Pro Tips for Perfecting Photo Session Outfits

October 30, 2020

What to wear for a family photo session is my most asked question! Let’s talk about how you can easily find photo worthy outfits you love.


Hey, I get it! Figuring out what to wear is hard enough on a normal day. Add the extra stress of a photo session, and a simple outfit can cause a lot more anxiety!

The good news is, I’m here to make it easier! I am all about taking outfit anxiety out of the photo session equation.


Choosing What to Wear for an In Home Family Photo Session


Keep in mind- these are your photos, and it’s your home! I’ve had clients wear pajamas before. You do you!

However, if you’re leaning towards something a little more traditional, here are a few tips to help us narrow things down.




Generally speaking, soft and muted colors photograph beautifully. Think of tones like sage, mustard, wine. I like to call it the Thanksgiving palette.

However! Color is a loaded topic, and there’s a LOT of details to get into. This is one reason I have a pre-session consultation for all my clients. That’s our opportunity to get into it, in depth, so that you walk away with photos you love. For now, I’ll cover the basics!

While most colors are in play, avoid overly bright, bold, and neon hues. Why? Strong colors will cast those color reflections back onto the skin and usually don’t look very appealing. If you like bright bold hues, seek to incorporate them in other ways, a healthy distance from your neck and face.

If you’re ever in doubt about a color, remember: neutrals never fail. White, cream, khaki, and black are favorite go to’s!

I realize some photographers may caution against using white and black, but I have to say it’s never steered me wrong. However, if you go the neutral route, see if you can add visual interest in other ways. What do I mean by that? Details like hand sewn buttons, texture-rich fabrics like cozy cashmere, or bold cuts and designs can give a wow factor to an otherwise simple neutral tone.

And when you’re working to dress the family as a whole, remember to coordinate the colors, rather than match outfits and colors exactly. This goes for home decor too. Is your couch or wall paint a vibrant color? You may want to select clothing that either goes well visually with it, or distinctly pops from it.

This is where neutrals *really* come in handy. Have you ever tried to find a shirt online that was a specific shade of blue? It can take forever! For me, neutrals win almost every time.




Remember, your favorite color options don’t all have to be solids. Patterns are fair game too! Not every pattern is photogenic though, so here is a quick run down of what to look for in yours.

Small patterns can look great, but work best on one person at a time. Beware of very small, and very detailed patterns like thin squares which don’t play nice with camera sensors.

On the opposite side of the spectrum, large, bold patterns can easily become the focus of the image instead of the people in the photos themselves. For that matter, let’s throw logos into this category as well. Save the Nike swoosh for another occasion.




While we will be in the comfort of your own home, we’ll probably have some activities planned! Be prepared for chalk drawings, cookie baking, and more!

Also consider what kinds of clothes make you feel most confident! Very large, loose pieces may seem comfortable, but are usually not flattering. Pieces that are too tight can make for an uncomfortable day. Instead, wear well-fitting pieces. Try the sit test to see if anything pinches when you are seated.

For kids, watch out for clothing that “rides up” whenever they play or get picked up. While we love cute baby bellies, you’ll get annoyed pretty quickly if you’re fixing your kid’s outfit every two minutes.




Texture is what makes photos pop, and clothing choices can do a lot of the heavy lifting here! Interesting fabrics like light flowing linen, cozy flannel, and delicate lace can convey quite a lot in the story your images will tell.

My favorite photography texture of all time is denim! I will love you forever if you’re sporting your favorite old jean jacket or ripped jeans.

One important note about comfort fabrics though. Be mindful of stretchy, sweat wicking fabric (like in some men’s polos). These can actually get distorted on camera, and there’s not much you can do to salvage them.

Whatever you decide, having a few different textures across different pieces is a super subtle way to add rich details. Mix and match- and set aside some extra options, just in case!




Some accessories can be GREAT additions. Others feel more like major distractions. A simple test is to stand in front of the mirror and see if your accessory choice keeps pulling your gaze back to it. If it does, then you may want to opt for something more subtle.

Unless you like the minimalist look, add layers! That includes jackets, cardigans, wraps, and more. These types of layers add visual interest compared to just a one piece outfit.

Watch for reflections in accessories like eye glasses. Consider contacts so we can see your eyes easily!

Things like apple watches, health trackers, and hair ties are better left off.


Remember, I’m here to help anytime you need inspiration or assistance!




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