What to Wear to a Family Photo Session

This is the most common question families ask me. What should I wear to my photo session? And my answer is always, "Whatever makes you feel like you."


Of course, that's not terrifically helpful. But I mean it! I want you to be happy and comfortable and feeling great. But you want... more details. Okay! Here we go.

I've heard it said that "everyone should match mom." But in my experience, mom's outfit is usually the last one found! I would start with whichever child is easiest to dress. Because maybe he or she will share some enthusiasm for their outfit, which will help you keep going to pin down the rest.


Let's look at this family above. First of all, they are fabulous people. I've had the joy to photograph them more than once. This mom brings her A-game to the sessions. Her family is coordinated, but not completely matching. That's a win! The gentlemen are in jeans, and the ladies in skirts. They look like they belong together. There is a clear soft and sweet vibe in their outfits. And it worked beautifully, showcased at our fall shoot.

Another great example is the family below.


The mom's poncho tied together both her son's plaid shirt, and her husband's dark jacket. The dad's jacket and son's vest gave the photos a timeless quality, as you can see in the black and white image. Classic outfit choices like this will give your photos staying power.

This next family brought spring to their photo session. Though everyone is in their own unique outfit, overall the mom kept her color choices to three: blue, white and coral.


Her sweater is simple, which acted as a great complement to all three of her children. Her white skirt balanced the photo. And how she found coral pants for her son -- amazing.


This picture was taken just before the shutdowns. When the cherry blossoms had only started peeking out.


But the whole feel of the photo is of spring, thanks to the cheerful color palette.


We did some shots with the dad's jacket on, and some with it off. Whenever he took it off, it landed square on the shoulders of his son! Boy was that little guy happy to be warmed up. So, layers can come in handy. The addition of leggings under a girl's outfit is always a smart choice for our Seattle weather. Even a white tee under a dress could add so much warmth on these cold, chilly days.

One final example, this adorable family of five kids. Every one of them dressed in jeans. What a perfect way to bring a sense of fun to your photos.

It can be very hard to match kids of different ages. Here, we see a toddler up through a middle-schooler. But as soon as I saw them all in jeans, it made me happy. Kids love jeans. And it gave us a little more freedom with posing, as they could sit pretty much anywhere.


You'll notice they're all wearing different colors, but they are also all wearing sweaters. That clever touch is what tied this group together. Oh, and of course all the gorgeous grins. That's the beauty of jeans. They fit well, they come in all sizes, and as mentioned, they are kid-approved.

I hope I've somewhat circled back to my first point. Wear whatever makes you feel like you. Clothing will set the mood. But it's the relationships between you that bring out the light.





All photos © 2020

Meadow 23 Photography