Deciding what to wear for family portraits can be a challenge.  Do you go shopping, do you use what you have, where the heck do you start?  Start by reading this blog, and then contact me for a personal consultation on what to wear.

Be comfy.

You will be moving and posing, and possibly chasing kids, so make sure what everyone wears fits well and moves well.  If you want to wear footwear like heels, they might get uncomfortable after several poses, so bring a pair of flats so you can walk comfortably when moving from one spot at your location to the next.


A fall family portrait in Chanhassen

Check Your Closets.

It’s amazing what you find when you dig.  To save time, only shop after you’ve gone through all the options you have.  You might find all you need to buy is a pair of shoes or one shirt instead of a complete outfit for each person.


Light weight dresses, shorts and shirts are semi-formal and comfortable for summer pictures when it’s hot outside. They also allow you to move easily and chase a small child around a farm field!


Plan the kids’ outfits first.

It’s much easier to plan the adult outfits around them.  Chances are if you need to shop it will be for the kids, because they out grow clothing frequently and might need new clothes anyway.


Avoid character faces on clothing.

Find fun patterns and pair with classic accessories for a bright and colorful look.  Big logos can be on clothing if wearing gear from your favorite sports team, or if your child has a special shirt like a big sister/big brother tee.  However, if you want to convey a whimsical look you don’t need cartoon character shirts to do it.  Shirts with cartoon faces on them can look funky if your child moves and the fabric wrinkles up.

Avoid everyone wearing matching shirts.

Instead of everyone wearing one color, pick 2-3 colors that you like.  You will display your portraits in your home, so think about your living space and what colors will look best with it too.



Dress For The Occasion.

If you’re doing a holiday card photos in the middle of summer, wear outfits that reflect the season you’ll send those cards in.  

These pictures for Fourth of July were done right after the leaves came out, before we actually had July like weather.
These red, white and blue themed portraits for Fourth of July were done right after the leaves came out, before we actually had July like weather.

Bring a back up outfit.

Jumping in puddles, finding mud and getting dirty is what kids are good at when you put them in clothing that needs to stay clean.   This way it’s no big deal if the unexpected happens, we can just change and continue to shoot.  This happens most often in early spring when we have lots of rain to make mud.

If It’s Cold Bundle Up.

Dress the kids in layers.  Put a t-shirt, tank top, extra onesie or long underwear under their clothing if you want their jackets off in cold weather.  Bring mittens and hats for toddlers because their hands and head get cold fast.   Simple things like matching hats and contrasting colors can pull an outdoor picture together and make outwear look nice!

When In Doubt Ask For Help.

Send me texts or social media messages with clothing choice pictures.  I will be happy to tell you what looks good together and give suggestions based on my experience.

I am a wedding and portrait photographer located in Minnesota.  I travel through the Twin Cities and statewide for beautiful outdoor and location portraits