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What To Wear For A Family Photo Shoot {10 tips from a South Florida photographer}

south florida photographer
Dad ‘shines’ in his multi-colored plaid shirt.

Don’t stress on how to dress:

Being a South Florida photographer since 2011 I have helped many a client decide what to wear for a family photo shoot. In my years as a photographer I’ve noticed this is what stresses clients out most prior to a family session. My goal is to ease some of that concern and help bring some clarity to which looks work well and what should be avoided. Family photo shoots should be fun, and I hope the following 10 tips will help you relax and enjoy the process.

Tip #1

Coordinated but not matchy matchy:

When choosing outfits to wear to your photo shoot it is best to have a natural coordinated look as opposed to being overly matched. What you don’t want is for everyone to show up in matching khakis with white tops. That would be a big no no.

To help achieve a natural look I suggest starting with one family member and allowing them to ‘shine’. This means picking someone to wear an outfit that has multiple color and/or patterns to it. I will often suggest choosing a beautiful patterned dress for mom. However, a plaid shirt for dad can make him the star instead (see photo example above). The rest of the colors for the session should come from that one chosen outfit.

Lay out the chosen clothing together at home to make sure you have a good flow. The arrangement should use the colors in varying ways, not everyone needs to be wearing every color.

Boca Raton vacation
In this photo Mom’s dress plays centerstage. From here the tans, blues, and whites were brought into the other outfits.
south florida photographer
I love this color palette with the pop of burnt orange. Everyone fits into the palette but in different ways.

Tip #2

Location location location:

Sometimes the way to go is to dress for the location of your photoshoot. Dressing your family in various blues can look amazing at the beach. Mix solid blues with patterned blues for the best effect. If you are headed to a forest you may want to take wear some fall/winter tones. Pretending it’s fall with outfit choices and location is a little trick I like to play in South Florida. Natural overgrown fields are a great place to pull out some vintage apparel or boho looks.

deerfield beach family photographer
A combination of blues and a beach backdrop make for some dreamy photos.
south florida family photographer
This family wanted to go for a fall vibe and this park lent to that fall feel (even though this was shot in South Florida). The navy blue, green, and burgundy tones of their outfits carried our theme through.

Tip #3

Where will your images be displayed?

Are you dreaming of seeing your photos as art on your walls? If this is your end game (and one I highly recommend) then consider which room these images will be displayed in. Is your home neutral colored? Now is the time to consider adding a splash of color. Or keep it neutral! Tans and Khaki colored outfits can keep your wall art looking light and organic. If you have a color scheme going through out your home make sure your chosen outfits will coordinate with your decor.

how to dress for a family photoshoot
This family’s home has beautiful pops of color throughout. The room they intended to hang their photos in has a beautiful green wall with tons of green art already hanging up. Going with a green location and greens in their outfit was the perfect choice for them.
south florida family photographer
This family knew just where they were going to hang their photos. The room was neutral with pops of gray and soft blue. Having this knowledge ahead of time made it simple to coordinate their outfits.

Tip #4

Tying it all together for large families:

Many larger families may find pulling together outfits for their photo shoot a bit daunting. No need to panic! Simply start off with a couple of colors you like. With a large group it can actually be easier to pull off a natural look. Multiple patterns within the group is totally fine! Mix up these patterns with some solids and bada-bing you are in business. Another fun trick is to bring in color through accessories and layers. Remember the key is that not everyone has to be wearing every color of your chosen palette.

south florida family photographer
Multiple Patterns can be OK! Both older girls are wearing floral patterns while dad has on a checkered top. Throw in some solid colors and you are set. With a large family this not just works but looks amazing and natural.
Tans, pinks, and denim worked so well for this crew. Accessorizing with color and layers was the trick to pulling these outfits together. Even puppy got himself a pink bow tie.

Tip #5

Pastels can be your friend:

I love pastels for a photo session color palette! They work in every location I’ve ever shot in. Pastels add a soft component to your photos allowing the subjects to shine. Just remember to mix it up and vary your outfits and pastel colors.

how to dress for a family photoshoot
Soft pastel pinks for the girls and the pastel blue shirt for dad, a winning combination.
delray beach family photographer
Soft pastel pink, blue, and neutral grays bring the focus of this shot towards the subject’s beautiful smiles.
Boca Raton beach photoshoot
This outfit selection is so wonderful. We have the boys in simple khakis and white button downs allowing the ladies to be the stars. The different patterns and soft pastel palette they wore was just perfect.

