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Family Photos, great smoky mountains

What To Wear For Family Photos

What To Wear For Family Photos

What to wear for family photos – this is one of the hardest things moms face when planning their sessions. I book hundreds of photo sessions each year. Most of them are in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park or in Knoxville, TN. Some of the photo sessions are outside and some of the sessions are in the studio. Regardless of location or setting, the struggle for moms is still the same- clothing!

I get several emails and messages each year saying “Sorry to bother you, but what should we wear to our photo session?”. Trust me when I say, these clients are NOT bothering me! I love it when people ask for advice on what to wear for family photos! Clothing is the number one thing (other than lighting) that can change a photo session. You see, I want the focus of the photo to be the subject, not the clothing. You can have perfect light and beautiful people but if the clothing is off it takes away from the photo itself. It takes the focal point off the subjects and leaves the eye thinking something is off because it is! 

Examples Of What Not To Wear

Let me give you an example. You have two girls, one girl has a brown dress on and the other girl has a purple Minnie Mouse character dress on. Two things are off for this scenario. The first is the colors do not coordinate. The second is the character on her dress which is where your eye will land first. Both of these these things distract from the photo.

The next scenario would be a large family who all show up with different colors and mixed patterns. Even though each family member may be dressed nicely, your eye would focus on the outfits first.

The third scenario would be a mom who has the exact outfit as her baby. When two subjects have the same color or pattern and you pair them together. When this happens, the subjects blend in as one. The patterns make it hard for the eye to define where one person starts and one person ends. This will also make both subjects appear larger than they are.

How To Pick Your Outfit

If this makes perfect sense, but you still don’t know where to start here are some tips.

  1. Coordinate, don’t match.
  2. Pick one member of the family to dress first, then base the other outfits around that person.
  3. If adding a pattern, add the pattern to one family member. Sometimes, you can add more than one pattern (if it coordinates). Mix up the color in the pattern and make sure those people aren’t standing next to each other in photos.

If you’ve made it this far in the blog, your next question may be where to find the perfect photo session outfits. Great news I have some favorite places to shop

Well Dressed Wolf (high-end kids clothing)

The Beaufort Bonnet Company (high-end kids clothing)

Carter’s (more budget-friendly)

Old Navy (more budget-friendly)

Below is my example of a family of four and their outfit pairing.

Check out some of our family portrait sessions here!


Some family sessions on our blog

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