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  • Kerry Paradis

5 Tips for Choosing What to Wear for a Family Photo Session


Picture of family with the father holding the youngest upside down by Kerry Paradis Photography

One of the biggest questions that people ask me what should I wear for our upcoming pictures. Getting pictures done can be stressful enough for the parents, choosing what to wear should not. I get asked all the time, “I have a photo shoot coming up, what should I wear?” I know this doesn’t apply to everyone because some are pros, but if you don’t get your pictures done frequently you may have a lot of questions.

When should I start preparing?

There is no right or wrong answer to this. I know everyone is busy and time is something that no one really has these days. My recommendation would be to start playing around/thinking about what to wear at least 3 weeks in advance. Try different colors, outfits and accessories to see what works best. You may think something is going to look good until you try it on or lay it all out and it doesn’t go together like you envisioned. You need to keep in mind where the photo shoot will be occurring as well. Is it in my studio, are we going to a special park, near water, etc. These are all variables to consider and can help inspire the color theme and style of clothing. You want to complement the background, but not blend in with it. You could try to find a favorite outfit and base all your choices around that.

Be Comfortable

It is very important to make sure the clothes are somewhat comfortable. This can be a very relative term because if you let a guy pick out comfortable clothes to wear he will show up in jogging pants and a t-shirt. Comfort allows everyone to easily be themselves without distraction. If you are comfortable in tight jeans, then by all means, wear them. From experience, comfort always gets put last on the list though.

Coordinate the colors

Pictures of a family that is coordinating the colors good for a family photo shoot by Kerry Paradis Photography

I always like when families show up with coordinating colors. You want to choose a few colors that will highlight your family’s features. These colors should go nicely together and be favorites among your spouse and kids. I know first hand that when I try and pick out my husbands clothes for our family pictures that if he isn’t happy with them, he isn’t into the pictures. So husbands/wives out there, make sure the significant other and the kids are happy with the clothes choices. When choosing the outfits thread the colors throughout the outfits and accessories for a look that isn’t too matchy-matchy. You probably want to avoid most patterns and it could either be distracting or clash with certain backgrounds. On the other hand, you also don’t want to all wear the same color. This can cause a loss of important detail. Sticking with a neutral color base and just using some accent colors can work well and make things easier. Here is a link to get some ideas.