What to wear to a Family Photoshoot

So, you’ve finally decided to update your family photos. You’ve found the perfect photographer, you’ve chosen your location, but now it’s time to decide on outfits. And you have absolutely NO idea about what to wear to a family photoshoot?

But you’re not alone. So many people ask me how to coordinate clothes and what colours they should wear to their family photoshoot. It can feel overwhelming, daunting and all a bit too hard. 

But it doesn’t need to be.

I’ve compiled a list of helpful tips to help you plan, prepare and style your family’s wardrobe.

And all before the big day of your family photoshoot.

What to wear to a family photoshoot in the studio?

If you’re having a family photoshoot in our studio, we have a range of backdrops to choose from. We have dark and moody backdrops from coffee colour to warm grey. These backdrops look beautiful with outfits in navy, brown, neutrals, pink and yellow.

We also have light and airy backdrops with colours like white, blue, or lavender. So planning ahead and deciding on the colour backdrop you want for your family photoshoot will help you decide on what to wear. 

And because we’re in a studio setting, you have the luxury of changing outfits, adding hats, jewellery and using props.

What to wear to an outdoor family photoshoot?

Outdoor family photoshoots are lots of fun. But it’s important to feel comfortable and confident in whatever clothes you choose to wear. I’ve found that denim, coats, scarves and cool boots look great in outdoor family shoots. Especially in the cooler months. 

Do we need to match outfits for our photos?

It’s entirely up to you if you want to wear matching outifts.  After all, matching outfits can work really well, especially in mummy and me sessions. For instance, in my own motherhood session we all wore denim. My baby son had an adorable denim jacket and I wanted to include it in the photoshoot. Denim fabric photographs well and looks incredible in black and white photos too. And sometimes wearing identical outfits is super cute, especially when your kiddos are little and close in age.

A perfect excuse to go clothes shopping

Having a family photoshoot is a great excuse to go clothes shopping. And you don’t need designer labels or expensive clothes to look fabulous either. Large department stores like Big W, Target, and even Kmart, have a variety of affordable outfits perfect for you and the family to wear to your family photoshoot.

But if you want to splurge, go for it! One of my Mum’s treated herself to a spectacular dress by Zimmermann and then coordinated the other family member’s outfits around her gorgeous dress. 

It’s totally fine to dress up for your family photo. Because one day you’ll look back on these photos and remember just how fabulous you felt. You can choose a fabulous outfit and find outfits with complimentary tones such as pale blue, creams, and tan to incorporate in the rest of the family’s outfits.

Add layers and textures

It’s fun to get creative with your outfits. You can add layers like scarves, belts and wraps. You could add a funky jacket and cool hat. You can add accessories like big earrings, bangles or chunky necklaces. Layers, accessories and textures add an extra element to your family photos.

What about our feet?

It’s important not to neglect footwear. What you wear on your feet will depend on the location of you family photoshoot. For example, if you’re at the beach, wearing high heels on your feet would look out of place. And also make it hard to walk. It’s totally fine to go barefoot if it suits the environment of your photos. 

If you’re wearing shoes, try and make sure everyone wears the same colour, or shade, and that all shoes are clean and tidy.

What colours to wear for a family photoshoot?

When it comes to choosing colours for your family photoshoot try and find complementary colours. For example, you could wear mustard yellow, blues, browns, tans and navy. Wearing outfits with complementary colours looks amazing and ensures your final images will pop. If you’re not sure, just imagine your dressing one person. If all the colours work well together, you’re on the right track. 

Things to avoid wearing in a family photoshoot

However, there are a few things to avoid when dressing for your family photoshoot.

After all, it’s not every day, or even every year, that you invest in family photos. So you’ll want them to look timeless for as long as possible.


It’s best to avoid busy patterns as these can sometimes overpower your portrait and detract from the stars of the shoot. Which of course, is you!


Avoid clothes with logos and brand names as these will date and go out of style. A plain t shirt is still in style even 10 years later.


Try and avoid clothes that are easily wrinkled or creased. After all, you don’t want to look like you’ve just crawled out of bed, do you?

Black clothes

While black outfits are nice, they’re often worn at formal occasions, weddings and to work. For example, black pants and a white shirt are typical clothes for waitstaff. 

Black is also a stark colour and can look out of place in beautiful, outdoor family photos.

What to wear to a family photoshoot

So there you go! I hope this blog has taken the confusion out of deciding what to wear to a family photoshoot. And if you’re looking to update your family photos and need a photographer, then drop me a line here.