• Michelle Thompson

What to Wear to Your Family Photo Session | San Diego Family Photographer

Updated: Apr 6

Gone are the days of white shirts and blue jeans for the entire family, and thank goodness. "Coordinated individuality" allows for far more depth and nuance in your family's look.


1) Coordinate colors, don't match:

I would suggest choosing three main colors to work with. This will give you more flexibility when it comes to dressing the entire family. It will also really make your pictures pop! You want to coordinate, NOT match. By this, I mean choose the color(s) you want to work with and find different pieces that incorporate some or all of the colors you’ve chosen. Keep in mind that not every person has to have on every color you have chosen. Split the colors up. It makes the photo more playful and less uniform.

2) Think classic:

These photos will be hanging on your walls and treasured for years to come. By choosing simple, classic clothes you will help give your images a timeless feel. You don't want to look at a portrait in twenty years and be able to nail down exactly when it was taken based on the trends you're sporting. And heaven forbid you say, "what was I thinking!?" Personally, I love a mix of neutrals with a base color, like blue. It's a pretty timeless look.

3) My absolute favorite piece of clothing for women:

Ladies, there is almost nothing so universally flattering in portraits as a long and flowy skirt or dress. It’s just so…flowy and flattering and romantic. It almost always photographs beautifully. That is, only if it’s something you feel good in too.


1) Busy patterns and distracting logos:

Personally, I enjoy having an outfit in the mix that has all the colors in it. However, not everyone in the photo should wear patterns as it will get a bit busy.

Obvious brand logos will also distract from the image, as will writing on clothing.

Also, your little one may love their Frozen shirt but you may want to skip it for the family photo session. Just like patterns and writing, characters on shirts can be pretty distracting.

2) Bold, bright solid colors:

Solid tops in bold, bright colors like fuchsia can create an unflattering color cast on faces. Muted colors are a much safer (and more flattering!) choice.


A couple muted tones that coordinate, a pattern here and there, maybe a little layering and lace somewhere - you have a lot of flexibility when choosing how your family will look in your photographs. Keeping these suggestions in mind, choose something that makes you feel comfortable, beautiful, and like yourselves. And that will always photograph well.

Have questions? Need ideas? Drop me an email at michelle@lovemichellephotography.com and I'll be happy to answer! .