Whether you are a family of three or well over a dozen, choosing what wear for your family photography session is challenging. Where – and with who – do you even start?

Unless you’re one of those Instagram families that has coordinating down to a T and do it all day every day, this blog post is designed to help you choose clothing for the whole family that looks effortless and flawless.

What outfits should you wear for your family photography

There are a few things to think about when choosing what your family will wear. If your family photography shoot is with a young baby, check out my what to wear guide for newborn photography sessions.

To help you visualise some ideas to draw some inspiration from, check out this Pinterest board and read my top tips below.

1. Dress to decorate your house

You should keep in mind the decor of your home when thinking about what to wear, first and foremost. You don’t want your prints or canvases to look out of place in your home. So start by drawing inspiration from your home.

2. Coordinate colours, but don’t go 100% matchy-matchy

The days of everyone wearing denim jeans and a white top are long gone. Bring in a little personality and style by picking a colour scheme (one that ideally matches the decor of your home). It’s typically find easiest to pick a dress, skirt or top with a lovely pattern, and then pull colours from that.

3. Best to keep it simple

Anyone else cringe when they look back on their bizarre childhood family portraits? My mum recently sent me my six month old portrait and it had me in a ridiculous red dress with question marks and puzzle pieces all over it. It screamed the late 80s! And sadly, the 90s fashion choices my mum put us in weren’t any kinder to me and my siblings.

So lesson learned? Think about choosing classic colours and avoiding trends. From a photography perspective, light pastels work best as they naturally reflect light – so a photograph captured of you snuggling your little ones will have their faces well lit as opposed to being caste in the neon shadow of your hot pink shirt.

Also think about avoiding large logos or intense patterns – basically anything that will distract the eye. The focus should be on your family, not on the pattern of your partner’s shirt.

4. Embrace movement

Family photography is all about capturing your lovely brood – as they are now. So make sure you and your family are wearing clothing you can move about and cuddle up in. You don’t want anyone in your family feeling uncomfortable and sitting there tugging and pulling on on their outfit. And you definitely don’t want anyone sucking in their stomachs if something fits just a little too snug as they will look really rigid and uncomfortable.

Outfits that enhance movement are always a personal favourite of mine. It just creates such a nice visual interest in photographs. Something that drapes nicely is a bit loose as well, so can hide insecurities. Items that enhance movement are things like a light, oversized cardigan, lace kimono, skirt or dress.

4. Accessorise and layer

I don’t recommend bringing stuff to change into – as that reduces time to take photographs and means we have to carry it around with us – but there are some quick wardrobe changes you can do. If you want to have some different looks, it is a great idea to layer your outfits or accessorise.

If you wear a blazer, for example, you could take that off for some more casual photographs. You could also wear a jumper and have a different top under that or change your jewellery, ditch the hat and tie – the list goes on. Mum, for example, could also go from flats to heels with a nice pair of earrings for a more formal look. Some outfits are incredibly versatile and it’s amazing what a few quick changes can do.

Till next time,

Kelsie Scully Photography – Brighton family photographer serving Hove, Portslade, Lancing, Worthing, Haywards Heath, Burgess Hill, Rottingdean, Newhaven and beyond with moments of love, laughter and memory-making.

If you’re looking for a family photographer in Brighton or within 40 miles of the city, have a look at my family photography packages here. I’d love to photograph your amazing family and really hope you get in touch!

You can see more family photography by taking a look at my family photography portfolio here.