Planning to have a photoshoot with every family member can be hard. There are just a lot of factors to be considered and, frankly, a lot of preparation. Everything can be pretty challenging, from scheduling it on a day when everyone is available and choosing what to wear for family photos. It may sound too stressful, but it doesn’t have to be! Let me ease the burden for you! With my years of experience as a Los Angeles photographer, I’ve created a guide to help you decide which spring or summer family photo outfits suit you.
Before we start, let’s put in mind that even though spring and summer are two different seasons, you can use almost the same style for both. The goal is to find a unique style for your family that feels special and comfortable at the same time. No idea how to pick the perfect attire with all the choices available? Don’t worry! Keep on reading for all the tips you can use, including my top recommended brands to choose from when picking out what to wear for family photos.
It is better that the outfits you’ll choose are appropriate to your desired location, or they won’t look natural. Consider what vibe you would like to create in your family photos and talk to your photographer about it. As a Los Angeles photographer, some of the most popular requests of families are to have a session in the park or a fun beach session. Choose your clothes based on the location you prefer.
Consider looking at your interiors if you decide to have a simple and casual shoot at home. The way you decorate your home shows a lot about your personality and style. Regardless of the shooting location, coordinating with your home décor would be best, as you will most likely display your photos on your wall. That way, you know the images will fit just right into the aesthetic.
It can be overwhelming to think about everyone’s outfit in one go. Try to sort one person at a time, and I suggest starting with the Mom’s outfit. It tends to be the hardest one to pick. By doing this, you can have a solid building block and work your way throughout. And let’s be honest, the moms are probably putting the outfits together anyway, they deserve to have first pick!
When it comes to color palettes, choose 3-5 coordinating colors. It can be neutrals and one pop of color to bring life to everyone’s outfit. Remember that when deciding what to wear for family photos, color selection will create the overall look of your image – ties everything together beautifully. If you prefer your photos to have that soft glowing look, pick warm-colored clothes like cream, brown, and peach. On the other hand, you could wear clothes in more vivid hues too, just avoid opting for too many tones at once.
The tricky thing about shoots is that some colors don’t look good in photos no matter how lovely they are in real life. It is best to steer away from saturated and bold colors in general and try the muted versions of your preferred tone. Definitely stay away from neon color! For example, replace a bright hot pink dress with a dusty rose instead. When it comes to the spring family photo outfits, muted tones are definitely the winners.
Gone are the days of matching shirts and colors. There are always exceptions to the rules, of course, but in general I would stir away from matchy-matchy outfits. Don’t put everyone in the same color and choose complementing ones instead. For instance, don’t put your daughters in the same pink dress. The other one can go with a cream or complimentary print. It’ll look better overall and show their individuality as well. The colors don’t need to be in the same family color palette. , they need to complement one another, creating a cohesive look.
One misconception about picking what to wear for family photos is that patterns are a big no. That is not necessarily always the case. As a matter of fact, I personally love prints! Patterns and textures, when done right, can make your picture more attractive. Subtle patterns and textures give variety and depth to each image. Just make sure not to use large bold prints that can be overpowering and draw all attention to them. The same rule goes for logos and text. Avoid them, they are a big no on my list. You want your family photos to be about you and timeless!
Make sure that your clothing fits well, as any discomfort can look less flattering on camera. Find clothes that are neither too loose nor too skintight. Also, think about keeping a good balance. If you have a flowy skirt, use a fitted top. Trust me, it’s all about finding balance.
For summer family photo outfits, keeping things light and airy is essential. You might have the perfect outfit, but it won’t be that appealing if you’re drenched in sweat. If everyone is uncomfortable, a family photo session can quickly unravel. So make sure to dress up in a way that all of you can withstand the weather.
Family photos are meant to document certain phases of your life as a family. This is why you want every image to represent the real you. Just be yourself and wear something that you would wear. You don’t have to dress to impress. Choose an outfit that will express your personality instead. Stick to something that is part of your lifestyle and be you!
Kids can get cranky when they don’t like what they’re wearing, so make sure that they are involved when picking what they can wear. Of course, that doesn’t mean you’ll let them wear their Spiderman costume! Perhaps you can give them a few options to choose, so they’ll think they picked it! 😉 Incorporating things that will make them happy to wear for your family shoot will result in a more enjoyable experience.
Besides being time-consuming, putting your kids in another outfit can put them in a grumpy mood. Please keep it simple and let everyone enjoy the entire photo session by sticking to one outfit only. But if your kids tend to be messy, bringing a backup outfit will diminish any stress about they ruining their outfits before the session even starts!!
When at home or at the beach, I love everyone barefooted! But other than that, your chosen shoes can make or break your entire look, so don’t forget to ensure that your footwear goes well with your outfit. Please, no gym shoes! Never! 🙂
It is always best to consider your location, too. After all, wearing your gorgeous stilettos while walking on the seashore won’t work. Besides, if any mom has time for stilettos – I would love to know your secret!
Skipping on trying on your clothes before the shoot can lead to some unprecedented problems like a wardrobe malfunction, an uncomfortable fit, or it might not fit at all. Try on your clothes and check whether everything is okay from every angle. Also, ask your kids to wear theirs to see if they can freely move while wearing them. It’s better to see whether everything fits in advance so that you can find a solution in a timely manner.
Below are some of my favorite brands I would recommend in a heartbeat. They have such a wide selection of family session outfits you can choose from! Have a look.
If you want to invest in new clothes for your family session but still stay on a budget, below are a few examples of outfits for the whole family from H&M (Spring/Summer 2022).
WORK WITH WHAT YOU HAVE OR HAVEN’T
Some families may already have the outfits in their closets, which is great. Family photos don’t necessarily mean new clothes. But if you don’t have the needed attire, this is the perfect excuse to go shopping for the entire family.
FIND BALANCE IN COLORS
Although light colors are preferred by most, some families are more into wearing dark-colored clothing. It is best to find a balance between the darker tones as they may possibly darken the general feel of the photo. Ultimately, I think you should wear what you feel good in, but it is best to avoid for the whole family to be in such dark hues. Maybe as a compromise, just one member should wear a dark color outfit.
PRIORITIZE YOUR COMFORT
Choose attire that will make you feel and look good. There’s nothing more uncomfortable than readjusting your dress throughout the session. So make sure that you pick comfortable clothes for the entire family to move freely while looking stunning.
DON’T FORGET TO ACCESSORIZE
Complete your outfit with earrings, bracelets, hats, or others… But keep in mind not to over-accessorize either!
STICK TO NATURAL MAKEUP
Let your best features shine with the help of makeup. Stick to a more natural look to highlight your beautiful features. Avoid nude lipsticks and have a handy chapstick for the entire family. Dry lips don’t look good in photos.
I always recommend wearing your glasses during your session if you wear them everyday, but please make sure you wear clear lenses. In general, transition lenses don’t look good in camera (lens glare and different lens shade), besides the fact we can’t really see your eyes in the photos.
COMMUNICATE WITH YOUR PHOTOGRAPHER
Don’t be shy to reach out to your photographer if you have any concerns about how to proceed with the preparations. As a Los Angeles photographer, I am not just here to take your amazing family portrait. I also want to make every process of it a fun experience for the entire family. So don’t stress out!
A little note for my clients: Although this guide is packed with lots of information to help you choose what to wear for family photos, feel free to reach out for any concerns I can help you with!
And if you are not my client yet, whatever the reason you choose to have a family session, I promise you won’t regret it! If you are looking to book family session with me, just reach out. I would love to chat and plan a unique shoot for you.
Thank you so much for checking out this post. I hope it was helpful!