What to wear for your family photo shoot

You have booked the date and location. You are excited. But then….. what do we wear?! I have compiled a few do’s and don’ts below to help you to get the most out of your session with me. There is no need to go and buy new outfits for everyone- you wouldn’t want any tree climbing, sea paddling, mud jumping then anyway! The ideas below will help with the gelling of group shots so nobody stands out more than anyone else and will also help the images stand the test of time as well.

Before They Leave the Nest

What works

  • Plain/solid colours. If you choose white then break it up with a coloured cardigan etc.
  • Choose 1-3 colours for your group images – ones with similar tones that go nicely together, having a similar colour palette across a group brings the shot together. Remember coordinate not match outfits!!



  • Timeless always works. Especially for children. The simpler the better and the less if often more. If you have a baby then I will encourage you to strip them off to their nappy as skin is beautiful. You can get lovely little nappy covers/pants as well – these are also great for summer and little dresses and bare legs. I like bare feet where poss. We may use the bath if you have a nice one and good natural light in there.
  • Dress children in clothes that fit rather than in ones where there is room to grow. Big looks sloppy.
  • Do allow children a bit of input into the planning of outfits as it allows us to photograph their personality as well. Having said that, let’s try and avoid character outfits/disney repros/ football kit etc.
  • Dress for the weather not what your might have planned – this is England!
  • Also, dress for the situation and location. i.e. if we are off to the woods – perhaps jeans rather than heels and a fitted skirt…..
  • Ladies – think about your best asset and dress for that.



Please try and avoid

  • Neon.
  • Clothes that stand out more than the person.
  • Heavily logoed/pictured clothing e.g. a hoody emblazoned with GAP across the chest.


These are great and can really make an outfit: hats, scarves, different layers (time of year applicable), jewellry (but avoid overly distracting items).





Props, or things that people like to play with/be with, can really help relax you all as a group and individuals in particular.  Dogs are a real ice breaker so please bring the dog along if you have one (don’t rent one in though!)

Suggestions for little ones: a ball, favourite comforter, favourite toy (preferably non plastic), a puzzle,

Suggestions for older children: ball/frisbee/ musical instrument.

Please also remember to bring wipes/nappies/changes of clothes – depending on age of children although wipes are generally good to clean knees etc for most ages.

An extra outfit or items that can be layered on and off are great for all ages as it changes the look of the shoot. For example a gilet with jumper and shirt for a boy. A dress with cardigan/jacket and scarf for a girl/lady.

Finally, snacks and bribes are great used in moderation and also towards the end of the shoot. Please don’t mention that you have X with you and they can have it if good, or else all they can think about is X!! Kids will have fun and be themselves. A biscuit/treat works wonders if they are flagging and we want an extra 10mins but not as an incentive to get them through the session. They will be themselves and play and that is what I’m after; pictures that reflect their personalities.

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