What to wear for family photos | St. Louis, MO

What to wear for family photos (outfit links included!)

As a family photographer in St. Louis, I often get asked, what should I wear for family photos?? Luckily, all my families get a complete prep guide that includes tips for putting together the best outfits for family photos, including color schemes I tend to think work well! But I figure I’d share some of that knowledge here so you too can figure out what in the heck to wear for family photos! 

What you wear has a huge impact on the feel of your images! How formal or casual it is, how light or dark your outfits are, whether you match or not all plays into the look and feel of your images. 

Overall tips on what to wear for family photos

Here are some of my best tips for picking out an outfit: 

  • Don’t match, COORDINATE! You want these pictures to look like they could be your family on a day you’ve just dressed up a little nicer. 
  • Don’t wear small prints. It can be distracting and lead to weird effects in the camera. 
  • Be comfortable with what you wear! Walk around your house and make sure you are not constantly adjusting something. You will feel awkward and won’t be able to focus being in the moment during your session. 
  • Don’t forget your accessories! If it’s a cold day, incorporate some layers into your look! And don’t plan your shoes last (or you’ll end up at target the night before the session, like me!)
  • Think about where you want to display these pictures in your home and match your outfits to your decor! 
  • Lastly, when choosing “whites” to wear, go for creams and NOT stark whites!

What to wear to achieve a light and airy look: 

To get the light and airy look that feels like a summer breeze, you’re going to want to shop for lighter, more neutral colors, of course, but fit and fabric also will impact this! Go for fabrics that fall off the body easily and that can be swished around (think linen blends and maxi dresses). The goal here isn’t to all wear the same neutral colors, but rather to match neutrals that go together well. 

Here we have a color palette of beautiful, light and airy color! You can build around this palette to make a beautiful outfit. 

Any femme presenting individual could wear a beautiful dress like this one from Altar’d State and a masc presenting individual could wear a nice green button down like this one from Old Navy (in dried herb).  A baby could then wear a striped white green and pink romper like this one from the Gap to tie everything together! 

Here are a few examples of light and airy images! 

Mother and father walking in Tower Grove Park smiling at their baby. Mother is holding baby in her arms. What to wear for your family photos

What to wear to achieve a vibrant and bold look: 

So you’re not a fan of the light and airy and you want something that pops just a bit more? I’ve got you! Focus on bold colors and maybe even slightly more form fitting pieces! This is where velvet can really shine as well because it has so much contrast in pictures. Here’s a potential palette to work with: 

This palette works especially well for fall photos! An adult’s orange dress option could look like this and a cream colored button down dress shirt option could look like this and a toddler could wear this dress or a little dress shirt like this. Notice that even though I mostly went with bold colors, I did include a cream option in the mix in order to add a little contrast and mellow things out a bit. It creates a nice balance in the image. 

Here are a few examples of vibrant and bold images I’ve taken! 

Forest Park family session. Baby in between mother and father. Baby is looking at the camera while mother and father are smiling at the baby.

Couple's session in Tower Grove Park. Couple is walking towards the camera, smiling at each other.

If this convinced you to finally book your family session with me please contact me here! And if you want to see more of my work, check out this family session!


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