Family photos are our pride and joy. They may be the photographs we look at and share the most, the ones we keep in albums or display around the house, the ones we transform into greeting cards for Christmas or Mother’s Day.
But although our family will always look good in our eyes, how we dress for a family photo shoot is key for a successful family portrait. And we can’t use the same outfits again and again or rely on clichés. We need inspired clothes that match our family’s personality, taste, and lifestyle. Family photo outfits should also match the occasion, season, and photo shoot location as well as the photographs’ aesthetic.
So it’s not easy to come up with the perfect outfit. And if you do a family photo session a few times a year, you’ll run out of ideas very quickly. Thus, check out our tips for how to dress for family photo shoots based on various criteria and choose what suits your family style.
How to Dress for Family Photos Based on Season
Dressing according to the season enhances the visual story of your family pictures. It’s part of what photographers and filmmakers call localization: establishing where the action takes place in space and time. Your family’s outfits may indicate the season in the absence of other cues, such as a relevant background. Choosing a family photo outfit based on season refers to warmth, texture, fabric, colors, and style.
Family Photo Outfit Ideas for a Summer Photo Shoot
Summer means sunny days, vacations, and warm weather, which translates into casual family photo outfits in light colors and natural fabrics. It’s also a season full of leisure activities, such as hiking, biking, camping, and going to the beach. Get inspired by the colors and textures of summer and translate them into the perfect clothing items for your family photo shoot. Here are some ideas:
- Neutral colors with white pieces and natural fabrics, such as cotton and linen. You may want to include straw hats, sandals, and handmade bohemian accessories.
- Bright greens, yellows, and orange shades are impossible to ignore in any context. They scream vacation, freedom, and joy and look perfect in a travel-theme photo session. You can pair strong colors with white and beige items.
- Ready-for-adventure sports outfits, such as hiking equipment, hats, and boots. It’s funny and sends a message: We are out for adventure; see you in the fall! Use white T-shirts to brighten up your faces.
- Marine-inspired outfits that include multiple shades of blue and a lot of white, fluid dresses, stripes, and natural fabrics. You can pose barefoot if you want.
Family Photo Outfit Ideas for a Winter Photo Shoot
Winter is about snow and snow-related sports but also about the coziness of a warm house, the delight of a hot drink, and the winter holidays. Incorporate all these characteristics in your family photo outfit, focusing on what is relevant for your family.
Earth colors, such as grays, browns, and dark greens, complement the winter landscape. Use thick and textured fabrics such as knitwear and leather. Don’t forget about accessories: long boots and shawls go well here.
- Layers are a must in winter. Why not use them for your photo session? You may want to use long, fluid dresses and sweaters, tight trousers and oversized shirts, or any other combination that matches your style and attitude. Make sure you don’t use too many different textures and patterns.
- Winter sports equipment, such as ski and snowboard equipment, looks adventurous in an outdoor photo session and hilarious in an indoor photo session. Nevertheless, it conveys your spirit and makes a fun family photo shoot.
Warm outfits that include heavy coats, gloves, and wool hats are perfect for an outdoor family photo session. You may want to use strong colors to stand out from the background and convey energy and happiness.
Family Photo Outfit Ideas for a Spring Photo Shoot
Spring is well-known for its blossomed trees and beautiful colors. All you have to do is match your outfits with the natural beauty that surrounds you. But if you prefer a less-is-more approach, here are some ideas:
- Floral outfits are a good choice, but add a twist. Don’t go all floral; use just one clothing item with a floral pattern, such as a shirt or a skirt. Use plain colors for the remaining pieces, such as green, brown, or purple.
- Camouflage outfits but not the military way; the blossoming way. Do you plan a photo shoot in a blossomed cherry orchard? Wear pink. In a rapeseed field? Wear yellow. Blend in the landscape.
Go green is a great approach for spring family photo outfits. Find clothing items in the same shade of green as the fresh foliage of the trees. Use statement items, such as T-shirts, and pair them with denim.
Family Photo Outfit Ideas for a Fall Photo Shoot
Fall has the best light for photography. Just imagine a sunset, the golden autumn colors, and the deep blue skies. If you don’t know already what to wear for a fall family photo session, here are some ideas:
Autumn color outfits, the obvious choice, are suited for an indoor photo session. If you and the background have the same colors, you will blend in too much. So, either pair autumn colors (shades of red, brown, and orange) with cold shades (blue, gray) or use a studio.
