Wedding photographer, Starbucks enthusiast, and lover of all things romance and weddings.

MEET Ashley

You finally bit the bullet & booked your family session! Woohoo! You should know while you’re thinking about outfits, I am doing a happy dance of excitement to get to capture y’all! So what now, you have the session booked, started to plan outfits, but got overwhelmed or maybe decided to leave it to the last minute? My hope is we can help you find some great options, toss the stress out the window & come ready to kill it for your photos. So here are 10 tips for choosing outfits for your family session to help get you there!

Tip 1. Think about your home.

You know what your décor & feel for your home is. Try to choosing outfits in colors that will complement your home. For example, if you have a rustic, old farmhouse or feel of that you know you can either do bold colors or soft colors that complement! Next is location!

Family in the fall sitting in a park, on a blanket looking at the camera. 10 tips for choosing outfits for your family session

Tip 2. Think about your location for your session

If your session is scheduled for the beach you won’t want to wear tans, browns or blues. Same as if your session is at a park with fields & trees in summer you won’t want to wear shades of greens or yellows. You don’t want colors where you will blend into your background. Which is obviously impacted by time of the year which is my next tip!

Tip 3. Consider the time of the year & the season you’re planning for.

Each season brings a variety colors & tones. For example, If you’re planning for summer in Michigan, you know its very green, sunny so reflections of yellows & orange, but also warm! You will want outfits that are comfortable temperature wise & typically brighter in color but complimentary to yellows & greens. Yes Black & white always come to mind for their versatility, thats the next tip!

A family cuddling while standing in a park in the late summer. Little boy on shoulders looking at mom. A brother & sister hugging looking at the camera.  10 tips for choosing outfits for your family session

Tip 4. Coordinate colors don’t match them. No all black or all white!

Everyone in the same color means there is no texture & no personality which produces a very flat looking image. Some important things to know white can easily blow out your image making you washed out. Where as being in all black it can cause clipping causing loss of detail to your images. Which leads us to patterns!

Tip 5. Choose patterns wisely

Don’t fear them, just put thought into the scheme of everyone’s outfits. While you don’t want everyone in patterns pairing one of your kiddos in a similar pattern to a parent is a definitely plus! Even a button up shirt with patterns that have similar colors to the remainder of everyone’s outfits is an excellent choice! And pattern doesn’t refer to logos, but thats what I discuss next.

Parents looking at kids in a field in the fall wearing red, blue & some pattern showing 10 tips for choosing outfits for your family session

Tip 6. Don’t have large branding, graphic tees or characters on your clothes

Both overwhelming and distracting, characters or branding on clothing really distracts from the individuals in your photos. it also dates your photos. Know what doesn’t date your images? My next tip about texture.                                              

Tip 7. Add texture with clothing, layers & accessories!

Depending on the size of your family 1-2 should have some texture in their outfits. This can be something like a lace dress, or lace details on a dress, linen shirt or pants,  a scarf, necklaces, anything you name it to bring in texture. It helps eliminate your images looking flat!

Family walking under a grey cloudy sky in the summer hand in hand while mom carries the baby, not looking at the camera. Two sisters sitting on a blanket smiling looking at the camera.  10 tips for choosing outfits for your family session

Tip 8. Pick for yourself first!

One of my own personal tricks is I shop for myself first! Using the above tips I start looking for myself. Choosing something we love & pairs with everyone else is WAY easier than getting kids outfits & trying to match them.

Tip 9. Plan ahead for photos when shopping

Stores frequently release outfits where you can find them similar in style & feel. Almost as collections. Target, Carters & Old Navy are HUGE for this. Also knowing that the start of the upcoming seasons clothes come out months ahead! For example, summer clothes typically appear in stores around mid-May, Fall around beginning of August & Christmas/Holiday usually around end of October.

Parents snuggling their son at a Christmas Tree farm for family holiday photos. 10 tips for choosing outfits for your family session

Tip 10. Shop in stores you’re familiar with   

You know your favorite stores! You know the fit, feel & quality. Always go with what you’re comfortable with! Stores I find our own family outfits are: Target, Old Navy, Carters, Janie & Jack, Eddie Bauer, Lulus for dresses, JessaKae online boutique for dresses, but there are so many!


While it is so easy to want to run after current fashion trends, keep your families body types in mind. You don’t want things that are skin-tight, if you’re usually in loose fitting clothing. Same with your kids if they usually wear pants even in summer, don’t put them in shorts. Remember that you want these photos to look awesome, but also represent your family!

I know this is a TON of information, but I promise these 10 tips for choosing outfits for your family session will help & if all else fails message me! I frequently help clients make decisions on outfits!


10 Tips For Choosing Outfits For Your Family Session

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You read that right we almost moved to California in JUNE! How about a little life update from this end of the internet world. Whew where to even begin. I’ve been so fortunate already to see some of my favorite families already this year. More of you I know I will see this fall and […]

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