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Jane Atter Photography

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4 tips on creating a wardrobe for a family photo session


Deciding what to wear for your FAMILY PHOTO SESSION can be daunting task. What styles look best? What colours should we wear? How do we look pulled together without being too matchy-matchy. I have included 4 of my favourite tips to help you navigate your way through all these questions and take the guess work out of what to wear.

The first thing to consider when choosing a colour scheme is where you plan to hang your portraits.

If your walls are neutral, you may choose to use your outfits as a way to add a pop of colour to your room or support your pastel colours around the house. If your room is painted in non-neutural colours, you will want to select a colour scheme that works well with your wall colour.

For example if you plan to hang a canvas with your new portrait on a red accent wall, outfit with a lot of green in them may end up looking a little Christmassy.

Family Photo Session


First things first, have you got an idea on colours you want for your family photo session?

Navy, Cream & Tan

Navy, cream and tan is a classic colour scheme for family photos that works well for any season. The navy and cream air beautifully with pastel floral and bright green of spring. They also look perfect among green grass and leaves at a park for summer family pictures. And these ‘neutral tones’ compliment bright yellows and oranges of autumn foliage.

Wine, Cream and Gold

I love this colour scheme for holiday family photos. So often we think red and green for Christmas pictures. But using a colour scheme of wine, cream and gold still gives festive feel if you plan to use them for Christmas cards. But it also classic and traditional enough to hang in your home all year around.

Pink, Tan and Cream

This is my go to colours, when I get asked about what to wear to a family photo session. Tan, cream and pink are the one of the best set of colours for family pictures outside at the beach, in the studio or in your house when you are choosing lifestyle photography. Photographs with this colour scheme look light, soft and beautiful on any wall and will match almost every interior.

Grey, Blue and Tan

This colour combinations are naturally fit many people all year around. Family photo session with neutral colour tones would make your skin tone appear more even and healthy and your overall appearance younger and more flattering.


Start with selecting your family’s colour scheme. Think of each of your family clothing choices as one big outfit. It’s best to pick 2-3 colours to work with and then use those colours in various solid and patterns combinations and accessories.

Top tIp for your “what to wear” QUESTION:

usually recommend choosing one patterned piece in your colour scheme to be a focal item.

This may be a floral dress for your daughter or a check shirt for your son. Once you have a focal piece selected, pull colours from if for other outfits.

For example, if your daughter is wearing a floral dress in turquoise, navy, yellow and gray, you may choose to dress dad in grey shirt with dark blue jeans. Mom may wear a turquoise maxi dress. And your son would look adorable wearing a check shirt in navy, yellow and grey.


Now that you have your colour choices selected for your family photo session, the next step is deciding what style of clothing you plan to wear.

In general, men look best in well fitted chinos (casual trousers) or dark coloured jeans and closed toes shoes. For a dressier look, pair with a shirt and a coat. Or add a jumper or Henley shirt or a polo shirt for a casual feel while still looking polished.

For women, a dress, skirt and top or tailored jeans all photograph well. High heels help elongate the legs but are not the most comfortable when walking from location to location. You may want to bring flats to walk in so that your feet will stay comfortable.

tips on what to avoid:

avoid clothing with large graphics or logos or tiny stripes (especially those across body)  – those tent to not photograph well.


Third, its helpful to think about how these colours will be distributed. For example, if your colours are navy, rust and tan, its best to make sure there is variety in how these colours is used across the top and bottom portions of the outfits. If everyone were navy pants and rust tops, there would be a strong visual line separating the top and bottom half of the picture.

Instead, dad may choose to wear navy casual trousers and tan jumper. Mum may wear a floor length rust maxo dress. The daughter could have a floral skirt in navy, rust and tan colours and navy top. The son may wear navy trousers or dark jeans with a rust, tan and navy check shirt.

Don’t forget to consider the natural pairings in your family.

Will you want a picture of just your two children together? A portrait of just mum and dad? You may want to consider how the outfits will look when paired together in photographs.


And lastly, its time to accessorise with some final touches to take your family photo session to the next level.

Accessories such as necklaces, earrings, headbands, belts, scarves and hats will help tie each individual’s look together into a cohesive group. For example, if the daughter is wearing a dress in navy and coral as a focal pieces or the son is wearing a navy, coral and white shirt and mum is wearing a coral maxi dress, she could add a navy belt or bold statement necklace in navy to tie her outfit into her children’s

Remember to consider all the little details. I know my daughter loves to have her nails painted bright blue. On a day to day basis. I don’t even notice them, but in a photo they would stand out. Take a quick peak at the little details such as finger nails, sock choices or hair fringe that may need a quick trim.

Lastly and most importantly, make sure you wear something that you feel amazing in! If you are comfortable and feel confident in what you are wearing, it will translate onto your photographs in genuine smiles and flawless poses.

Did you find my WHAT TO WEAR TO A FAMILY PHOTO SESSION Guide useful? Why not to share with your Friends and Family – They may appreciate the gesture for their own Family Photos when they will plan them next.

Why not to Follow our Facebook Page and Instagram feed for more tips and tricks on getting ready for your perfect family photo session.

Newborn Family and children photographer in South West London, SW19 UK Wimbledon area. Taking beautiful maternity baby and family portrait photos

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