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! Oversized button ups, cargo/utility pants, and cozy coats are on trend this season.

I’m not seeing is as many small prints and patterns (think that prairie look) as in the past.  Some stripes, but mostly solid colors with lots of denim, as we would expect for this time of year.

The simplicity of the mid-90s is back with plain white tanks, denim and leather jackets.

Glad to see the statement leather jacket (which is always in style in my opinion) is trending this year.

Senior Portrait Photographer Northville

what to wear family photo shootFALL 2022 COLOR PALETTE

Caramel, is showing up everywhere this season and that bottom green, Loden Frost, is also very popular.  The Midnight and Waterspout blues in the middle row are a carryover from spring.  I love when I see blue worn year-round.  What’s missing on this list is a lot of the purple and lilac I’m still seeing in stores.  Overall, the pantone color palette has a lot more variety than the past.  That Lava red in the top left is a great choice for standing out this fall or you can blend in with that Olive green.


I am recommending jeans maxi skirts with either a simple top and a statement jacket. Ladies could wear flowy tops with a more fitted pant would be great too.

I would avoid the trendy “cargo/utility pant” craze as they just weigh you down unless you find a very classy, pair that fits more like slacks and less like hiking gear.  And, if donning this season’s trend of an over-sized button down, I recommend adding some shape with a belt or a half tucked-in look.

I’m also seeing corseted tops and other looks held over from the Bridgerton crazy, like ruffled & puffy sleeves, bows, and maxi skirts.  If these dresses look great on you, I say go for it!

As always, I say 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.

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  – I have a blog post where I’ve collected up some of my favorite links about what to wear and how.

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.