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 what to wear 

Thoughts on what to wear for
your family photos :-)

Plan ahead

Once you book your session, start thinking about what to wear for family photos right away. You may think certain clothes will fit your kids or that one perfect dress is clean. If you wait until the day of or day before your shoot you may run into an issue of clothes not fitting, being dirty or needing to be dry cleaned...and you don't need that extra stress right before your session. 

Coordinate outfits

You’ll want to complement each other’s outfits by choosing colors that work well together without "matching." If everyone is wearing the same color, people will all tend to blend in together as one big blob and there won’t be much differentiation, life, and pop to the images. Choose 1-3 colors for your group portrait...similar tones go nicely together. For example: dark green, navy, and burgundy – all dark jewel tones. OR tan, a lighter olive green, and light denims – all lighter, softer tones. Avoid all white or all black clothing since they'll lose all detail when photographed and don't wear the same color on everyone.

Patterns are OK...logos and characters are not

Use patterns sparingly…if one person is wearing a print, try to avoid putting someone else in a competing pattern. Avoid large logos, emblems and graphics like sports team logos, as these will typically distract attention away from the subject. 

Let your personalities SHINE 

This is the time to really express who you are! Be yourself!! Lifestyle photography is meant to be authentic. If you don't usually wear dressy clothing, don't. If your daughter loves dresses, have her wear a dress. Forcing children to wear outfits that are uncomfortable and unfamiliar to them may cause some anxiety and stress to them, which in turn will inhibit really capturing their personalities during the session. Same goes for adults. Wear clothing that YOU feel good in and the pictures will emanate those feelings. If your child wears a pair of rain boots everywhere he goes, just go with it and have him wear them for pictures as well. What a story you’ll have to tell about them! Remember, you want to capture everyone as they are NOW.

selection of photos regarding what to wear for your family photos in west hartford

Dress for the season & location

Obviously you want your images to make sense. Dress the part and be aware of your location. For example, if you are shooting at the beach, wear a pretty dress and sandals, put dad in a short sleeve shirt and shorts OR pants (which you can also roll up). 

Other bits and thoughts

  • Keep phones, wallets, and and other bulky items out of pockets (Dads...I'm talking to you.)

  • No sunglasses please! If you wear glasses with transition lenses try and wear a pair without this feature if you can. 

  • Try and avoid having to lug around a bag...or better yet give it to me to carry. We'll be walking around a bit and I don't think you'd want your diaper bag in your family photos. (Though I know it feels like it's a part of you!)

  • Keep makeup natural, but still have some on. You will want to avoid using very heavy makeup, but a bit of color on your lips, eyes, and cheeks will help bring you to life in photos.

  • Think about your coverage. If you’re wearing a skirt, keep in mind that we’ll probably take some shots sitting on the ground. So make sure you’re covered in a way that’s comfortable for you. 

If I were building outfits for my family this is how I would do it:

Keeping your location and season in mind, start with one person. Don’t try and think of everyone at the same time. I find that mom or a little girl makes the most sense since they would typically be the ones wearing a print. So mom will be wearing a floral print dress. Now move on to the next person. You will be pulling colors from mom’s dress, so begin to think about who in the family would look good in what colors.


Have fun with this!! If you have any questions, I'd love to help! 

"We got amazing family portraits done by Jackie right before the pandemic shutdown...and boy do we appreciate that session and those photos even more. I was worried about the sunset session time but that golden sun made for unreal photos!


- Jen H

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