5 tips on what to wear to your next family photo session.

One of the trickiest bits about planning your next family photo session is "what is everyone going to wear?"

It's possibly one of the questions I get asked most. Messages of "is this okay?" followed by photos of clothes laid out on a bed are my norm. Lets face it, it's usually Mum who is putting together the whole families outfits and it can be so overwhelming but, following these 5 simple tips should help ease any stress!

On a beach on Hayling Island a family stands in the warm sunset laughing.

1.Be Comfortable

If you pick something that is ill-fitting or that you feel self-conscious or uncomfortable in it will show in the photos. It is really important that you dress everyone in comfortable clothing. That being said, while it is true that it is the people and not the clothes that matter, dressing anyone in scruffy or worn out clothes won't create a cohesive look to your family portraits.

Autumn in the woods at Staunton Country Park, Hampshire, parents swing their three year old son between them laughing.

2.Dress Mum first

I love Mums to feel like the shining star of a family photo session. Mums aren't in the photo enough, unless it is a selfie or a quick unflattering snapshot taken by the other half.

I know it may feel strange to put yourself first for once but choose your outfit first. Pick something flattering and that you feel super comfortable and beautiful in. I love it when Mums wear floaty dresses but if that isn't "you" don't wear one. Tailored trousers, a jumpsuit, shorts or even smart jeans can work! Remember there will likely be moving around, sitting and standing during the session.

Once Mums outfit is decided on the rest of the families wardrobe can be built around the colour, pattern and style of your clothing.

In the woods at Staunton Country Park, Hampshire, parents swing their 5 year old between them laughing.

3.Keep it simple

Once Mums clothes are chosen pick clothes for the rest of the family that compliment the colour and style of your clothing. Everyone dressing "matchy matchy" or in the exact same colour can make you all blend together so nobody stands out. Instead pick colours all within a similar hue or that are contrasting and break it up with different textures and simple patterns.

In the forest of Bere, Hampshire, a family of 4 sit surrounded by trees laughing.

4.Choose plain colours or small patterns.

Following on from step 3 it's a good idea to choose colours within the same hue and break it up with simple patterns and textures. This creates a harmonious and cohesive look to your portraits and creates focus on your beautiful faces. The following are things to avoid completely as they are distracting or jarring elements in photos.

  • Big logos or writing.
  • Very large and busy print.
  • Cartoons/graphics.
  • Fluorescent or garish colours.
  • Baseball caps.
  • All matching clothes.
  • All in patterned clothes.

In a Sunflower field on Hayling Island, a family of 4 sit on a hay bale laughing as the sun sets behind them.

5.Dress for the weather and location.

It may be common sense to most but it is important to think about the location you are having your photos taken and how open it will be to the elements. Knowing how changeable the UK weather can be it may be a good idea to have cardigans or jackets ready to pair with outfits. Sensible shoes/wellies to walk to the location that can be easily changed and in cooler weather vests or extra layers on as chilly kids=grumpy kids.

About the Author

Hi there! My name is Estella Ward, Owner of Entwined Photography. It's my mission to capture heartfelt joy and connection. I have always been drawn to photography that draws emotion and captures the spirit of the moment that you can almost hear the laughter in the photo.

I see such beauty in all the fleeting moments of time and I've carried that perspective with me into my adult life, especially since becoming a mother. Entwined Photography is a Family, Newborn and Maternity lifestyle photographer based in Havant, Hampshire and serves areas in and around Havant, Hayling Island, Portsmouth, Waterlooville, Fareham, Rowlands Castle and Chichester.

In a Sunflower field on Hayling Island a Mum sits on a hay bale with her two year old daughter laughing.