Every year about this time, I start getting a lot of emails about what family’s should wear to their portrait sessions. While there is certainly no right or wrong way to dress, there are definitely some general guidelines that you can follow. And yes, you can always do the typical white shirts and khaki pants, but why not show a little more of your family’s personality? Here are 5 helpful tips to get you started:

1. Try to stay away from white, if possible. If you just bought a beautiful white smocked dress for your little girl, or your all-time favorite sweater is white, then by all means wear it, but otherwise, move on to something with a little color. White sometimes can wash people out.

2. Pick a color palette of 2-3 colors and stay within those shades. Here is a great blog post that I found online from another photographer if you need some inspiration. You can use different patterns, but make sure that at least a few people in solids.

3. Think about your background. If your session is going to be in the green grass in the middle of a park, pick a color palette that will contrast with that green, like a red or pink or blue.

4. Try not to get too trendy. Don’t get me wrong – I’m all about some trend – but usually not for the family portrait. Think stylish rather than trendy. You can always add some flair later on in the session.

5. Keep it comfortable. It has been my experience that when kids (and husbands!) are comfortable, they take better pictures. Again, you may love that smocked dress, but if she doesn’t smile in it, is it worth it?

Below are some examples of outfits that would coordinate well together for a family of 4. (All pieces are from J.Crew.)…….



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