I get so frustrated when I try to organize my wardrobe. I think I need hanger management.


Okay - seriously. Outfits are MAJOR when it comes to great photographs that knock your socks off. Bad outfits = bad pictures.

Do you want to look like this?! Okay, maybe these outfits are outdated and you're telling yourself that you would never wear this. Newsflash: if you're wearing matchy-matchy clothes in your shoots, all of you are wearing plaid, or you show up looking like you're heading to Wal-Mart, this will be you. You may not necessarily be laughing at yourselves now, but trust me, you will be when you wake up and ask yourself, "what were we thinking?!" Check out the advice below to learn some pretty awesome tips to help your pictures turn out pretty amazing.

Our brains actually don’t register the words “Don’t,” “Not,” or “No.” So when you say them, the brain just ignores that part and listens to what comes after. For example, if I say, “Do not think of a lemon,” what did you just do?! Of course, you thought of a lemon.

If I tell people, “Okay, don’t wear stripes, flowers, or bright colors,” what will you remember? 

“I think my photographer said something about stripes and bright colors, so that’s what I’ll wear.”

Ugh. Please do NOT. <-- yes, I said it because I honestly don't know another way to say it.

Here is what you should do:

  • Wear layers!! Layers add dimension and depth to your images. If it’s hot outside, layer with accessories like belts, necklaces, bracelets, bowties, suspenders, etc. If it’s cool weather, layer with cardigans, vests, scarves, boots, and hats.
  • Purchase clothes that fit your body. 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 of the outfits at once so start small and build from there. Everything doesn’t have to be new, shop your closet!

Notice how this family isn't all wearing the same pattern, same color, nor do they match to a T. The mom chose a patterned dress and coordinated all of their outfits based on the pattern in her oldest daughter's dress. She incorporated layers with the dress and stockings, shirts and pants, regular shoes and boots, and dads layered shirts. She put bows and headbands in her daughters' hair for accessories. All of their colors balance out and complement the others. Her tones are all muted, which is perfect. If she were to have chosen a bright pink dress for one of her girls, it would stick out like a sore thumb, not flow well at all, and her pictures would essentially look awful. Everything needs to flow. And please, please, please let's get away from the "let everyone wear the same matching plaid" trend.


Pick some of your hues that coordinate well together and stick to them. What are your family’s favorite colors? Choose multiple shades that will add dimension to your images.


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.


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 children. If you feel good in your clothes, it shows!

Let's admit it... choosing what to wear for photos can be super stressful! It’s enough to make anyone crazy, even photographers. But finding that perfect outfit (or family of outfits!) is easier with a little bit of guidance. Hopefully this little post was helpful to get you started on your outfit journey for your family portraits. If you need more help, I am HAPPY to help you out and help find outfits (this is one of my favorite things to do!). In addition to all of that, I have a Styling Guide with lots more information and tips that I am happy to send you upon request and I also have plenty of outfits to offer "From My Closet." This is in the early stages of being developed and I only have things for girls, but there are a few things for you to choose from if you so choose!



Single mom, photographer, animal lover, and honest to a fault forever. Living in Benson and I left teaching to start a creative business five years ago and hope to inspire others to believe they are capable, good, and in control of their own destiny. Not only do I speak about photography, but about mental health as I believe deeply in making your mess your message because nothing is all sunshine and rainbows. Want to know more? Click below!

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