San Diego Family Photos -How to Plan Your Outfits for Your Family Session

As we’re heading into fall, many people are scheduling their fall family photos. Family photos are definitely something to look forward to. I obviously believe in the importance of documenting your family often, its so fun and special to look back on how everyone has changed and grown, freezing these moments in time is priceless! That being said, for many parents the thought of preparing for your family photos can be stressful. Perhaps the first thing you wonder is what will the whole family wear? If you’re planning family photos and wondering how to coordinate your outfits, this post will help you!

I love helping my clients coordinate their outfits for their session with me! What you wear plays a huge role in the look and feel of your photos.

Step 1: Choose Your Outfit First

I think it’s really cool when dads reach out to schedule family photos! That being said, 9/10 times I get an inquiry its a mom booking for her family. I think of it this way: if you’re scheduling the session, you probably care the most about it. So I think you get the first pick on what to wear. I think choosing moms dress or outfit is a great place to start. I want to ensure moms feel confident in what they’re wearing in photos, so prioritizing what you wear is a good idea! Choose a flattering style and the color you feel best in. From there, you can determine the rest of the families color palette and vibe. Everyone and every body is different, but in general having a fitted waist will be most flattering for different poses in your photos.

Step 2: Choosing a Color Palette

Unless it’s the specific vibe you’re going for, in order for your photo gallery to look natural, avoid everyone in the group wearing the same color or same outfit to your photo session. Choose a color palette of multiple colors that work well together. The idea is for everyone to fit together and at the same time, not stick out in a photograph. When you’re choosing what colors for your family to wear, think of what colors you personally look great in. For example, I don’t like how I look in black or pink, but I do like green, beige and blue. I also consider the aesthetic of my home, which has these similar colors, so I know these images will look good printed for my walls. I’ll choose these colors to dress the rest of my family in. In general, muted colors are always a safe bet in ensuring colors go well together. Most people look good in earth tones as well. A good place to start in choosing colors for your outfits is to choose a color palette that has colors that compliment one another, rather than too many of the same or similar colors. For example, I love muted yellow and blue together. It’s also important to make sure colors don’t clash which is more likely to happen if you’re wearing bold bright colors.

I personally highly recommend choosing outfits that follow a more neutral color palette. Especially when your session is at location in nature, it’s great to have Earthy colors that compliment, yet pop against the backdrop. Neutral colors are also a great way to make sure your images are timeless and beautiful. I don’t recommend bright colors because these colors can often bounce back onto your skin and cause unnatural skin tones in your photos.

Step 3: Add Patterns and Textures

When looking for photo outfit inspiration, one thing that may draw you to a specific look is the contrast and textures of certain outfits. Adding in these elements can add personality and a uniqueness to your photos.

Choose patterns that are minimal and simple, such as stripes or a small floral print.

An example of mixing and matching patterns and textures:

Mom – floral print dress with colors from color pallet

Dad – White textured sweater with beige pants

Child 1 -shirt with small stripes that are in the color pallet

Child 2 – outfit that has the flower color from moms dress

Something like this will ensure everyone looks good together as a group, as well as they can look good together when paired together in different combinations.

Another tip: Limit loud patterns and large logos. This tip is especially crucial when choosing outfits, as busy patterns and big logos can be extremely distracting and if there are too many outfits with patterns in your group, can clash. Incorporate mostly solids in your outfits, and include patterns only when the majority outfits are solids, and when patterns are not as distracting. Two people should not be wearing the same type of pattern, but you can mix it up and have a floral and a stripe together. Please consider your shoes when arriving to your photo session. At the beach I will suggest we go shoeless, but at any other location please do not wear tennis shoes or casual flip flops. These are not things you’ll want to see when you hang up your photo art work in your home.

I hope this guide has helped give you inspiration for your outfits for family photos! When in doubt, ask me! I love helping people figure out what to wear for photos, it’s like a fun puzzle! If you’re needing more guidance, every client of mine is provided with a detailed outfit guide with examples of outfits that work beautifully in photos.

If you’re looking for a photographer, I’d love to be considered! I specialize in family photos and my sessions are fun! I strive to create an enjoyable experience for your family to look back on the pictures and remember a special memory together. You can view more of my work here.

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