Cold colors outfits contrast the warm autumn colors and make you stand out. It’s a good moment for an all-denim outfit, for example.
- Minimalist outfits look good in the fall because the landscape already has plenty of texture. A simple monochrome outfit will create a focal point. You may want to try overalls, long dresses, suits, and matching shirt and trousers sets.
How to Dress for Family Photos Based on Occasion
If you want to transform your family photo shoot into a memorable event, consider the occasion when you choose your outfits. Keep in mind that you don’t need to match the entire outfit to the occasion. A single clothing item or accessory acts as a powerful hint.
Family Christmas Photo Outfit Ideas
Christmas photos are so used that often become a cliché. So avoid reindeer sweaters and complete matching outfits in red and green. Instead, try one of these ideas:
- T-shirts with Christmas messages tell everything you need to tell without making the photos tacky. You can be as stylish as you are in your normal life. And you can use the canvas to say something meaningful to you.
- Velvet, whether it is red, green, or another color, is a symbol of Christmas in a very subtle way. It’s classy and elegant and looks amazing in photos.
Three Festive Colors is a family photo outfit idea that leaves you plenty of creative freedom. You can go for a traditional red-green-dark blue or a glamorous white-silver-gold, but also for something that represents your family, such as red-white-black, purple-gold-cream, or light blue-silver-dark green. Choose one bright color and two softer ones.
Beach Family Photo Outfit Ideas
If you are on holiday or live near a beach, you have the perfect location for a family photo session. However, you need multiple beach family photo outfit ideas if this is your favorite décor for family pictures. Here is what we propose you wear:
- Bright colors and beach-themed accessories are a faultless idea. It provides endless combinations and authentic approaches, such as colorful swimsuits, beach toys, surf costumes, and light clothes that flatter your skin tone. You choose the clothes you love and make them look ready for the beach.
- Black items are often avoided when it comes to a beach photo session. But black is so classy and stylish, making your pictures elegant and timeless. Avoid black if you don’t have a tan, and stay away from all-black outfits. Otherwise, you are good to go!
- Light materials create a romantic atmosphere on windy days. Choose white, soft pastels, and neutral colors to complement the flow of the clothes and let the wind play with your hair. For this outfit, you don’t need shoes or hats; just a kite for kids to play with.
Newborn Family Photo Outfit Ideas
When a newborn is welcomed into the family, the outfits have to match the occasion. But celebration meets practicality because you can’t wear clothes that will make the baby uncomfortable. But don’t worry; there are some tricks a happy family with a new baby can easily implement.
Minimalism always works. Choose matching outfits in plain colors for the entire family, but start by dressing the newborn. Then, adjust the color palette to meet his or her needs. Avoid patterns and rich textures, and choose comfortable fabrics, such as cotton and linen. Use just one or two colors that complement your skin tone.
Knitwear is comfy, warm, and photogenic. And it allows you to use saturated colors and create a fun and joyful atmosphere. Not all baby photos have to be white, delicate, and serene. If your family’s personality suits colorful outfits, knitwear is your friend.
- Patterns like stripes, paws, and hearts are often part of a newborn’s wardrobe. Why not use them for the family’s outfits as well? Don’t mix too many patterns and colors; you’ll create fun and eye-catching family portraits.
How to Dress for Family Photos Based on Location
Location is also an important factor in your decision on what to wear for a family photo shoot. And not just because taking photos outdoors means you depend on the weather conditions. But what goes for an indoor photo session isn’t always appropriate for an outdoor one and vice versa. Here are a few tips to help you choose the best outdoor and indoor outfits.
Outdoor Family Photo Clothing Ideas
Consider the weather, landscape, and atmosphere for an outdoor family photo session. For example, if you have the ocean as the background, dressing in blue makes you blend in, while dressing in orange makes you pop out.
- Activity wear is appropriate when your family photos capture a particular moment of your life. It may be an exotic holiday with water sports activities, preparations for a camping trip, gardening, or running a marathon. Whatever brings your family together deserves to be in your family portraits.
- Color contrast with the background is a good idea for family portraits because it makes you stand out. Choose reds and oranges for a blue background, purples and violets for a green background, and bright colors for a neutral background.
Blend in with the background to emphasize your connection with nature. Choose similar clothing items for your family members, such as denim jackets, white T-shirts, and matching shoes. Choose organic fabrics and sustainable items to tell your story and raise awareness.
