Family Portraits – What to Wear

Clothing is always a concern when clients book family shoots. Should we all wear the same thing? Should we all dress up? Should the kids all match? In short, no, not unless you’re a formal kind of family, and no.

Complementing each other versus matching is key. The ‘white shirts and khakis’ or ‘black shirts and jeans’ look has been a little overdone in family portraits. That’s not to say you shouldn’t go for it if that’s what you love, but if you’d like a more modern and colorful look, try variations on the following themes:

-Primary colors  like red, yellow, blue and green mixed in with denim

-Jewel tones like deep purple, crimson, navy, emerald green and gold

-Navy with a pop of color like red or bright yellow

This last point has endless possibilities – you can treat one colour as a theme, so that everyone can wear whatever they want but use one colour to tie everyone’s clothing together (i.e. each shirt or dress will have red in there somewhere, whether it’s some red flowers, red stripes/checks or just a solid red shirt).

The most important thing is that your family portrait reflect who you are as a family at this moment in time. If you’re ‘jeans and t-shirts’ kind of people, then dress everyone in primary-coloured t-shirts or put everyone in those jewel tones and you’re good to go! If you like formal clothing, pick out some fun dress for the girls and nice collared shirts whose colours work with the dresses for the boys.

Keep in mind that my shoots tend to be a mix of activity and poses – I’m happy to have you all running around, so if you’d like natural-looking shots, please dress in clothing you’ll all feel comfortable in.


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