Charlotte NC Family Photographer | Joyful Children's Photography » Abbe McCracken is a Charlotte, NC professional portrait photographer specializing in joyful children's photography, family photography, newborn photography. Located in Matthews.

What to Wear for a Family Portrait

Baffled by what to wear? Don’t be! Styling a family photo shoot doesn’t have to be hard or expensive. Here are some of my favorite groupings and palettes for inspiration. Please also visit my Attire Inspirations Pinterest board for the latest what to wear fashions.

What to Wear: Family Session Clothing Tips

First and foremost, I love to help put the finishing touches on your look.  Please text me pictures.  Here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Comfort is key.  I want your personalities to shine – for you to be comfortable hugging, sitting, standing and the many poses in between.  Pick attire that allows you the freedom to have fun.  Some kids worry if they have on something extra fancy.  And then some kids, can’t wait to model their new attire.  By all means, go buy – its part of the fun – just don’t make it a big deal.  Don’t force them to wear something uncomfortable and the same goes for you.  Wear clothing that you feel good in and it will show.
  • Coordinate but don’t match – no reason for everyone to show up in matching khakis and Hawaiian shirts … unless you are flying us all to Hawaii for a shoot in which case I’ll match too.  You want to compliment each other by choosing colors and textures that work well together. Gap and Old Navy are great places to start.
  • Wear color – most of us look better with color near our faces anyway.  Again coordination here is important because you don’t want to look like the Crayola family.  Pick a few colors and weave them through the palette.
  • Add a dash of pattern and a touch of texture.  Patterns should be small and used sparingly so they don’t pull attention away from you.  If one person is wearing a print, try not to add competing prints.  Textures should be used for additional interest – lace, denim, corduroy, smocking, ruffles, etc.  These textures bring solids to life.
  • Layer up!  Layering provides visual interest and a lot of variety in your shots and poses.
  • Avoid big logos and graphics on shirts.  I want to see you, not where you shopped.
  • Look around your home – note your colors, decor and space.  We’ll keep these in mind as we plan the session so that the final images blend perfectly with your style and wall art needs.
  • Personalize it!  Let the kids bring their favorite animal, toy or security blanket.  Seriously.  These are part of who they are at this moment.  We won’t use them in all the shots (in fact, we’ll barely use them at all) but just knowing they get a picture with their favorite thing is very enticing for the littles.  Even the bigs can’t resist bringing along a basketball or jersey.
  • Remember, I’m here to help so use me.  Just be prepared for me make suggestions so …
  • Plan ahead and don’t wait until the last minute.

Still feeling overwhelmed?  Try this.  Start with one person, usually the one wearing a small pattern and build from there.  If daughter is wearing a patterned dress then pull colors from her dress and think about who looks best in each color.  Now look for complimentary patterns and textured solids to complete the look.  Finish it off with a little bling for mom and hair accessories for girls.

Want more ideas? Check out my Pinterest board Photo Sessions: Attire Inspiration for lots of fashionable family outfit groupings.

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