A family of four dressed in semi-formal attire, posing in front of a white wall with black shutters; the daughters in fashionable black outfits and the parents in coordinated black and grey.

6 Family Photoshoot Outfit Ideas and Tips

March 8, 2024

Photoshoots are the perfect chance to capture precious moments with you and your family as the years go on. While these sessions can be so much fun, you may also have one big question: What do we wear? 

There are so many different options and family photoshoot outfit ideas out there, so how do you know what is right for you? Well, as a family photographer myself, I have had the chance to work with so many different families and have picked up a few things along the way. 

So, if you are looking for some family photoshoot outfit ideas and tips, here are a few of my best! 

Family Photoshoot Outfit Ideas

When it comes to what you are going to wear, generally, the first choice you want to make is casual or “formal” clothes. Now, I say “formal,” but you most likely aren’t going to be as formal as something like an engagement session. 

But it is important that you think about this first so that you can find clothes for you and your family that are all on the same level. So, let’s take a look at some options you have for casual outfits and some more formal options. 

Casual Outfits 


When it comes to casual outfits, there is really a range of options that you can choose from. If you are doing more of a lifestyle session (maybe you are doing the session at home or at a park), you really don’t have to wear anything special. 

You can opt for outfits that you and your kids would wear on an everyday basis. If your little ones have a favorite t-shirt or a pair of shoes that they love wearing, let them wear it. 

Not only are they going to feel comfortable, but you’ll also get authentic photos that really remind you of this time. You can look back at the picture years from now and reminisce about how they wanted to wear that shirt every day! 

For more casual outfits, t-shirts and shorts or jeans can work great. If it is a bit on the colder side, you can swap those out for pants and a hoodie. These outfits don’t need to be super over-the-top, and you don’t have to feel like you need to go out and buy something that your kids are never going to wear again. 

Even with casual outfits, though, there are a few things you want to keep in mind. First, you want to make sure that you are coordinated in some way. Most often, it is going to be easier to match your outfits to your kids. 

When I say coordinate, this doesn’t mean you have to wear the same exact outfits. Instead, try finding colors that look good together and complement each other. This way, everyone can wear someone that they love and that matches their personality. 

You can also opt to go a bit nicer while still being casual. Things like sundresses, jeans, and plain t-shirts can make your outfits feel a bit more formal while still being super comfortable. 

For shoes, plain sneakers and sandals are always great options! You can even add things like casual jackets or flannel shirts over top to add some layers while still feeling relaxed. 

“Formal” Outfits 

A mother and her adult son, dressed smartly, stand in front of a white brick wall by a pink door; the son in a blue velvet jacket and the mother in a white top with sheer sleeves and black pants.

If you are looking to wear something a bit nicer, there are some great options that you have without feeling like you have to go in full formal attire. 

For something a bit less formal, khaki pants or nicer jeans are always a great option. You can even opt for khaki shorts or skirts during the warmer months (which we have a lot of in Arizona). 

When it comes to your tops, you can opt for button-ups or polos instead of t-shirts. Even a looser button-up can make your outfit feel a bit nicer without feeling over the top. Skirts and dresses are also great options – especially in the summer months. 

Just like casual outfits, there is also a wide variety of formal outfits. On the lower end, you can opt for a full-length, flowy dress or khakis and a short or long-sleeve button-up shirt. 

On the higher end, you can go full formal and wear things like suits, nicer dresses, or two-piece coordinated outfits. Before you opt for this option, you want to make sure that you think about where you are going to have your photoshoot and when you are having it. 

If you are planning a session in the desert in August, a full suit might get a bit hot and uncomfortable, especially for kids. Instead, you can go in nicer shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. 

However, if you are planning a session in the cooler months or inside, a full suit, sweater, etc, are perfect and can have you and your family looking amazing! 

You also don’t have to go super formal with your shoes if you’re not comfortable in them. Even a nice outfit can look put together with a pair of plain sneakers, flats, or sandals. 

Tips for Picking Outfits 

Don’t Force Anything 


Being in front of a camera can be a little nerve-wracking at times, and if you add wearing clothes that you really don’t want to wear on top of it – your photoshoot probably isn’t going to be the most fun. 

So, when it comes to picking out your outfits, don’t feel like you have to force anything. If you don’t want to wear formal clothes, don’t wear them. Just because your friends or neighbors did it for their session doesn’t mean you have to. 

This is especially important when it comes to your kids. At the end of the day, we want everyone to be excited and feel good about the photoshoot. This means you may need to be a bit more flexible, especially with teenagers, when it comes to what they wear. 

Give them some time and ask them what they would want to wear. It is most likely going to be much easier for you to match the aesthetic of your kids than the other way around. 

Be Mindful of Colors and Patterns 

A family of three with their pet dog, smiling in front of a green vine-covered wall; the mother in a festive sweater and the daughter in a red "Naughty" Christmas sweater.

You also want to make sure that you are being mindful of colors and patterns when you are looking at family photoshoot outfit ideas. What looks good in one area may not look good in another. 

For example, if you are getting your photoshoot done in the desert, you want to try to stray away from colors like brown and instead pick colors that are going to stand out. 

You also want to stay away from fine strips or small prints. These don’t tend to show up well in photos and can make them feel a bit off. Also, consider if the pattern is going to blend in with your surroundings. 

If you are having your session in a garden, a floral pattern may blend in and is probably not the best option for you! 

Wear What You Feel Comfortable In

A couple sitting in front of a decorated Christmas tree, engaged in a moment of laughter and intimacy, reflecting a warm, festive spirit.

This is the most important tip that I can give you. Always wear what you feel comfortable in. This is going to be different for each and every person, so don’t feel like you need to fit some mold for your photoshoot. 

You can think of this in one of two ways: feeling comfortable with the types of clothes you are wearing (casual vs formal) and feeling comfortable in the actual outfit for the session. 

If you are really going to be uncomfortable in a full suit, a sweater vest, or a dress, don’t feel pressured to wear it for your session. Or, if you really want to have one set of photos where you are all dressed up, find some nicer clothes and have fun with it! 

The other side of it is the physical clothes that you wear. You want to make sure that the outfit you choose for the session is one that you are totally comfortable in and can move around easily in. 

If you or your kids don’t love tight clothes, find something looser. Or, if you really don’t like wearing pants, grab your favorite pair of shorts and wear them for the session. 

If you are buying new clothes for the photoshoot, make sure you and your kids try them on before the day of your session. Give yourself a chance to move around in them and figure out if there is anything that is going to bother you before you step in front of the camera! 

Have Backup Options

A family of four standing on a textured walkway; the daughters in white tops and black bottoms, the father in black and beige, and the mother in a black top and brown skirt with tall boots.

Finally, have a couple of backup options. This can be just in case the weather changes and you have to adjust where your session is or if you need to dress warmer than you initially anticipated. 

It’s also a good idea to have some backup options if you have smaller kids. We all know how prone they are to messes and accidents, so just in case something happens, it is good to have another outfit on hand that will still look amazing in the photos! 

Final Thoughts on Outfit Ideas for Family Photoshoots

Hopefully, these family photoshoot outfit ideas and tips help you and your family have an amazing session. Above all, you want to make sure that everyone is comfortable and feels confident in what they are wearing. 

These photos are just for you, so don’t feel pressured to make them “perfect” or match them to anything else you have seen. Put your own spin on them and create photos that feel authentic to you and your family. 

Now that you know what to wear, all you need is the perfect photographer who can bring your vision to life! If you are still looking for that person, I’d love to chat. You can click here to learn more about my family photography services or head over here to get in touch!

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