What to wear for family photos

You’ve found a photographer who’s work you love. You have your date booked, and hair and make-up taken care of. Now comes the fun part (really, it is!) – what to wear for your family photos! Here are some key tips.

Coordinate, don’t match.

The first step to establishing an incredible wardrobe for your family is to choose colours that compliment yourself, your home decor and your personality best. Long gone are the days of white tees and jeans across the board. Colours complimenting each other as shown below can bring attention to every member of the family without blending in too much. Besides emphasizing each member, it adds depth and drama to your family session.

Graphic of dots showing what colours to wear for your family photo session

Solids or prints? Choose both!

Prints in moderation are a wonderful way to add detail and flair to your session. There are a few things to keep in mind when looking at what prints to include. Pick prints that are muted and are smaller in size to avoid a “busy” image. The focus of your session should be on you. I encourage one print clothing piece per family and pairing it with solid colours that match the prints.

Don’t be afraid to personalize it!

While it can be fun to have everyone in dresses, personalizing the pieces to individual member’s personality will make sure your session is unique to you! Have a toddler that loves running and rolling in the sand? Consider a jumpsuit/overalls for ease of movement and comfort. You really aren’t into dresses? Try fitted jeans and a shirt with a flowy scarf or robe for movement. These photos should show your own family’s unique personalities.

Graphic of colours to help understand what to wear for family photos

Colours to wear for your family photos

Here are some colours that photograph beautifully:


Earth tones; tan, browns, greens (olive, sage)

Darker teal


Rust (one of my favs for a pop of color when mixed with some neutrals)

Mixing in layers and textures

My favourite way to add depth to your imagery is by layering pieces and adding textures to your solid pieces.

Some layers to consider are: Scarves, hats, headband, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, dusters, belts, etc.

Some textures to consider are: knit, fringes, laces, corduroy, denim, velvet, linen, gauze, crepe, satin, leather

Family of five standing on a rock at sunset

Tips for the guys

I usually recommend guys stay away from collared shirts (that means no polos or dress shirts!) These can sometimes look too formal. Often a simple sweater or t-shirt looks best (I love henley shirts for a little more detail). The exception to this is if you layer a t-shirt under an open collared shirt – this keeps it a little more casual, and also adds some texture and layering. Combine this with simple jeans or khakis and the guys are good to go.

Tips for the kids

First and foremost – make sure the kids are comfortable! Let them try on the outfits beforehand, break in the new shoes (or go barefoot, if appropriate). There is nothing worse than having a grumpy kid because they don’t like what they are wearing. Overalls and rompers are best for the littlest ones – if your daughter is under 1 these are usually a better bet than dresses that will have to be pulled down all the time when someone is holding her!

Best places to look for clothing pieces

First, make sure to check out my client closet! These are pieces available to you for your session at no charge. Most of the pieces I have are geared towards mamas and girls (I have many more girls dresses than are pictured in my gallery). Once we have you sorted out we will find beautiful coordinating outfits for everyone else.

Some of my go-to stores include:


Zara (great spot to find henley t’s!)

Carters (they have a great line “Little Planet” now available in stores as well)

Old Navy/Gap

You can also try Shein/Amazon

Mother holding her young son, leaning against a doorway

Don’t be afraid to reach out for help!

One of the things I love to do is help style your family. If you’re not sure about a certain colour combination or patter, snap a photo and send it my way. And even if you don’t want to utilize my client closet for yourself, know that I have so many options for girls (baby – age 10ish) and some for boys as well. I am here to help make this process as easy and as fun as possible. When you see the end result it is always worth it.


This is your story. Let me help you tell it. I’m Kristin, and I’m so happy you’re here. I’m a Durham region photographer specializing in motherhood, maternity, and newborn photography. Let’s chase sunsets together and create some amazing memories. You’re a dreamer and a romantic. You want someone to fully see you and your family and to capture the beauty in the big moments and the small details. Your favourite photographs are the ones that capture a feeling, not the perfectly posed photos. You crave something a little bit different from the everyday – something bolder, more artistic, and even a little cinematic. I see you. Motherhood isn’t always perfect moments. Motherhood is messy. Motherhood is hard. Motherhood is freaking unbelievable. It’s perfectly imperfect. Let’s capture the beautiful chaos of motherhood.