Leah Goetzel Photography I am to make family photos stress free and even *gasp* fun. That begins with this outfit guide! So often people don’t know where to begin when deciding what to wear for their family photos- so I hope some of these tips and suggestions will give you lots of inspiration for what to wear for your upcoming family photo session. And as always, if you have any questions, feel free to send me a message! I’m happy to give you my opinions or suggestions for what you’re planning on wearing.

Start with a neutral or a print!

Choose a neutral that will be the base of all your looks, this can be black, white, beige, etc. Then add a pop of color that will tie in all other members outfits (I love jewel tones because they are timeless and compliment all skin types!) Or start with one print and then build a color scheme using colors from that print!

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But don’t go all black or white

All white outfits can look cheesy and overexposed in photos. All black can make for very dark photos, especially if you choose a shaded location (like a forest)

Don’t be too match-y match-y

We don’t want to all look exactly the same!

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When in doubt stick with solids

Sometimes prints can be too much and distract from your lovely faces! If you have a large family the more prints you introduce the busier your images will look. Solids are easy to match and always look flattering. If you do want to spice up your look, try a bold stripe or a subtle floral print.

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Consider your location when choosing your color scheme

Location will play a huge part on which colors you should choose! If your location is green and lush, you want a color that pops against the foliage. Try a mustard, orange or vibrant blue. If your location is a busy city scape, go classic with black and white or a bright red!

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Keep your home decor in mind

If all of your furniture is say, baby blue, consider bringing that color into your outfits, it will make your photos blend seamlessly into your home.

Stick with one outfit

For family sessions I encourage only one outfit because introducing an outfit change can get hectic. Usually temper tantrums are thrown during changes, which can throw off the rest of the session. If you’re really set on having a different look for some of your photos consider bring a different accessory or jacket to change up the look quickly and easily.

Add texture

Texture creates visual interest in your photos! This can be a scarf, jacket, etc. Those little layers will make your photos look more alive!

Keep the weather in mind!

I know I just said layers are great. But also remember we’re in Texas! So dress for the climate. If it’s 100 degrees outside and you’re sweating through your clothes, it won’t matter how cute that fuzzy jacket it.

Don’t be afraid of jeans!

Some people worry jeans are too informal, but they can look great in photos and are so easy to style.

Let the kiddos have some input

Kids love feeling like they have some control, give them a couple of options and let them choose their fav. They’ll be so excited to have participated and likely will be more invested and happy for their photoshoot. Hype them up!

Don’t wear any heavy jewelry or clothing near your face

If you wear anything too busy or heavy it will distract. Keep your earrings simple, like studs or dainty hoops. And don’t wear shirts, jackets, or scarves that are too bulky around your neck.

Wear your glasses!

(Just make sure they’re not transition lenses!) If you are a glasses wearer don’t feel like you need to take them off for your engagement photos. Remember, you want these photos to look and feel like you! Besides, glasses frame your face and automatically are a cool accessory.

Refrain from dressing too holiday specific

Even if these photos are specifically for Christmas cards, don’t go too on the nose- this way you can enjoy these photos year round! If you really want a Christmas themed look, consider bringing a Christmas sweater or pjs for a fun, quick outfit change, but also wearing bringing a normal outfit. Or go with a classy red look that will look great on holiday cards but also perfect for hanging on your walls!

Try on your outfits before the big day!

Make sure everyone is comfortable and your outfits mesh well. Nothing will ruin your photoshoot more than a kid complaining their shirt is too itchy!

Bring some props!

I love incorporating props into sessions. It can be a picnic, book to read together, bubbles etc. You want your session to show off your family’s personality! So choose something that is special. Not only will it create super cute, unique photos, it will also give you an activity in case the kiddos get bored or you feel awkward in front of the camera.

You might want to bring a bribe… or two

There’s nothing wrong with bringing a few pieces of candy or a fun toy to encourage little ones participation! I try to make my sessions as fun as possible, but if kiddos aren’t cooperating sometimes a little incentive will do wonders.

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Have fun and relax!

Laaaaame, I know! But don’t stress too much about what y’all are wearing. Wear something that makes you all feel comfortable and confident and that will shine through in your photos. Let loose and have a great time!


If you have any further questions about your upcoming family photo session or questions on what to wear for your family photos, send me a message! I’d be happy to help!