What to wear for your family photos

Family photos in the water at Whangarei beach.

Planning for a family photo session at the beach can be both exciting and a bit daunting, especially when it comes to choosing the right outfits. I have a super simple method for helping you figure out what to wear so everyone looks their best. We go over this in your Zoom Planning Call before your session.

But in the meantime, here are a few tips to start thinking about when you are planning your outfits to make your photos are both beautiful and timeless.

1. Embrace organic neutrals: Organic neutrals and earthy colours such as white, cream, ivory, light tans & browns and sage greens all blend beautifully with the beach environment. Try and keep away from black shirts if you can, because they can end up looking quite blocky, especially when others are wearing lighter colours.

2. Incorporate the colours of the sea: Another option is to go with the colours of the sea as they also look lovely against a backdrop of sand dunes, trees and ocean.

3. Think combinations of pattern & colour: Choose a colour palette and let each family member’s outfit reflect different shades and tones within that palette. Have a small print on one or two outfits and then keep the rest in solid colours.

4. Thinking of going denim? This is always an option if you want a more casual look. The way the Cross family incorporated soft, muted but quite bold jewel colours worked really well for teens who preferred a more casual look.

5. Go a little bit glam: I have a wardrobe of beautiful dresses that you are welcome to borrow if you’d like to take your family photos up another level this summer. They look gorgeous on Mums and have all been carefully designed to flatter lots of body types and still work totally with a casual look on the rest of the family.

6. Avoid little stripes! There’s a weird effect that happens when you photograph small thin stripes. It’s called “Moire” (try googling it) and it makes the pattern go all crazy! It can happen with small pinstripes and corduroy where they create a wavy rainbow-colored pattern like you can see in the image below. So if you can, stick to solid colours or shirts with small prints and stay away from the stripes for your family photos.

7. Beach maternity sessions: want to do outdoor maternity photos at the beach? I have a small client closet of beautiful dresses like this ivory two piece outfit which are perfect for my pregnant Mums.

8. No need to worry about footwear! Barefoot always works best for beach sessions since we usually end up in the water.

9. Want to make tutu magic? Look how Sunny did it in style with her little girl. These sage tutus were so gorgeous and I’m happy to put you onto some cool places to buy matching sets like these ones if you’d love to do photos like this with your little girl.

It always seems to be much easier seeing everyone else’s outfits rather than working out your own family’s ones.

But don’t worry, we chat about this on your Zoom Planning Call and I offer personalised support to help you sort out what’s going to work for your family.

Want to see how these tips all come together in some family sessions? You can check out some family galleries on my website.