What to wear on a family photo shoot

I think that this is my most commonly asked question about a photo shoot. What should I wear? I understand, it would be the one question that I would ask my photographer! I know how difficult it can be to dress myself without thinking about finding something that the rest of the family can wear that not only looks good and is comfortable but that also coordinates, whilst also thinking about the season, the weather and the session venue. Don't worry, I hope that guide can help alleviate these worries with the following guide and you are always welcome to ask me for further guidance if needed, I am really happy to help!

Plan ahead

This is my number one rule. There is no point booking a photography session and then not planning your outfits until that day. You will be looking at your photographs for years to come so want to be looking and feeling great on the day of the session.


How to plan!

I suggest that you pick two or three colours that you like, coordinate well and look good on your family and then combine them with neutral colours such as whites, greys or browns. Jeans work very well as a neutral but I would suggest that you don't all wear jeans as this can look too matchy-matchy. Always think coordinating not matching, as gone are the days when at every photo shoot it was recommended that your wore a white shirt and jeans.

No logos or big pictures on tops please, as in photographs your eye will get drawn to this rather than your lovely faces, you need to be the star of the show not your logo top! Logos or big pictures can also date a photograph as fashion changes.

Finally I would also advise to avoid black or white tops. Black tops generally aren't that flattering in photographs and you tend to loose a lot of detail in the shadows of a black top. Whilst white tops can be harsh and create blown out highlights in your photographs, plus your eye is naturally drawn to the lightest part of the image and again I want the attention of your image to be your face and your expression, not your top! Cream is a better option than white.

A great way to see if your outfits all work together is to lay the outfits out on the floor or bed, side by side, just to see if they look as good together as you had imagined. If you are stuck at this point just send my an image on this from your phone and I will happily advise you.


What colours look great for a photo session/are best for a family photographs?

Unfortunately there is no easy answer to this! As mentioned previously I would avoid black or white tops but any other colour can work well. Trying asking yourself which colour works well in my family, what colour do I feel most comfortable in, what colour suits me etc. You could also think about what colour will work well in the room that you are going to display your finished photographs in.


Comfort always comes first as I want you to be able to relax and smile and be able to move freely. I don't want you to have to breathe in all the time as your trousers are too tight, or feel that you can't bend down to your child in case your trousers split (it has happened!).

I recommend that you wear something that is comfortable that you feel good in and the same applies to the kids too. There is no point in them looking great but being grumpy and fidgeting because they feel uncomfortable. Don't forget to get everyone to try on their outfits before the shoot to make sure it all fits, as we know how quickly kids grow and how much weight can be put on after Christmas!

With comfort in mind please also think of your footwear. Most of my shoots are outdoors so shoes that you can wear out in the great British countryside comfortably is a definite requirement. For indoor newborn or young baby shoots bare feet work well.


Ideally, the season should also be a consideration when choosing what to wear for your photoshoot.

Just have a think about the colours that will be surrounding you. In spring think spring flowers, in summer long grasses and in winter more of a brown, gold and orange colour pallette. With this in mind then try to imagine your clothes within this setting. For example on a bluebell shoot I wouldn't suggest matching the purple and green of the bluebell wood but I would suggest softer colours that allow you to sit in the landscape in a complementary way, rather than matching, such a greys, creams, lilacs or blues.

Newborn and young baby shoots photography sessions

These sessions are held in the comfort of your own home so for Mum especially please wear something that makes you feel comfortable and beautiful. The best advice is to choose neutral colours and keep it simple. Light coloured tops with jeans, or dresses, in light greys, pale pastels, beige and cream all work well against your baby's skin for Mum. For Dads, jeans and a neutral colour unpatterned shirt that coordinates with Mum's will work well. For baby, a white onsie/vest is the best. They are the star of the show and bright colours and patterns can be distracting in the final photographs. No logos or writing on tops for anyone please, as the focus in the final images should be on your faces and expressions not on the clothes.