• Tania Veta

What to Wear Guide… Wardrobe tips for family photo session

Updated: Jan 19, 2019

VeTania Photography - Lifestyle Family Portrait Photographer in Roseville, CA

Houston, we have a wardrobe problem!

Please remember that my main goal is to capture your individuality, emotions and feelings! And on the second hand your appearance on the picture need to be visually pleasant and harmoniously. Of course, your look should be comfortable and reflect who you are!

One of our experts, stylist and fashion blogger, Irina Gutierrez (IG: @fashion_for_mom) will share some do’s and don’ts for choosing your photoshoot outfit.


Do not try to buy identical outfit for the whole family - they will not match and it looks sloppy.

The only one case will look good - items from one brand made of the same malarial (pretty much same items in different sizes) in this case your background should be basic and plain, like bed with white sheets.

Do not use super trendy items for yourself (all girls want to have the most beautiful pictures) or family members, if you want to keep those photo moments for really long time without having fun looking at them in 5 years (do you have that super trendy 90’s pictures, I do!)

Do not get crazy on patterns: you don’t need to mix and match everyone on the photo with different (or the same) patterns and colors! Photographers don’t like too small patterns or too big ones, so be careful with it. Better keep patterns in sedate and calm direction. Also, skip complicated and overloaded patterns like Ikat Paisley and such. It can completely ruins the picture.

Also skip glitter, sequins and gemstones on your clothes or hair (makeup) they are complicated for camera and need special light.


Pick one favorite outfit (mama’s fabulous dress you want to show off, daddy’s sweater, daughter’s cute skirt, etc) and start building the rest of the family outfits around The One!

Play with layers and textures - like add vest for hubby, or cable knit scarf for yourself, or sweater on top of the shirt, or even (for example) leather jacket for yourself and leather boots for daughter for some sleek visual moment. 

Stay consistent with color palettes, but you can add some safe pattern, like classic black/white stripes, plaid, polka dots, and even some neutral leopard (Family of 3: one patterned item; family 4-5: two). Keep your outfit colors in one temperature and saturation. Use complimentary or analogous colors (check out fashion color wheel).

Consider your background: for busy and complicated, like bright fall leaves or decorated Xmas tree  - keep your outfit simple and light (color, pattern, textures); for natural and effortless backgrounds, like outside snowy environment or straw field - add some bright colors and textures.

Also make sure your background matches your outfit. For example: boho style goes well with natural themes (field, river, country house), casual style goes perfect with “inside” photoshooting, smart casual or classic styles goes wonderful with urban photo ideas. But, final style decision is all depends on you and your preferences!

“Details and appearance, as details create the big picture” (Stanford I. Weill). Make sure you keep extra attention to details in your look, like right earrings would compliment your face, socks or ties would finish the look and make all your appearance, in general, completed and visually pleasant. 

Hair and makeup are playing important role as well. A little bit extra volume in your hair and extra makeup (specially countering and highlighters) is completely fine.

EYE GLASSES may or may not be worn. Non-reflective lenses, of course, are a big help. Better yet, sometimes it’s possible to obtain a matching set of frames without any lenses. This is particularly helpful, if your lenses sometimes distort the outline of your face.

DADS, you are already awesome and I already like you for participating in this endeavor! Because I know in 99.9% family photo shoot is wife’s idea and for most of you it can be a torture. There is nothing more attractive than an amazing father/husband/boyfreind. So, Dads, the most important thing you can wear to picture day is a good attitude! But if you have a nice causal Sunday outfit that complements your beautiful wife it can be a good idea! If you don’t, no sweat! Let us know in advance and we’ll make our best to match you with your loved ones in an easiest fashion way! ;)

When shooting outdoors and it involves KIDS, I love to have some movement and flow in their clothing and accessories. Little ones are fond of jumping, dancing and being wild. Choose outfits that fit well without being too small or a lot of “growing room”.


95% of the time, photographs of newborns and babies look best in their natural element i.e…their birthday suits! If you want them to be photographed with clothes, solid colors usually work best. Of course if you have that amazing outfit that you would love a photograph of, include it. Bare feet are a must!

If you still feel lost in the outfits jungle, I will be happy to help you to create perfect visual look for your upcoming photoshoot.


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