Indoor Family Portraits Outfit Ideas
For indoor family portraits, you can opt for more elegant outfits. Your photo session will most likely be static and require you to pose and be aware of the camera. It’s your time to shine and create beautiful family portraits.
Evening wear is a good idea if you intend to transform your family photos into wall art or greeting cards. Choose glamorous fabrics, such as velvet and silk, wear accessories, and visit a hairdresser and a makeup artist.
Outfits that match the interior will help you create clean family photos with fewer distractions. If your home has Mediterranean or countryside influences, ensure your outfits use the same color palettes, accessory styles, and textures. You want your photos to look natural and honest.
- Funny outfits are an excellent touch-up when you take photos at home. You can wear pajamas, funny T-shirts, crazy accessories, and princess skirts. Showcase your family’s portfolio in terms of Halloween costumes and unconventional ideas. Be yourself!
How to Dress for Family Photos in Every Situation
A photo shoot is about your family; every member should be considered. It may be easy to dress two people in matching outfits, but finding matching outfits for a large family with diverse sizes, styles, and preferences is a challenge. Check out our ideas to maintain peace in the family.
Large Family Photo Outfit Ideas
A large family photo session usually means static poses. Therefore, people’s outfits need to match in color, style, and texture. As some people may refuse to wear a particular color or style, discuss the outfits as a group and come to a common decision.
- A neutral color palette allows every family member to find something appropriate in their wardrobe. Some may want to go for white or black, but others may want something in between, such as beige, gray, brown, or burgundy. And if you have a common color palette, you may much more easily incorporate different textures.
Gradient color shades are a great way to offer flexibility, display the relationships within your family, and add a new dimension to family photos. Choose a color everyone likes and invite your family to select a particular shade. Some may prefer a bold shade; others prefer pastel tones or even white. It’s OK as long as everyone stands in line.
- Thematic outfits are fun and engaging. Family members receive a theme and can choose any clothing that fits the theme. You can use a chromatic theme (e.g., yellow, all-black), a seasonal one (e.g., spring vibes), something related to the photo shoot’s location (e.g., Earth Day), or something specific to your family (e.g., Italian background).
Plus-Size Outfit Family Photo Ideas
When you dress for family photos, what you like to wear comes first. Even the most gorgeous outfit can’t hide the fact that you are uncomfortable wearing it. Besides, family photo sessions are long and tiring. You need comfortable clothes and shoes to make it through the day. So, if one of the family members is a plus size, see what makes them feel at ease and go from there.
- Black and white outfits create an appealing contrast and geometric design. They are also elegant, sophisticated, and easy to wear in any size. You can go for plain black or white clothing items or items with black and white patterns.
- Colorful patterns, especially flowers, make any outfit look fun and joyful. Choose bold colors and match them with denim, linen pieces, and festival accessories. Make a fashion statement and wear the colors that make you smile.
- Monochrome outfits are another excellent choice for plus-size families. They show there’s no place for judgment and comparison within your family. If you prefer black or white, the photos will be elegant. But if you prefer a happy color, such as yellow or lime, your family portraits will document your mood and family spirit.
Family photos should represent your family and capture the personalities of each of its members. Although outfits should match and look good on camera, it’s more important that they provide the right mindset and mood. Family photo outfits are more about you as a family than they are about the photographs. So, discuss with your family and agree on outfits that make you happy, relaxed, and ready for the next adventure.
Dress according to your personality, style, and mood. Also, consider the location, occasion, and family story. You may consult the photographer to guide you through colors and patterns to ensure you choose something that works in the photo environment.
It depends on where you take the photographs, on what occasion, and for what purpose. It also depends on your skin tone and personal style. Black and white convey an elegant and serious attitude, while bold colors are fun and happy. Neutral and pastel colors create a romantic or nostalgic mood. But it’s more about how you wear a color than the color itself.
You will look thinner if you wear colors that blend in the background. If you take photos outdoors, that means natural shades of blue, green, and brown. In a group photo, people look thinner if they wear dark clothes and stand near people wearing bright clothes.
Don’t wear too many different patterns or too many bold colors. Try to harmonize the color palette of the group and alternate saturated colors and patterns with neutral tones, soft fabrics, and plain color items. Also, unless it’s intentional, you may want to avoid reflective pieces that may catch the flash and create glares. Discuss with the photographer and ask for professional advice based on lighting design and photo setup.