Family Session Style Guide


Dressing for a family photography session can feel incredibly overwhelming. What should I wear? What should my kids wear? What will the weather even be like? This family session style guide contains my most tried-and-true strategies for picking clothes that are true to who you are as a person (and a family!) and that will serve you best during our time together.

(Prepping for your newborn lifestyle session? Head on over to my newborn lifestyle preparation guide!)

Most Important: Be You!

The most important thing when dressing for a photo shoot is to be as much yourself as possible. Don’t push yourself too far out of your comfort zone. When you’re uncomfortable, it shows. Feel free to take this chance to dress up a little more than you might usually do, but don’t push yourself so far that you’re hurting yourself in the name of fashion, or feeling self-conscious about your outfit the whole time. If you normally dress like a 40’s pin-up girl, bring that fabulous style to our shoot! If you, like me, live in chunky sweaters and leggings, be your cute, comfy self! We tend to move around a lot during my shoots, so wear something that you can move in.


Coordinating is the bee’s knees. If everyone is in all black or plain white t-shirts and jeans, everyone starts to blend together, both in terms of how they all look on camera and how no one is able to express their personal style. The easiest thing to do is to coordinate around one outfit: find a common or complementary colour (or colours!) and let everyone make their style choices around those. If one person is wearing a flowery dress, take a colour or three from those and pick out everyone’s clothes around those. You can bring in some wild patterns (leopard prints, for example) in small doses (say, as a scarf), but as a main outfit piece, it would be too distracting. And remember: Day-glo is only your friend if you’re in the Tour de France, not in a photoshoot (unless it’s a cycling photoshoot, but then why are you reading a family session style guide?).

Dress for the Occasion!

Keep in mind the season and the mood of the shoot. This is something we’ll talk about during our consult, but dress like you normally would. Seattle weather can be a bit unpredictable day to day (even minute to minute!) so layering is always a good idea. You can always add or shed a layer or two before or during the shoot. Keep in mind, too, where we’ll be shooting. Wearing a lot of greens in the woods blends too much with the background. Pinks in small doses against the cherry blossoms can add a great pop of colour, but too much and you obscure your pretty backdrop. Wear something that will stand out against but also complement your backdrop. Match your colours to the seasons: you can experiment more with bright, airy colours in Spring and Summer, but they won’t work so well against the Autumn leaves.

Ask for Advice!

Please feel free to ask me for advice about styling before the shoot! I love to help in whatever way I can. I also spend way too much time on fashion blogs and Instagram and am always squirreling away bits and pieces of styling inspiration in my noggin.

Look for Inspiration!

The magic of the internet makes it so much easier for us to gather inspiration. Browse around and see what’s out there. You can use my Pinterest board as a starting point — think of it as a visual version of this here family session style guide. Everything on there is timeless, affordable, and easily available locally.


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