Family Photos: How to Prepare & What to Wear


You’ve finally scheduled that family photo session, now what?


How to prepare:

Small Children: Little kiddos are so fun to photograph! They’re typically energetic and full of giggles if they are in a good mood. But like anyone they can get cranky if they’re hungry or tired. A great idea is to plan your session time after your child’s nap so they’re fresh and ready. Bring snacks in case your kiddo gets hungry or treats (that won’t stain fingers and tongues) to help them sit still during posed family shots. If your child has a favorite toy or something that makes them giggle, be sure to share that with me. Keep it light! I know that photos can be stressful and sometimes confusing for kids and none of us are perfect; we’re all there to have fun and patience is golden (as is a promised post-session cake pop). 😉

Older Children: If your child brings a device like a phone or tablet to the session it’s a good idea to leave it in the car as it can be distracting if it’s in their pocket. Let them be involved in choosing their outfit so they are comfortable. Older kids can sometimes have a hard time “loosening up” for their shoot so it helps if they feel good in what they’re wearing. While we will do some posed shots at the start of the session, what I really love to capture is the family dynamic so feel free to tickle, joke and be silly with your older kids! Try to make them laugh!

The Nitty Gritty: Kids of all ages can get boogies in their noses, have dirty faces or crazy hair! Try to check your children thoroughly to make sure their faces and noses are clear of anything you might not want showing up in your family pics. Bringing some wipes and a hairbrush is a great idea for last minute touch ups. Sometimes you’ll even need to pull them out during the session and that is totally fine! Check your child during your shoot to make sure they’re still boogie free.

Adults: Preparing your family for a photo session can also be stressful on parents. Try to use the drive to your session as a time to lighten the mood. Listen to your favorite songs, play a game along the way or crack some jokes. When you’re happy it shows. Most importantly: JUST HAVE FUN!


What to Wear:

Choose several complimenting colors and stick to them. Pick some of your hues that coordinate well together and stick to them. What are your family’s favorite colors? Don’t choose one color for the whole family – multiple colors will add dimension to your images. Pick one pattern and go from there, however you’re going to want to avoid dressing the whole family in patterns. A good idea is to choose one item, a dress for example, with a pattern containing the colors you love. Then choose colors from the item that you love for the other family members to wear. Be comfortable. Make sure that everyone’s clothing fits properly and is weather appropriate. If you’re hot or cold during your session it’s less likely that you’ll appear happy and relaxed in your photos. This is especially true for kiddos. If you feel good in your clothes it shows!


  • Wear layers!! Layers add dimension and depth to your images. If it’s hot outside layer with accessories – cute belts, necklaces, bracelets, etc. If it’s cool weather cardigans, vests, scarves, boots and hats are all great examples. Avoid graphics and logos on clothing – accessorize instead!
  • If you decide to buy new clothes for your session, purchase clothes that fit. It can be tempting to buy kids clothing a size bigger so they’ll have room to grow, but for photo sessions it’s not the best idea. Avoid looking sloppy by wearing well fitting garments.
  • Start with one outfit and build the rest of the family clothing from there. It can be overwhelming trying to choose all the outfits at once so start small and build from there. Everything doesn’t have to be new, shop your closet!



  • Wear neon colors or bright reds. They don’t photograph well and cast colors onto the skin of those who are wearing them. No one wants a bright yellow face!
  • Match! Matching is out, coordinating is in. Remember, it doesn’t have to match, it just has to GO. Outfits should complement each other, not match each other.
  • Choose colors that match the scenery. If you’re doing a lot of outdoor photos for example, avoid wearing a lot of green as you’ll blend in too much with the background. Of course pops of green here and there are fine!
  • Wear solid black or solid white clothing. These colors don’t show dimension when photographed and make for dull, boring images.


Follow these simple guidelines and your session will be a breeze. Feel free to reach out if you want any other suggestions or have any questions at all about your photo shoot.

xx, Amy