Bay Area Family Photographer | What should we wear for our family photos?

Updated: Feb 18

You found a photographer you love, and booked your family session. The hard part is over! Or is it? While you're probably very excited, you may also be a little apprehensive, because now you have to style your entire family. You've invested a good amount of money, and will likely be using these photos for your holiday cards, or maybe as a large canvas or several prints in your home, so you want your family to look their best, right?


When I scheduled my own family's session, the question of what to wear nagged me from the get-go. I'm a mom too, after all. I want all the same things other moms and dads want out of their photos. But I am also a photographer, and I get asked this question a lot! So I took the advice I have given my own clients time and time again. "Coordinate, but don't match".


What exactly does that mean? It means, you don't all have to wear the same shirt and pants, in fact, that's a practice that tends to be a little dated, and it's not really my cup of tea. However, if you want to go that route, it's your family, and your decision! No judgement. I personally prefer when families don't do the "matchy-matchy" thing, but instead coordinate their looks. That means, you all wear different colors that compliment each other.


Here are a few examples:

Bay Area Family Photographer

Martinez, California Family Photographer

Oakley, California Family Photographer

Antioch Family Photographer

Bay Area Family Photographer in Brentwood, CA

In all of these images, the families look great! And they don't match but rather, compliment each other.


A quick note about seasonal sessions. It was another hot Autumn here in Northern California! But many people wanted those Fall sessions for their holiday cards. One sure fire way to sell Autumn when it's 80 degrees and sunny, is by your wardrobe choice! Yes the families at my Fall sessions were a little warm in their clothing (I was also hot during my own family's session!) But you have to dress the part to sell the story. The same would go for a spring session that was unusually cool, it would look silly if you wore a sweater to a spring session surrounded by flowers.


So now you know that you know you will need to find complimentary colors for your family to wear, the next question should be, "What is my family's style?" Are you casual, trendy, preppy? Let your wardrobe be a part of your family's story and have fun with it! I do want to take a moment to urge you to dress up some for your photos. I'm not talking about high heels and ties, (Although I would love it!) but custom photography is an investment and not something many people do often. Make it a big deal, dress to impress, and wear something that will flatter your body type. Wear something that makes you feel good about yourself, because clothes matter when you're taking photos! Even if you're the most laid back, casual person, you should push out of your comfort zone and dress up a little. It truly makes a difference in the end result.


Don't be afraid to accessorize! I love hats for the mom's and even the girls. It's whimsical, and can be removed so you have some variety in your gallery. Also statement jewelry pieces add flair to your styling. Knee high boots and belts bring a look together nicely in some cases. Have fun with it!


Here are a few more examples:

Bay Area Family Photographer in Walnut Creek, CA

Bay Area Family Photographer in Walnut Creek, CA