What to wear to your 2020 family portrait session

It’s good to put some pre-planning into the outfits so that there is no last-minute rush on the day!

Parents – think about your outfits first and if you want to get your hair and make-up done. If you feel great and well prepared you will love your photos so much more.

I recommend colour coordinating outfits but not matching.
Neutral tones look the best with perhaps just one person in a pattern or bold feature colour.
Avoid tee-shirts with logos, slogans, brands, and children’s clothing with cartoon characters on them.

Make sure clothes are clean and ironed and also dress for the weather – no one likes to be too cold or too hot. Bring a change of clothes for small children.

Here’s an example of neutral blues, browns, and whites with one bold feature colour (mustard) and one floral pattern.

Here’s an example of stripes working well – with Mum and Daughter in similar outfits and Dad and the boys in neutral colours.
This probably wouldn’t look great if the boys were wearing patterns as well.

For extended family and generation shoots it’s great when each family unit is styled to suit their tastes but also everyone looking co-ordinated when all together – here’s an example of everyone in blues, whites, blacks, and browns.

Here’s an example of neutral greens, whites, creams, and blues with one feature pattern (skirt) and one person in black.

Of course, if you are trying to get out the door and your child is only happy if they get to wear their ballet tutu (for example) then so be it – A happy child in something they want to wear is better than a child in tears in the “perfect outfit”.
If they need to “choose themselves” – start hiding the things “in the wash” that are not suitable and leave out 2-3 options for them to choose from (I am thinking of the 2-year-olds here).


Please do not bring along family or friends that are not part of the portrait session.
Only bring dogs if we have talked about it first and if the location allows for it.

It’s really important that this is the “event” of the day for small children – and that we plan it for a time that works for them and their naps for example.
The best time of day for lighting is Summer is late afternoon and early evening so this might mean a change to your usual daily schedule.

See more of my portfolio here for ideas.

I would love to hear from you!