What to Wear for Family Photos: 5 Tips to Coordinating Outfits

As a family photographer in Durham, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is, "what should we wear for our family photo shoot?" Deciding what to wear for a family portrait can be daunting and stressful especially if you don't know where to start! I thought I'd write a quick blog post on on how you can plan your outfit as a family, and you can use this as a reference guide for your upcoming sessions. Scroll down to learn about my 5 tips to coordinating the perfect family outfit for your photo shoot!

1. Know your style!

Consider what you normally wear and what style best represents YOU! Do you like a clean and classic look, or are you more preppy and edgy? Or perhaps you like more of a vintage and bohemian look? Also, keep in mind when it comes to lifestyle photography, the idea is to be genuine and authentic. If your family is athletic and loves the outdoors (like this family one below!) then by all means, go for a more sporty and casual look! In a nutshell, dress in a style that BEST showcases who you are as a family. You'll look and feel more confident during your shoot!

Outdoor family photo at Umstead Park in Raleigh, NC | By G. Lin Photography | Raleigh Family Photographer

2. Choose a color scheme.

What colors do you normally wear? Do you find yourself wearing a lot of neutrals? Or maybe pastels? Or maybe you like rich, jewel tones (like blues and purples). Whatever colors you tend to gravitate towards, I recommend choosing no more than 2-3 colors and dressing within that color palette. For example, this family is dressed in a gorgeous cream and orange color scheme, which looks great for an in-home lifestyle session! It's soft and pretty, yet fun and fresh at the same time!

Indoor Lifestyle Session in Durham | Raleigh Family Photographer | By G. Lin Photography

3. Wear solids and limit patterns.

Solid clothing usually looks the cleanest on camera. Patterns can look good too, just make sure it's subtle and complements the overall look. Go for a balanced look when it comes to wearing patterns or prints; otherwise things can get too "busy" or distracting. For example, this family dressed their baby in a patterned shirt for his six month photo shoot since he was the main attraction! The parents balanced their overall look by dressing in solids and coordinating colors.

Also, I suggest avoiding logos or graphics because that tends to be distracting in photos. We want to capture your love and connection first and foremost!

Modern Family Lifestyle Session at Home | Durham Family Photographer | By G. Lin Photography

4. Layer your outfit.

Layering is a practical and easy way to build texture and interest in your photos. For example, adding a scarf, vest, cardigan, or jacket can help pull your overall outfit together! Layering is also great for the colder months in Raleigh-Durham. It helps you stay warm during the shoot, but also makes it easy to remove clothing if you start to get too warm.

Fall Family Photo at Umstead Park in Raleigh | By G. Lin Photography

5. Wear accessories.

Wearing accessories is like putting the cherry on top! It adds the finishing touch to your outfits. Whether you wear a fun necklace, sparkly earrings, or a pretty bracelet or watch, these are the details that help add personality to your photos. I love how the mom in the photo below is wearing an orange necklace because it adds a nice pop of color!

Indoor Lifestyle Newborn Session | Raleigh Newborn Photographer | By G. Lin Photography

Still stuck? Checkout my Pinterest board!

I recommend going to Pinterest for some inspiration and ideas! For some more helpful tips, you can checkout my Spring and Summer Wardrobe Guide and my Fall and Winter Wardrobe Guide. Pinterest is a great place to help you get a feel for colors and patterns you love as well as trends you like!

Lastly, please don't be shy to ask me for help! As your family photographer, you are always welcome to bounce ideas with me :) Have fun, and I hope this helps you feel prepared, confident, and excited for your session!