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What to Wear to your family photo session

What to Wear to Your Family Portrait Session


family of four photography poses, South Lyon Photographer

This family is always well-dressed for their photo sessions.  What really makes their outfit works is carefully chosen accessories that bring the whole picture together, including the perfect shoes.  Here are my tips on how to create a great looking wardrobe for your family photo shoot!


I love heading to the store this time of year and finding you all the hot colors and cool fashion trends so that you can dress your family and feel amazing for your sessions! Cozy sweaters, big scarves in plaids and prints, and gothic fall florals are just some of the things I’m seeing.

The boxy look from the look from the 80s is back. This is a trend that I could do without. It dwarfs your shape and leaves everything looking sharp and harsh. One-shoulder and off the shoulder looks are popular now too, but maybe not as useful in Michigan fall weather. But, the good news is that cozy, chunky textured sweaters are definitely trending and look great in variety of styles and colors.

Leather jackets are out (although I personally find them to be a timeless classic) and black top coats are in. Keep reading for updates on the trending colors and other popular styles I’m seeing….

Senior Portrait Photographer Northville

Pantone Fall 2023 Hues


Red is universally reported as the #1 choice for the fall color palette this year! Burgundies are showing up as more purplish hues. Viva Magenta, the color of the year, works in beautifully with this palette. Overall, there are fewer blues than in years past and more oranges and reds. This palette is also brighter and more bold than last year as well. Lots of rich neutrals round out this years popular colors. I’m in love with the almost navy of Eclipse. These colors pair well with the sparkly metallic trends I’m seeing in the fall wardrobe trends!


This season I’m recommending cozy sweaters (very trendy with a variety of textures and styles) with slacks or sweater dresses for the ladies.

I would avoid the boxy blazer trend unless you’re going for that strong 80s style! While the “corporate look” is trending hard, avoid the blazer, and add a crisp white shirt instead.

I’m also seeing corseted tops and other looks held over from the Bridgerton craze, like structured puffy sleeves, bows, and floral prints, still trending for the third year in a row with a few changes. Floral prints are taking on a darker, almost gothic look. Layering summer florals over long sleeve pieces is trendy, and corsets are taking on an unconventional look. If you love this style, go for it!

Newly trending: metallic accessories and jackets. Thumbs up from me on these. I love a little sparkle. Black jackets and outerwear are pieces that I think I would avoid for photo sessions, but definitely wear to make a statement. Oversized scarfs in plaid/tartan fabrics are hot right now. I love a good plaid in any color and scarves are my best friend this time of year. It’s a great way to coordinate the entire family’s wardrobe by bringing in colors from one plaid pattern.

While the trends are always fun and sometimes easy to shop for….wear the colors that make you happy and don’t be afraid to dip into your closet and pull something out that you love and already own.

To read & watch more on trending colors and styles, here’s some sites I love to reference:

Keep reading on how to pick your final wardrobe……

Family Photography, Livonia Photographer


*Start with one outfit for one person and build the other outfits around that

*Choose 2-3 colors and stick with those

*Don’t strive to be exactly matching!  Coordinating through color brings it all together!


*Avoid large patterns, flourescents, logos, and white shirts

*Wear what makes you feel great!  i.e. if you LOVE leggings, do it.  If you LOVE dresses, do it.  If you LOVE jeans, do it.  Just not all at once. 🙂

*Carefully consider your shoes.  They will be in pictures.  Sandals and boots are especially nice.  Running shoes are not.

*Think seasonally: in spring and summer avoid green; it’s simply too much with the backgrounds that time of year.  Dress for the weather no matter the time of year, you don’t want coats in summer and sleeveless in winter.

*Think LAYERS!  In fall: layer on scarves, vests, & cute jackets that fit snug; In spring: layer on accessories like lightweight scarves, long necklaces, or belts.  Even lightweight jackets, jean jackets, or lighter layering pieces look lovely.

Family of five standing at a barn, South Lyon Family Photographer


*Choose clothes that fit perfectly

*timeless classic dresses or polos are great.  Some of my favorite brands are Good Lad (seersucker dresses and beautifully appliqued clothing) and Bonnie Jean.  You can even find fabulous coordinating clothes for girls and boys at Target if you have both in your family!

*Avoid large patterns, flourescents, logos, white shirts, and character shirts.

*Small patterns, sweet appliques, and plaids are fabulous if you want prints in your pictures.

*Dresses with flowing skirts and a lot of movement are really fun for pictures

*Carefully consider shoes: NO flip flops, crocs, or character shoes; YES to boots, Toms, converse, mary janes, wellies, or even barefoot!

*Think Layers: hats, glasses, bows, headbands, vests, sweaters, and tights finish off outfits and bring it all together.

Metro Detroit PhotoshootFINALLY, A HUG FOR YOU IN WORD FORM…

I know many of us have things about our bodies that we just don’t like.  This is your gentle reminder that your body has done amazing things.  It has lived through a pandemic, raised children, and folded mountains of laundry.  Your arms give hugs.  Your shoulders bear burdens.  Your smile gives light and hope.  Your body is just a vessel for your amazing self and not the defining characteristic of who you are.

And if that’s not convincing, this is your gentle reminder that showing up for these photos is a great act of love.  Your children don’t notice all those things about you, but they do notice if you’re not there.  My daughter tucked a photo of us in her backpack on the first day of school.  She carried it every day that first year.  It was her way of taking us with her.  I guarantee that she wasn’t checking my gray hairs or the size of my pants, but she sure did need that picture.

If you want to learn more about dressing for your “body type” – and I say that with great love and gentleness because all bodies are beautiful  – drop me a message and I’ll send you some of my favorite guides.

Dressing my family for a photo session is my biggest headache.  They all have different types, different styles they love, and I have that one teen that always says “But WHY do I have to wear something nice?” I hope that this guide helped you overcome some of those challenges.  If you’re still stuck or need some advice or just want a second opinion, feel free to text me your outfit ideas or we can zoom call together to chat all things photo wardrobe!

Happy Shopping!


Need wardrobe advice for your Newborn Photo Session?  Check it out here.

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