Tip #6

Don’t be afraid to go bold:

Bold colors are so much fun in photographs. My style when photographing families is to shoot at sunset with the sun behind my families. This technique creates dreamy shadows and colors that pop! Bold colors print absolutely beautifully but are especially gorgeous for metal or acrylic pieces of art. I would, however, stay away from neon colors as they tend to throw unwanted color casts on skin. Deep bold colors are the way to go.

south florida family photographer
Family members can each wear a different bold color for some really unique photos.
South Florida family photographer
These bright jackets add a pop of color and are just so fun!

Tip #7

Accessories for the win!

I love using accessories to bring in color and interest into the styling of a photography session. Think about adding in some layers such as a cardigan or vest. Don’t forget about hair accessories for little girls, that’s a great way to add color! Teen girls and mom can wear ‘chunky’ jewelry. Suspenders for babies and toddlers can be super cute. And don’t forget about shoes! Having on shoes that properly coordinate with your photos is a must. Stay away from sneakers unless they are something classic like Converse. Going to a forest or field location? Don’t come in high heels, instead opt for boots to complete the look.

Parkland photographer
A vest is great way to add color and texture to your styling.
coral springs photographer
This shoot was all about the coordination of color via accessories. Dad’s tie, little guy’s suspender and bow tie, mom’s chunky necklace and let us not forget her red lip stick, tie everything together here.
what to wear family photo shoot
Check out the accessory coordination here. Mom’s boots, dad’s shoes and little guys suspenders.

Tip #8

It can be totally ok to forget tip #1

While not being overly ‘matchy matchy’ is certainly my #1 go to rule, sometimes rules are made to be broken. In the photo below you will see a family that came completely matched to their session. Mom had a vision of a Burberry Christmas shoot. They pulled the look off seamlessly. I love how their photos came out!

burberry outfits
While this look may not work for everyone, this crew certainly knew how to pull it off! Burberry for the win!

Tip #9

Don’t be dated:

You are going to want to avoid trends that may become dated. Instead of choosing outfits in the latest fashion, choose clothing that is likely to be timeless. Stick with traditional color palettes and clothing that won’t have you looking back on your photos and saying “that was so 2020, what were we thinking?”.

south florida family photographer
Navy, white, and tan is the perfect combination for timeless photos.
what to wear for a family photoshoot
Another Classic look with polos, oxford shirts and khakis.

Tip #10

Most importantly, Have Fun!

I can’t stress this enough, do not stress too much over your outfits. There are so many different directions to go in and it is really hard to go wrong. If you have a color idea you want to use but are not sure if it will work, consult your photographer. They have plenty of practice and knowledge of what works well. Photographers want you to love your final images and will be able to help guide you in your outfit selection.

what to wear to my family photoshoot
This has got to be one of my favorite styled sessions. All the pops of colors, the different patterns and textures break so many rules yet work just so perfectly here.

I hope you found these 10 tips on what to wear for a family photo shoot helpful. If you should find yourself in the South Florida area I would love to discuss booking a family session for you. And don’t worry I’ll be happy to help you with your outfit selection. You can use this contact form here to get in touch with me.

boca raton photographer

Hi and thank you for stopping by! My name is Naomi. I am wife to an amazing guy and mom to three adorable kiddies. Along with loving my job as a newborn and family photographer in Boca Raton,

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For More Information use the contact form below.

Naomi Bluth Photography looks forward to capturing your family's precious memories!


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I am honored to have clients coming from all over the South Florida area. Whether you are looking for a Delray Beach newborn photographer, a Deerfield Beach family photo shoot, or a baby photographer in Parkland, or beyond, I am your gal! I can't wait to speak with you!

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Naomi Bluth Photography is a Boca Raton photographer. She specializes in newborn, baby, maternity, and family photography. Naomi has been capturing memories for families in the Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Delray Beach, Parkland, Deerfield Beach and Boynton Beach area since 2011.

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