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What to wear guide – Family Photos

What to wear guide for your family photos.

Choosing what to wear for your family photos is probably the number one question I receive when setting up the appointment for family photos. I have put together this handy dandy little guide to help you think about what to wear for the session.  Always keep in mind weather, location and comfort but here are a few tips on how to decide how you’ll look for your photos.

Coordinate VS. Matching, Be You!!

Color coordination, not matching, let everyone have their flare on the color palette yet still be cohesive with the rest of the family. I encourage solid colors, and if you have to have a pattern to try to keep it subtle and simple. You want to complement each other’s outfits by choosing colors that work well together.

Columbus Ohio Family Photography - what to wear guide
A soft palette of greys, mint, and teals complemented the artwork up in my building at the time.


Columbus Ohio Family Photography- What to wear guide
This family chose pinks and reds to pop against the fall colors (and let’s be honest, Dad wanted an Ohio State Buckeye-themed color so he could show off his love of the Scarlet and Grey)


Columbus Ohio Family Photography - what to wear guide
Shades of purples and blues helped this family POP against the field of yellow daisies.

Layers and Textures

Lace, knits, tweeds ruffles and fringe all help build definition in photos. Not only do the layers add visual interest, they allow you to change things up during a session for different looks.


Neutrals aren’t just grey black and white! Neutrals can be browns, silver, gold, greens, creams and navy as well!

Choose Timeless clothing

You’ll want these images to stand the test of time. We want these images to be able to be enjoyed and displayed for many years to come. Jeans are a timeless option; classic look and style yet you can still incorporate your own flair into the outfit with your tops and accessories.

Children’s clothing – Simplicity, comfort, and movement!

Choose clothes that fit well that week.  Allow older children to participate in picking their outfits for the photos’ so they can feel like they are part of the process and will be proud of what they are wearing that day.  Twirly skirts for little girls are always a hit, and suspenders or bow ties for little boys are always a cute option.



Boots, Necklaces, Scarves, Bowties! Have a little fun with your accessories



Shoes can really make an outfit, so let’s stick with the best we’ve got! Ladies if you want to wear a sassy heel, I’m all for it, but bring a pair of slip-on flats for walking around in so you aren’t wearing out your feet! Gentleman, let’s step it up a notch and wear some of your finer footwear.

Makeup and Hair


I know you want to look your most fabulous but don’t forget these tips. Makeup is fine, but keep it simple and classic. Nail polish simple and classic and neutral, or none at all.  If you are going to get your hair done for the photos, try to get it done early in the week to allow you to practice with the style.  Gentlemen, let it grow a day or two to soften the look and don’t forget to shave!

A few don’ts for the day


Avoid logos (unless this is part of the theme!)
Fashion forward sneakers, that are classic and simple and CLEAN are ok, but put those Nike’s back in the closet!
Matching outfits is boring and dated. Pick a palette that everyone can work with. Not everyone looks good in all white!
Shorts have a tendency to cut people off in weird locations and I encourage avoiding shorts. Try capris, or skirts, or slacks instead!

Last but not least….Let’s have some fun and show a little sass.

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Address: 400 West Rich Street, Columbus Ohio
Mobile: 614-219-9489
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