5 Tips for Selecting Family Photo Outfits

You have found your inspiration, booked your session, and found a stunning backdrop. Now all that is left is finding the perfect outfits to portray your family at their best. But where do you begin?

Here are five tips to help you achieve a flawless look.


When choosing outfits, keep in mind that photos are still images. You can add a sense of movement to any image by adding more eye-catching elements, such as textured clothing articles. However, be careful not to overdo these elements by adding too much to one personal portrait. It is also key to be picky in which components you decide to include.

Rather than each family member wearing a textured article, it is best if only 1 or 2 family members dress in a bold texture to help break up the color(s). If you are not feeling confident about the texture elements that you want to include, statement jewelry is an easy and great way to add a pop of texture while tying looks together.


When planning an in-studio session, sheen or shiny clothing pieces can catch the light well. A matte shirt with sheen detailing will photograph very well, however, something too reflective, such as sequin pants, might bounce the light around.

For outdoor sessions, a sheer dress or skirt can flow beautifully in any landscape. We recommend finding a color pallet inspired by the surrounding natural elements when choosing colors for outdoor sessions. Gold, blues, greens, whites, and ambers all blend well into most outdoor settings.

For best results, you should consider the surrounding that you will be in while taking the photographs and consider where you wish to display the final portrait. Try to find colors that will complement the elements that already exist in that room.


Everyone has witnessed the family beach photos where everyone wears khaki bottoms and a white or light blue top. While this is a classic and clean look, you do not have to worry about picking two colors that everyone has in their closets. Instead, it is best to pull two to four colors that all complement each other nicely.

By selecting a few complementary colors, you are creating a wider space for people to be themselves. Not all family members photograph the same in every color. Incorporating multiple colors will also help to add depth and movement to any portrait. While being in the same color isn’t necessary, it is important that everyone dress in the same style (i.e., casual, professional, elegant).


For best results, do your best to avoid oversized clothing. Even though oversized coats, flannels, and pants are currently in-style, when articles are too large, they often distort photographs’ proportions in a dramatic way. If your desire is to re-create a trendy portrait that you saw online, make sure you consider how the items were styled together as well as what elements were used.

At the end of the day, the best choice is the clothing that makes you feel comfortable, confident, and remarkable! After all, if you do not like yourself in the end product, you likely will not display the portrait. While it can be fun to try different styles, we recommend dressing in a style that is yours.


For outdoor sessions, make sure you are planning on shoes that make sense. Will you be walking a long distance from the car to the location? Are you shooting in the snow? Is your style serious or fun? What’s the weather forecast for that day? Do you have a rain plan?

These are all very important aspects to consider as you want to be as comfortable and relaxed as possible for your photos to come out great.

Family portraits can be a big undertaking, making the planning feel like a big task, especially for larger families. With all of the details to consider, it helps to have a professional photographer to guide you through everything you need to know. Capturing family memories is so important, and with the right assistance, can be something that the whole family looks forward to. Gittings photographers take the stress out of planning and make the process seamless, memorable, and most of all, fun.

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