"What should we wear for our family photos?", is the number one question I get asked after a client books their session.

If you've ever prepared for a professional photo session, you know that it can be quite the debacle trying to plan the perfect outfits for your family or yourself. Clothes can make or break your portrait session. What you wear pulls everything together and creates a cohesive look.

Without fail, it feels like at least one person in your family/group cannot seem to find something that will coordinate with everyone else. I often tell my clients that clothing is something you can't rush together. If planned out ahead of time, you'll take away any additional stress that might occur the day of your session.

I have quite a few pointers that I like to give to clients before their family session in order to prepare them as much as possible. What to wear for family photos is the most important factor that a client needs to consider prior to their session. I have a list of preparation tips I tell clients to consider in order to create actual artwork of your family. Which, essentially, should be your goal when scheduling a professional photo shoot.

Most important tips I want clients to know when considering what
they should plan to wear during their session:

  1. Where are you hanging your photos? This is SO important. If these images are going up on the wall (which, I really hope they are!), your clothing is definitely going to make or break your family photo. I'd hate for you to constantly walk into your home and bemoan the fact that you hate what you and your loved ones were wearing during their photoshoot.
  2. What style are you going for? Is there a motif you're hoping to achieve? If so, definitely plan to style your portraits based on what look you're most interested in. We LOVE to capture elegant family photos showcasing a Vanity Fair/Aristocratic-type style. This definitely requires clients to plan in advance and coordinate outfits for that style in order to best portray this. These family photos turn out glamorous and high-end; perfect for giant wall portraits.
  3. Are you wanting studio or location family photos? Again, this is another super important consideration to take into account when planning family photos. Most people have their heart set on one or the other. However, I've noticed some clients that are unsure of whether they prefer a studio portrait session or a session on location somewhere. When deciding, ask yourself what elements you're hoping to include in your family photoshoot. If you have a particular location that "speaks" to you, definitely go for that. However, if you're choosing location portraits based on what you're seen on Pinterest, Facebook, etc., I would suggest delving deeper into your reasoning before deciding on a location session. There are pros and cons surrounding each option, and you need to vet out your reasons why before booking. (Most studio and location photographers are VASTLY different.)
  4. What's holding you back from booking? Without a doubt, this is the biggest consideration you need to contemplate before family photos. If you have any indecision floating around, you need to take those potential issues and figure out why you're not feeling it. If you book a family photo session and haven't delved into the reasons you've put off booking, you will NOT be happy with the final result. This is because, you were choosing and booking based on expediency and not what you truly wanted.

To sum things up, I believe family portraits are, by far, one of the most important and cherished occasions you can look forward to. Making sure you are planning appropriately should be enjoyable, not stressful. If you're considering all of the particulars in advance, you won't need to stress at all. Look into what you're hoping to gain. Check out different photographers' portfolios, look around your home and decide what will look best, consider all of the options beforehand, and your family photos will be the best thing you've done in a long while.