Guest post by Kylee Ann.

Outfit choice can make or break a photo. As the photographer, we are supposed to be the experts. We take pictures ALL the time, but this is a very special occasion for the family. It might be their annual session or their first family session ever. It is our job to help our client’s feel comfortable and at ease with the entire family picture taking process. This starts with choosing their outfit. The best way I have found to help a client choose what to wear for family pictures is to provide them with a guide.

1. Create a Resource with Specific Tips

Whether it’s a blog post, a welcome packet or an email template, provide every family with the best tips for what to wear for family pictures. More specifically, where do they begin and what photographs best. For example…


Start with a foundation color then add a few accent colors. Use as many tones, textures and patterns as you need to add variety, but keep consistency at the same time. Families should coordinate, but don’t have to match.


Add scarves, jewelry, watches, belts, headbands, earrings, fun shoes, and jackets or blazers. Not only does this make for an awesome picture by adding texture, but it allows the subjects to bring your personality and style to the scene. Details, details, details.

2. Show Examples

The list of tips you provide are going to be a great resource, but incomplete without some examples. Go to POLYVORE.COM to mix and match outfit choices that fit your target client. This is an amazing resource to create What to Wear Guides. The best part is it’s free.

3. Three Questions for Them to Think About

Do they feel comfortable in their outfit when they look in the mirror?

The emotions they have looking in the mirror are the same emotions they have when they see their photographs. Therefore, it’s important for our clients to be aware of their bodies. If they don’t want to draw attention to their bottom, cover it with a dress or longer shirt/jacket. If they don’t like their arms, try wearing a long sleeve or 3/4 sleeve shirt. Make sure they are 100% comfortable with what they are wearing.


How and where will the pictures be displayed?

If the photos will be displayed in a specific room, it would be a great idea to consider the wall, furniture and decoration colors. Create outfits that would fit great in the space they will be displayed.

Do their outfits reflect their personality?

There are so many cute trends these days, but they should not follow a trend if it doesn’t fit their personality. If they are a fun family, their outfits should be fun. If they are formal and serious, their outfits should be serious. It’s okay for them to break the “rules” to bring their personality to a session. I believe family sessions should reflect the family 100% – poses, outfits, and setting.

Kylee Ann is a full-time family and wedding photographer passionate about capturing raw emotion and telling stories. She also loves to teach, write and inspire other photographers. Join her on Instagram or Facebook, and read more of her blog posts here.