Essential Tips for Dressing Your Family for a Family Photoshoot

What to wear to a family photoshoot

Multi-generational photo shoot

Want to know what to wear to a family photoshoot? We’ve got you. Whether you have an energetic two year old, a wee little newborn, a pair of too-cool-for-school teens or college aged young adults; putting together a cohesive look for the brood is easier than you think!

We’ve collated the essential tips, from our photography and styling experts on what to wear to your own Verve Portraits family photo session. After taking in these tips, everyone will be heading the door with full confidence that what they are wearing is fresh, timeless and suited to any photography shoot.

Create a cohesive style amongst the individual family members

When it comes to creating a cohesive style for your photoshoot remember, you don’t have to match!
A key detail to note when styling your whole family for the portrait session is to aim for complimentary styles. You also want tones and patterns that you can picture working well in your home.

We recommend mixing warm neutrals and earthy tones for example, with soft subtle patterns & classic basics like denim. You can also use whites, greys and blacks to accent and outline.

Avoid clashing prints and colours, so that there is a sense of unity across the look as a whole. Above all, celebrate individuality with little details. Jewellery, footwear, hair styles, accessories and subtle accents are all part of representing your own authenticity. We also welcome any items that may speak to your individuality. Think heirlooms like brooches, jewellery, or an item that is treasured by a family member. These can make great additions to the family portrait, showcasing your own unique passions and/or history.


You don’t need a million changes of clothes

Have two options when it comes to what to wear to the Family Photoshoot: styled up or paired back casual. It’s important to keep things minimal with your second outfit option.

It might be as simple as swapping a casual t-shirt out for a flowing dress, or button down long sleeve shirt. Perhaps it’s a matter of taking a jacket off or changing your shoes. We aren’t after stiff formal attire, as this look can date quickly on your walls. Alternatively, you don’t want to go too casual either (no lockdown tracksuits please!) A nice dressy casual style always does the trick. Think what you would wear to Sunday brunch.

Outfits should be fresh, clean and styled so that everyone feels confident and comfortable stepping out in what they are wearing.

Style little ones in your image

For little ones it can be really cute to style them in your image. For example a little boy with dad, both in matching jeans, that’s adorable! It’s important however to make sure their top or bottom half is dressed differently, so they aren’t carbon copies.

Dad might wear a casual, neutral tee and your little man might have a button up linen shirt with the sleeves rolled up and cuffed. Conversely, try to resist overdressing little girls in sequins and frills.

They can look just as feminine in cotton tunics, trousers and tops, shorts and knits. For little ones they need to be able to move freely and feel comfortable. They already have oodles of personality and their character will be what comes across as bold and bright.

Teenagers should be themselves

Let them be themselves, but avoid school fads. It’s all about balance. If hoop earrings are in, maybe leave out the oversized branded jumper and eye watering neon kicks. Try to avoid obvious printed tees or slogans and messages that will date. Equally, sportswear has an important function, but can be a bit of an eyesore on the walls.

Bring out their confidence with accessories or single elements that showcase their personality. After all, they are developing a strong sense of who they are and this is what you ultimately want to capture.

Coordinating the whole family style, with both adults and children

By now adults are certainly used to dressing themselves. Seeing as you may not be getting ready together however, it’s a great idea to communicate your plans around styling to the entire family before arriving to your photography session.

Everyone should feel comfortable knowing they are going somewhere to celebrate some special moments of togetherness in a candid, family oriented setting.

Advise for them to avoid fluorescent or very bright colours, bold clashing prints and overly styled or overtly casual attire. We want to keep a more overall neutral palette, that looks classic and won’t date. Remember you maybe dressing for different homes also. Grandma might have a vastly different aesthetic in her living room, to the share-house your college age 24 year old might be renting!

Pops of warm neutral colour, mixing textures and classic styling will ensure everyone looks as though they belong without compromising individuality. Then feel free to go right ahead and showcase character by styling favourite accessories amongst the mix. We’ll do the rest.

If you need more inspiration for what to wear to your own family photoshoot, visit our gallery here, or visit our instagram page @verveportraits to see amazing examples of families that have nailed their clothing and dress style.

  • smiling child - kids photography