newport, ri family photos on beach in middletown

Your Guide To Picture-Perfect Outfits

One of the most common questions I receive as a Rhode Island family photographer is: What should I wear for family pictures?

And honestly, I love to answer that question for families! Helping families choose what to wear for family pictures is a part of my family photo process that I really enjoy. It helps me get to know a family’s unique style and personality. I feel like it gives me a special connection to my clients before I even meet them (and I know my clients love it too!) 

Below are my top tips on what to wear for family pictures.

1. Coordinate, Don’t Match

I’ve got good news for you: You don’t all have to show up to your family photoshoot in matching flannels or in white t-shirts and jeans! In fact, I don’t recommend it at all. Why? Because you’re a family of individuals. Let your unique character and personality shine through with your different outfit choices. Pick a color scheme of three to four colors, and base your outfit selections off of that. 

2. Consider Your Home Décor

You’re taking family photos because you want to smile inside every day when you walk by those beautiful pictures on the wall. So think about the color scheme of the room where you want to hang your artwork. Do you have an accent color that you love? Use it! You can also choose a neutral theme with a mixture of white, beige, navy, gray or black and add a pop of color.

3. Go Easy on the Patterns

Limit the number of prints and patterns in your family picture outfit selection. Too many patterns can clash and make your picture seem uncoordinated. I recommend choosing one patterned outfit and basing everyone else’s outfit off of the color palette in the patterned one.

4. Layer it Up & Add Accessories

Adding layers and accessories to your outfits are a great way to add interest and personality to your family photos. Consider sweaters, scarves, hats, necklaces, and ties as a way to bring in a dash of fun, texture and color. Those layers will come in handy if you plan a fall or winter family photo session!

newport family portraits at brenton point

5. Be Comfortable

I take family photos outdoors, so it’s important to be comfortable. Wear clothes and shoes that are appropriate for the season and the location that you choose. Layers can also be helpful in this respect as well! For babies or young children, consider bringing along an extra shirt in case the inevitable happens.

Also, when considering comfort, make sure you are comfortable with how you look in your outfit. Try it on and do some posing in front of your mirror (no one will know!) If you LOVE how you look it’s a keeper! But, if you’re unsure, experiment with accessories or layers and see if you can make it work. After that, if you’re still not 100% happy with how you look, it might be best to choose a new outfit.

6. Shop at the Same Store

Most of us probably don’t have a set of coordinating outfits in the closet for our families. I know I don’t! Last time I had our family pictures done, it was a mad rush to Savers the night before. We only barely found what we were looking for and I still wasn’t 100% happy with our outfits when we were through. 

So here’s my final tip: buy everyone’s clothing from the same store. This ensures you will have an easy time picking out clothes that have a coordinated color scheme, because the store already does that for you with what’s in season. Which stores are good for family outfits? You can try Target and Old Navy for the whole family. Carter’s would be a great place to find clothes for the kids.

Still Stuck on What to Wear For Family Pictures?

I hope those tips are helpful for you! Check out the blog for inspiration and please contact me if you have any questions about coordinating your family’s outfits. After you book your session, you can even text me pictures of what you have planned out. I want you to LOVE the way you look!



I’d be so happy to help you give you outfit suggestions for family photos! Send me a message and I’ll help you figure it out.