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What Should My Family Wear for our Family Photos?

Updated: Nov 28, 2022

You've booked your family session, and now you get to decide how to dress for your family pictures. Take the pain out of planning your family's outfits with my simple tips below.

Give it to me straight - what do we wear?!

Keep it simple! Solid colors that match your home’s design and vibe will always be my advice. You can get away with some patterns in your clothing, but keep in mind that a bold color or pattern is potentially overpowering. A loud design draws the eye toward it, meaning the relationship between you and your family won’t be the focus of the image.

Coordinate, don’t match

I like to say, start with mom. After you decide on a color palette, choose mom’s outfit first. From there you can work on coordinating everyone else’s clothes with Mom’s. You can mix textures to add to the visual appeal: silk, wool, linen, cotton, leather. For example, if dad’s shirt is cotton while mom’s pants are leather and her shirt is a smooth fabric, the kids could wear corduroy, ruffles, or wool. Think about fun accessories like a wide brim hat for mom, or layers you can easily remove to create a different look in a snap.

What not to wear

Ultimately, what you wear is totally your call. But these are tips that, in my experience, result in the best final look for my clients. Dressing everyone in the same color (especially black) is risky because it tends to make everyone blend into one large lump. Large lump = awkward photos. If it’s one person in black pants, that’s going to look completely fine. Bold colors can work, but limit the boldness to one family member to keep it from being too chaotic and loud. Bonus: When debating between pants or shorts, go with pants.

How to dress the kids

Flowy dresses for little girls will always be a hit. Remember to dress them in neutral undergarments and for babies/toddlers in diapers, put them in a bloomer to cover it. If anyone wears tennis shoes, try to choose shoes that come in one color or in a few muted colors. Remember, bold clothing pieces will distract the eye!


Have you ever noticed how some colors light you up, while other colors seem to drain you or make your skin look dull? Something people rarely know about is how to dress in colors that compliment their skin tone. The general rule of thumb is that skin with cool undertones look best with greys, browns, blues, greens, and purples. Skin with warm undertones look best with either bright or light colors. And skin with neutral undertones look great in bold, bright colors. Google “what is my skin tone” to find out which colors best suit you.

General tips:

- Iron clothing the day before your shoot

- Choose clothing without text or large logos displayed

- Try the clothes on in advanced

When you partner with Lindsey Miller Portraits, you'll have a trusted partner to help you every step of the way when planning your family portraits. Then you can use the images we create together to purchase beautiful wall art of your family.

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