One of the questions I get asked a lot in my work as a Marin County photographer is, “What should we wear to our family photo shoot?” I’m glad people ask! Because there’s a lot I can do to make you and your family look amazing but one thing I can’t change is how outfits look on camera.
Luckily, there are some simple wardrobe guidelines to follow to make sure your family photos turn out frame-worthy.
Go For Coordinated, Not Matchy
Avoid clothes that are too matchy-matchy. We want to steer clear of anything that reminds us of those Sears photos from the 90’s. You know the ones where everyone is wearing the same exact white buttoned-up shirt.
Instead, choose outfits where they are matching in tones and style. Do the colors you’re all wearing look good side by side? Do you look like you’re all going to the same event? Then you’re on the right track!
If It Looks Good on You, It Looks Good Everywhere
Don’t worry about matching the scene or landscape. Just because you’re taking photos on a hiking trail doesn’t mean you should wear jeans and hiking boots. A simple flowy dress looks great in the Marin hills, a grassy California field, redwood forest, and even the beach. And dark jeans and a fitted collared shirt for a masculine person is flattering in every setting.
Some Things to Avoid…
Formalwear – Let’s go for more “Sunday Brunch” than “Wedding Party.”
Baseball Hats – Face blockers
Logo tees – Too distracting
Super bright colors like vibrant pinks and yellow – They’re the first thing you see in a photo
Try On Your Clothes First
Whatever you decide to wear, try on your clothes first and look at yourself in the mirror. Check that it fits all the way around since I won’t always be photographing straight on from the front. Some of the most special, most authentic moments can come from all angles.
Most importantly! Do you think you look good? Do you feel great and comfortable in what you’re wearing? Make sure the outfit feels right and fits your personal style. If you feel good in front of a mirror, you’ll feel more at ease in front of the camera.
Families that Got it Right
Here’s a few examples of families that planned just right for their shoot. See any combinations you like? Try something similar for your family photos.
Check out what my family and I wore for our own family photos!