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What to Wear for a Photoshoot | Real Family Photoshoot Outfits & Why They Worked!

Family photo sessions are a great way to capture memories and document your family's growth. But deciding what to wear can be a daunting task! As a family photographer in Las Vegas and Henderson, and having had our family photos done, I know that figuring out what to wear for a photoshoot can be stressful. That's why I provide my clients with a Client Session Guide that is packed full of tips for choosing outfits, as well as complementary wardrobe consultations to provide feedback and help with family coordination. For this blog post, I thought it would be helpful to also look at some examples of real family photoshoot outfits that worked well, and discuss why they were successful.

Here we go!

Tip 1: Add loads of texture

A family of 4 with two young daughters are sitting on a cement park bench. Baby girl is sitting on dad's lap, while the older sister is standing between mom and dad. They are dressed so well and incorporate so much texture in their outfits. 3 of them have on a knit top. Mom is wearing a long, light rust colored dress.

This photo is of the mom and baby from the previous photo. A blonde mom is sitting and holding up her one year old next to her. They are dressed so beautifully. Mom is wearing a light rust colored dress with mid-length sleeves. The baby is wearing a cute pink cardigan with pom details on it. She also has on a patterned romper with white tights. She has a dainty little bow headband on her head. They are sitting on some cement at a park.

This family did an amazing job incorporating texture into all of their outfits! I'm talking about

  • the various knit materials

  • buttons on big sister's cardigan

  • pom details on little sister's pink cardigan and

  • the fold details on Mom's sleeves.

All of these details add depth and interest to the photos! Also, the knits pull double duty by making the outfits look cozy - which is perfect for this fall session - and also keeping my clients warm with layers without being bulky.

The pattern on little sister's romper adds visual interest and breaks up the solid color palette. Mom's dress also has a very subtle, but pretty pattern that doesn't compete with the romper for attention. (Too many busy patterns in a group can look a little overwhelming.) The long length of her dress adds elegance and allows her to crouch and sit comfortably with her little one. The family's colors coordinate well, work for the season, and include neutrals, which is always a winner.

Lastly, everyone has cute and clean shoes, which is fantastic because sometimes shoes can be an afterthought. As you can see here though, they totally add to each individual's outfit!

Tip 2: Dress fancy, if you please

A beautiful Asian family is standing in front of a building in a courtyard with some bare trees. They are smiling and looking at each other. They are dressed so glamorously in a family color palette of pinks, beige, white and cream. The men and boys are all wearing tuxedos. The women are all wearing different dresses. The grandma is holding a bouquet of flowers.

This extended family decided to go the formal route for their outfits, and I couldn't have loved it more! I know this is, of course, not for every session but, my goodness, look how good it can look! I love the various textures (sequins, lace, satin) and that all of the males wore tuxes - even the boys! Pinks, creams, beige, and white look pleasing together and photograph nicely, too. They were celebrating the grandparents' anniversary, so the chosen outfits matched the occasion and location marvelously.

Another thing of note is that most of the dresses have some kind of waist-defining feature, which can help create a flattering silhouette, as well as help balance the proportions of the body.

Tip 3: Make Mama-to-be the star

This is a side by side picture of two photos from a desert maternity session. The mother to be is wearing a long sleeved, blue and white flowered dress. The dad-to-be is wearing a light tan polo shirt with jeans. They are holding hands. In one photo, they are both closing their eyes peacefully. The other photo has them facing each other and laughing, while the gorgeous light shines above the mountain behind them.

With maternity sessions, the mama-to-be and her bump are the focus! This client chose a beautiful, eye-catching dress with a pretty, delicate pattern.

The colors allow her to pop from the background and bring the focus to her in every photo.

The ribbon at the waist provides some definition and emphasizes her growing belly. The long length of her dress adds elegance, but isn't too long so that she can't accidentally trip. Her husband coordinates well in a solid, neutral-colored polo. The awesome thing about neutrals is that they basically go with everything!

Tip 4: Aim for relaxed, comfortable, and cute for in-home photoshoots

A beautiful mom with brunette hair is sitting on her bed with her two sons: a toddler and a newborn baby. The bed has white covers and there is a white lamp on the bedside table next to them. The mom is looking right at the camera smiling. The toddler is looking happily at his little baby brother.

Beautiful family sitting together on the parents' bed with white covers. There is a mom holding an adorable newborn baby. Her toddler son is standing up next to her, leaning his forehead lovingly on the side of her head. Dad is right beside them holding the newborn's hand. They are all smiling and look so happy. The rest of the room has white decor.

For in-home sessions, one of my main tips is to dress for a day at home, but like you're expecting company. The father and sons' outfits look relaxed and comfortable, which makes sense for the setting. Meanwhile, mom's dress is the same, but also super pretty and flattering for her. Additionally, her outfit adds a pattern to the mix. The family's light colors match the surroundings and their home décor, which also means that these photos will fit right in at home when hung on the wall.

Therefore, if you're ever stuck for a color palette, look to your own home for inspiration!

Father and son also match with the jeans, which is cute. Their different top colors allow them some contrast when photographed together, and prevent them from being matchy-matchy. Baby is in a simple, neutral colored outfit, so that all of the attention can be on his adorable and tiny newborn features.

Tip 5: Have a common theme or vibe for the outfits

Extended family photo session in Las Vegas desert. 11 people including 2 boys. The color palette for their outfits is pink, beige, white and cream. Everyone is standing together in a line and interacting with each other happily.

Here again we see pinks, creams, beige and white! These light colors go well for this desert setting, especially with all of the sunlight illuminating the surroundings. Everyone has their unique, flattering outfit, which gives a hint of each person's individuality and style. At the same time, the various outfits and flowy fabrics give off the same vibe of casual chic, which make them look cohesive as a group.

The pink dress has a subtle pattern, some texture details, waist-defining features and allows some pretty light to peek through.

The accessories used among the group add a nice touch and extra style: the two hats, dark belt, watch, necklaces and shiny bracelet.

I hope this blog post gives you ideas about what to wear for your next family photoshoot, and also some clarity about what makes a set of family outfits photograph well together! If you're one of my clients, remember that you can always reach out anytime, and send me photos of potential outfits via email. I love working together to figure out how we can elevate your photos through styling!



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