What to Wear for Your Family Photos | Southeast GA & Northeast FL Family Photographer

July 24, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

You find the perfect photographer to capture images of your family. The photographs s/he creates are beautiful and the style fits with your vision for your session. You contact them and book your session. Now you need to figure out what everyone will wear! Do you go with a formal look or casual? Everyone in the same color or just throw on whatever you feel like wearing that day? Should you go out and buy everyone something new or go with what's in your closet already? What if the kids get dirty?

Feeling overwhelmed?

I'm here to help!

I've compiled a list of ten tips to get you started in choosing your clothing. I've also created a guide that will go into more detail on how to choose clothing for your session. And if you book with me for your session, I will personally help you choose your clothing and give you feedback if you want it!

1 – Be Yourself

The most important tip I can give you is to just be yourself. Your photographs should capture your family and everyone’s personalities. If you’re not a formal, dress up kind of person, don’t feel like you need to wear a dress for the session. When everyone is comfortable in their clothes, they’ll have an easier time being themselves and we’ll get better expressions.

Casual Clothing with Texture and PatternsCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

2 – Complimentary Colors

One of my favorite shows to watch on TLC was What Not to Wear. One thing that has always stuck with me about putting an outfit together is: it doesn’t need to match, it just needs to go. (Thank you Stacy and Clinton!) The same goes for putting a family wardrobe together. No need for everyone to wear the same color. Find a color palette you like (Pinterest is great for this!) and see what you might already have that goes with it. If you’re looking to buy outfits for the session, it’s often easiest to have your color palette in mind and then find an outfit that fits the color palette and build off of that. Keep the season in mind, you will have a hard time finding bright summery colors in the fall or winter.

(Note: Cream and off-white look better in photographs than pure white.)

Complimentary Colors with Pattern and TextureCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

3 – Layers & Textures

Add visual interest to your images by incorporating layers and/or textures in your clothing. Look for clothing with embroidered details, lace, ruffles, or other fun textures. 

Layers & Texture with Complimentary ColorsCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Layers with Complimentary ColorsCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography


4 – Shoes & Accessories

Everything you’re wearing can affect the feel of a photo. Keep in mind what accessories and shoes everyone will be wearing. They can add a pop of color or texture to accent your color scheme. Just be careful not to forget about shoes and end up with shoes that take away from the look you want. Avoid white socks and tennis shoes unless it goes with the look you’re going for. Or just have your session at the beach and go barefoot!

Barefoot on the Beach with Mixed Patterns & Complimentary ColorsCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

5 – Where will the photos be displayed?

 If you’re planning to hang a large portrait on the wall in your living room, you might want to consider the colors in your décor and make sure your color scheme will work with those colors (remember, they don’t need to match).

Display: Coordinate colors with your home decorCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography


6 – Children’s Clothing

Free flowing clothing will allow children to move easier and stay comfortable. Itchy, uncomfortable clothing can make them grumpy and ruin the mood of a session. Bring extra clothes in case they get dirty!

Free-flowing Clothing for ChildrenCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

7 – Patterns & Bold Color Accents

Patterns and bold colors are best used with a light hand. Simple patterns tend to work best. Keep in mind if you like stripes: horizontal stripes will make you look wider, while vertical stripes will help make you look taller and leaner.

Mixed Patterns, Bold Pop of Color, Complimentary ColorsCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Pattern and a Pop of RedCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

8 – Location

It’s best to know your location for the session before you choose your clothing. You want your clothes to compliment the location you chose but not blend in with the surroundings.

Location: Stand out from your surroundingsCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

9 - Hair & Makeup

You want it to resemble how you normally wear your hair and do your makeup with the clothes you are wearing. There’s no need to wear extra makeup for the camera. If you’re in need of a haircut, get it done at least two weeks before your session so it will look more natural.

Hair & Makeup Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

10 – Breastfeeding & Babywearing Sessions

For these types of sessions, keep your clothing simple. Wraps and slings tend to be full of color and have their own pattern so stick with solid colors that coordinate well.

Breastfeeding: Varying shades of same colorCopyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photography Babywearing: Neutral clothing allows the wrap to stand out.Copyright Kimberly Tank Art & Photograpy


Remember, the focus of your photographs are you and your family, not your clothes. Clothing should accent your personalities, not take attention away from the people in the photo. If you can coordinate clothing you already own, don’t worry about going out to buy something just for the session. And if you do go buy new clothes, make sure they’re clothes you’d want to wear more than for just your session.


Want the full What to Wear Guide? Sign up for my email list and I’ll send it to you!





Kimberly Tank Art & Photography

Looking to update your family photos this fall? Contact me today for more information on scheduling your family session!


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Kimberly Tank is an award-winning professional photographer in Rockledge, FL, servicing Brevard County on the Space Coast in Central Florida (including Melbourne, Cocoa Beach, Satellite Beach, Merritt Island, Viera and surrounding areas). Using natural light and custom on location sessions, Kimberly Tank specializes in photographing families from babies to seniors and commercial clients, both on land and underwater; providing an exceptional customer experience and helping save you time and preserve this chapter in your life's story. Kimberly Tank is a proud member and ambassador of National Association of Professional Child Photographers.

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         The Gold Hope Project Official Photographerhttp://goldhopeproject.com        

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