What to Wear | Family Session Edition

Choosing what to wear for your session.

So, the question I get most from my clients is, “what should we wear?”

I am here to tell you exactly how to get those amazing outfits, without breaking the bank or stressing you out! My goal with every session is that you walk away with a gallery of beautiful images for you to display in your home. But more importantly, you look back at your session and feel joy!

So let’s get to it! Since these photos will last a lifetime, you want to make sure your entire family looks as good as possible. But at the same time, you also want them to look like themselves — not wearing stuffy clothes that make them feel uncomfortable. I always recommend wearing clothing that makes you feel and look your best, which can be different for every person. Here are a few other wardrobe suggestions that photograph beautifully.

family light blue stripes

Wear clothes that are fashionable and functional. We will move around quite a bit during your shoot, especially the children. No one wants to be bothered by fussy clothing and adjustments.

3 Steps to Success!!

  1. Try to have only one person in patterned clothing. Outfits that are too busy can be distracting in your final images.
  2. Sleeveless shirts, high necklines, turtlenecks and clothing with writing and/or logos on them don’t provide a timeless look unlike more traditional clothing. For photos that will last a lifetime, keep your outfits simple.
  3. Stay away from white and character themed shoes, shoes with bulky soles or any shoe that could take away from the overall look you are trying to achieve. Remember, we will be moving around a lot and in grassy areas, so choose your heels wisely!

At the end of the day, this is your moment to showcase your family. It’s easy to over complicate this process. If you just follow these three guidelines you will have amazing images to cherish for years to come!

what to wear family coral and tan

simple, comfortable & flattering!


Make sure your outfits coordinate well with one another. Stick to a color palette of one or two colors. Matching outfits can look a little dated — coordinated outfits look harmonious and pretty. To make sure all of your outfits go well together, try starting with the smallest child’s dress or shirt, this can be patterned. Have everyone else wear one or more colors from that patterned garment. Layering can be helpful and don’t forget to coordinate your shoes and accessories!


Ask your children what they’d like to wear. Asking their opinions will help to make sure they feel comfortable and involved. (Just make sure they know their picks are subject to your final approval — otherwise, you might have a little Spiderman in your family portraits!)


Keep an eye on the weather forecast and make sure you dress accordingly. Choose colors that are appropriate for the season. And if it’ll be chilly during your photoshoot, be sure to bundle up a bit!

family denim and stripes wear

A few things to avoid…

While what you decide to wear is ultimately up to you and your family, there are a few things that tend not to photograph well.

  • Patterns: one or two family members wearing a pattern is okay, but too many patterns tend to clash and draw too much attention. Also, stay away from pin stripes or any tiny plaid.
  • White: wearing bright white tends to wash people out. Opt for creams or off-whites.
  • Large logos: graphic tees tend to distract from the most important part of the photo — your beautiful faces!
what to wear family session

Your outfits don’t have to be brand new either! Usually you have things in your closets that would work beautifully. Here are a few places to snag some great family outfits and accessories!

For outfit inspiration, I have put some ideas into my Family Photography board on Pinterest! I offer video chats with all of my clients a week or two prior to their session. This is an opportunity for us to get to know each other a bit, let the kids see my face (so I’m not a stranger come session time) and for us to go over any last minute outfit ideas! I love this time with my clients 🙂

signature jennifer badger

To get the full family session guide, reach out here! The guide covers how to choose the time for your session, which session is right for you as well as a special section just for dad and more!! Because we all know that dad is usually the one needing the most encouragement for family photo sessions!

  1. […] in your photos. You want your outfits to coordinate, not match. For more on what that means, I have a post here that is dedicated to just that. During your session there will be an opportunity to change your […]

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wedding & family photography

located in Kernersville, NORTH CAROLINA