What to Wear for a Family Photo Shoot

Family Photographer- Birmingham, Alabama

If you have upcoming photos, you may me wondering what to wear for a family photo shoot. What you wear may be one of the most important details of your family photoshoot!  The right wardrobe choices plays a major part in how your images turn out!  Everybody wants to look their best and feel confident in their pictures, so here are a few simple steps to help you look your best.

Birmingham, Alabama family photos style guide
Birmingham, Alabama Photo Shoot

Say “Yes” to the Dress

You want your family pictures to be really special, so your outfit choices should reflect that.  I love to suggest that ladies wear a long flowy dress for a photos – it’s super slimming and attractive on everyone and gives a soft look to the photos.  Dresses are also great for little girls as they create movement.  How fun are “twirls!”

Color Choices are Important

As you’re deciding what to wear for your family photo shoot, it’s important to know that some colors are better than others. The best choices are always neutral earth tones or pastels. I recommend soft pinks, blues, and whites as well as muted colors.  Softer colors will create a more dreamy, gentle look.  Lighter colors are also more flattering to the skin and you avoid any risk of color casting (which is when colors from the clothes reflect off the skin). Stick with light colors and low contrast patterns.

If you are struggling to come up with a color palette… go with shades of blue.  It coordinates beautifully and looks good on everyone!   

 If you plan to hang the pictures in your home as canvases or wall art, take into consideration the colors of your home.

What to wear for family photos, Hoover, Alabama Photographer
Birmingham, Alabama - What to wear for a family Photo shoot

Add an Extra Dimension with Texture

Use a variety of textures to add visual interest to your look. Furs, sweaters, scarves, textured fabrics — all of these things add extra details that will make the difference between a basic image and a really great one.

Coordinate Instead of Match

One of my favorite tips is to start with mom! Mama’s, pick something you love and feel great in, and then coordinate everyone else around your outfit.

What to wear for a family photo shoot

Add a Pop of Color

Another option is to start with a neutral color scheme and add a pop of a single bright color.  This will add interest and pizzazz to an otherwise calm color scheme.  A blue color scheme with pops of pink, mauve, or yellow is a great combination!

Birmingham, Alabama Family Photographer Style Guide

Don’t Forget Accessories

Accessories will add interest, dimension, and personality to your photos creating images that you will adore!  So don’t be afraid to throw in a fun hat or bowtie…Add scarves, jewelry, jackets,special shoes, boots, vests, statement earrings, elegant necklaces, hair bows, or flower crowns.  Dress little girls in tulle and little boys in cowboy hats or bowties. Any of these accessories will take your pictures to the next level and showcase everyones personality!

birmingham, alabama - What to wear for family photos

Be Careful with Patterns

Patterns are okay…  Just be sure they are small and tight so as not to distract from the subject!  Since you want the focus to be on faces, it’s best to wear patterns that are low contrast rather than high contrast.  Avoid anything busy!

What Not To Wear

It’s best to avoid black or anything dark (like burgundy) in your photos.  Also avoid any busy or high contrast patterns (like big stripes.)

Wear Clothes that Fit

It is much more flattering to all body types to wear attire that fits rather than baggy clothing.  Try to avoid “swing” style dresses that just hang from the shoulders – they are not flattering to most figures. Also, make sure that your clothing is not too tight or restricting. You want to be comfortable to move around during the photo shoot. If you feel good, you will look good!

Birmingham, Alabama Children's Photographer-what to wear


For ladies, I always recommend going darker and heavier with make-up than usual. This applies especially to lipstick and mascara. (Do not go heavier with eyeliner as it can make the eyes look smaller)

Plan Ahead

Be sure to think through your wardrobe far in advance of your shoot date.  Have everyone try on outfits ahead of time to make sure it all still fits.  Last minute scrambles are stressful and can be avoided.

Click HERE for more family photo style inspiration!

Lark Livingston Photography is located in Birmingham, Alabama. If you are interested in booking a session, we would love to work with you! Click the link below for more info!

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Birmingham, Alabama photographer

July 8, 2023

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