Summer Family Pictures


Spring and summer is a perfect time of year to schedule those family portraits. Personally,  for outdoor sessions we aim for dreamy evening light, green fields (or lush foliage), and colorful southwest accents for your sessions ideal natural backdrop. 


I have had several inquiries for dressing the family for professional photos recently,  so what better time to educate, then now! We’ve had our family portraits taken a few times and one of the hardest parts is trying to figure out what everyone is going to wear. Most times (because, like you, I’m an over scheduled busy mom) I wake up the morning of the session and scramble to throw something together, which never leaves me overly impressed. I’ve learned over time that you need to have a plan IN ADVANCE! The most successful sessions, are the prepared ones! We can help assist you in making ideal clothing, and palette suggestions for your session! Professional photos are not cheap. Wearing a TNMT shirt inside out because it’s the only plain white tee your son has is not going to cut it. These are photos that will adorn your walls and make you smile every single day. Let us shot it louder for everyone in the back... Yes, the outfits matter.


Example Only- Not Our Image⬆️ 

Example Only- Not Our Image⬆️ 

Here are a few do’s and don’ts for what to wear in a family photoshoot:

First and vitally important, do not dress everyone in the same exact outfit. The reason you are most likely having your family photographed is to hold on to the memories that you are creating at this time in your life. Having said that, wear clothing that reflects just a bit of your personality. It’s best to settlei on a color family and then choose your accent color(s). Incorporate different shades of these colors throughout everyone’s outfits. Mixing in patterns is a great way to keep the look casual and not too “matchy matchy”.

Example Only- Not Our Image⬆️ 

Example Only- Not Our Image⬆️ 

Clothing/fabric with texture(linen, denim, lace, etc.) photograph beautifully, especially if you are thinking of displaying these photos in black and white. Stay away from clothing with large logos, and pin stripes. Accessories are a super quick way to add personality to everyone’s overall look, or add that perfect pop of bolder color.

To recap/illustrate…..

Don’t…. dress everyone exactly the same way. Why? It’s boring, and you’ll all blend. Go for a cohesive look, not matchy-matchy. 

Do….. choose colors that compliment each other. Mixing shades of a certain color or prints in the same color family are easy ways to add more pizazz. See sample image of summer below. 


Don’t….forget about the shoes, and socks! Professional photographs are an investment and the details (like shoes AND socks) matter!

Do.….think about your home and where you’d like to hang your portraits. Use the color schemes in your home as inspiration and dress in classic tones that compliment accordingly.


With these tips in mind, I’ve come up with a few of my favorite summer combinations! See examples below! 



Being that Pantone’s color of the year is coral, I’d also maybe mention it as a notable pairing color as well in the palette above. 



Blues and whites are all about being bold and crisp. With a slightly nautical vibe, blues and white (particularly navy) are the perfect canvas for adding in a 3rd pop of color – but greens/torquioise or bright colors like yellow and orange will add a sunnier disposition). Don’t go overboard if you decide to add in a 3rd color – do this in accessories.

 ⬇️ Example Only- Not Our Image




Going for a more casual, everyday vibe? Plaid is a timeless print that can surprisingly be mixed and matched very easily. Keep at least one common color to weave everything together and dressing one or two family members in a solid color is a good tip if you are afraid it’s too much. For example, enjoy my family Christmas card from 2018 below!


Hopefully this helped make what to wear in your summer family photoshoot a little less scary?? Family pictures are supposed to be memorable, and fun. Don’t take that experience away by worrying about wardrobe! If it’s too much to handle, send us a note! We are more than happy to make recommendations.


The best advice I can give is start with mom. Then piece together children, and finish planning dad’s wardrobe.. that’s the best place to consider starting! 

Again, don’t hesitate to ask any questions!!