danie henry

Six Simple Hacks When Deciding What to Wear for Your Photoshoot

what to wear to family photos at the beach

What to wear for your photoshoot . . . This comes up often. I have been photographing families for almost a decade now. I talk to women and men several times a week in order to help them get prepared for their upcoming photoshoot. We talk about locations, time of day for the shoot and how to make the most of the time we will spend together. But the number one question I get is this… What should we wear?

If one of the first thoughts you have about scheduling or getting ready for your shoot is about outfits, you are not alone! This part of the prep work comes naturally to some, but most people are left hoping that they are making the right choice for the clothing that they will wear and what they’ll dress their family in.

*** I have a fashion confession at the end of this post… no shade please.

what to wear for family photography

I give the same advice to each person that I talk to. I’m going to share that info with you. I offer simple advice. It might not be as detailed as you are hoping for. I’m not going to tell families to show up in all white. I won’t be advising them to show up in shades of blue and gray. I won’t be telling you what store I think you should hit up for the perfect combos. I am going to encourage each person to work with your personal style and the personalities you have in your family, but I promise to help you with your decision making process.

Family dressed nice for photoshoot

Here is my advice on what to wear along with photos of people who simply nailed it! Hopefully both of these things will be inspiring and helpful to you.

1. Dress for the photo you envision on your wall, holiday card, birth announcement, etc. If you aren’t feeling certain about what you want to wear I often recommend consulting Pinterest to get an idea of the vibe you are hoping for. From there you can dream of what the photos you want to print for your personal use (albums, wall art and frames around the house) and the ones you’ll send out as cards and gifts for the family.

Family all dressed cute for maternity photos

2. No big logos, only one or two persons in busy patterns. Unless you are repping a brand, don’t do free advertising. I think it distracts from the intention of your photos.

I love a nice floral dress or fun pattern, but if someone is wearing flowers and someone else is wearing flannel – it can clash.

what to wear to your beach family photos

3. Minimize the use of identical items. Want to put your boys in blue polos? I recommend making them all just a little different. A few different shades of a color you like, and maybe one with a little bit of a patter. Too much of the same thing can take away from the unique personalities in your photos and that’s what we really want to capture! Coordinate, but don’t copy.

mom dressed nice for family photos, kids and dad are cute too
family dressed casual for photo shoot, mom wears rainbow dress and looks amazing

4. Choose your clothing first. If you are coordinating this photoshoot, you should be most happy in what you are wearing! If you have something you love in your closet or a dress you’ve been admiring, now is the time to get it out or make that purchase and plan accordingly. If you feel good in your clothing it will show in your photos! You’ll love them more and feel good about using them. If you’re like me, you’ve probably got some nice photos of your family hidden away because you don’t like the way you look in them. Plan to feel and look amazing and I’m betting you will!

Family dressed cute for photos on wooded trail in Palos Verdes, CA

5. Consider a simple outfit change. If you are hoping for a little bit of variety in your photos you can make some simple changes and see a big difference. Add a hat, remove a jacket, include a scarf. I suggest starting with the most layers on and stripping them away as your shoot progresses.

What to wear to your maternity or engagement photoshoot

6. Lengthen your photoshoot. If you add just 30 minutes to your shoot you could have time for a complete outfit change. If you are feeling uncertain about what to wear or you have just too many good options we can spend a little more time together to get them all into your shoot. It makes the shoot more relaxed and gives us time to get all of the looks you are hoping to see in your gallery.

Family dressed in flannel for photoshoot

I hope this info feels empowering to you! If you need a little extra inspiration you can always check out Target, Gap, and Old Navy for their coordinating outfits. Sometimes they will do all the heavy lifting for you. Ultimately, I think you are a huge success for making it this far! You are planning your photoshoot. If you come dressed in gym clothing and paper bags we will still get amazing photos of you and your fam! Contact me with any questions! I am full of opinions and I’d love to help.
Want more help planning your shoot? Check out my Family, Maternity, and Newborn pages for more helpful tips.

Family plays in the ocean water during family photoshoot

Are you still scrolling and reading? You’ve made it to my confession… Ya’ll, I have opinions all day long about what you should wear, but for the life of me, I cannot dress myself. Like I said above, no shade please. I actually hate, even loath shopping for myself. I could wear the same four shirts and two pairs of jeans for years and years with zero problems. I know which stores I feel comfortable with and I’m in and out of those places as fast as I can. If it wasn’t for Angela Solomon I don’t know what I would do. She keeps me looking fresh and feeling cute. Her jeans are the freaking bomb. They are the only ones I own anymore and I feel so cute in them. She tells me what tops to get. I don’t even have to think about it anymore. If you are feeling at all uncertain or maybe too busy to think about what to wear, just do yourself a giant favor and turn your troubles over to her. You can click the link above or email her at [email protected].

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danie henry