central ky family
lifestyle photographer

Book Now



What to wear to your family photo session

September 6, 2022

Hi, I'm cilla!
I am a loved, incredibly imperfect, storyteller of life, love, and joy. Photographer to some of the most genuine and beauty-filled people in KY.
Learn more
session day
prep list
Let’s make family photo sessions a little bit easier. Just a small portion of the Lifestyle Session Guide all of my family’s receive.

choosing what to wear in your family photo session

So, I’m going to be honest, being a photographer before being a momma has really paid off for me when it comes to choosing what my family is going to wear for family photos.

I have a little secret to share…

It doesn’t matter quite as much as you think it does. You not stressing is more important than everyone wearing the perfect outfit.

Eek…I know…I know. Yes…there are certain things to avoid, but, overall, if it is causing you stress…sing it with me… “Let it go. Let it go.” We don’t want a stressed parent before the session. A stressed parent trying to get everything perfect…leads to a frustrated family not wanting to go to family photos. We want the overall feeling of the session to be love and fun. Now, if frustrations arise, as they often do, we can bring the fun during the session and all may be forgotten quickly. So, please, give yourself all that grace and remember “all is well”.

The number one thing to remember: the ONLY thing you truly need for your session is LOVE.

Here are my top tips for picking what to wear for your family photo session. I hope these little tips help!

  1. Avoid large logos and fluorescent colors.

    Fluorescent colors throw off a big color cast that shows up in a not-so-pretty way. Try…a lime green color cast on your sweet boy’s face.

  2. Avoid clothing that will need to be fixed or fiddled with often.

    Tucked shirts, big bows, tops that won’t stay in place, just to name a few. I want you to be able to breathe and have fun. If you’re fiddling and worrying, it will distract you from the number one reason…loving on your family.

  3. Avoid being matchy-matchy.

    I promise, there’s no need for everyone to wear the same thing. In fact, I suggest no one wear the same thing. You’re an individual and your clothes should be too.

  4. Think comfort…comfort…comfort.

    We want everyone to feel like themselves. To be comfortable in what they’re wearing. So, then, they feel more comfortable truly being themselves, playing, and snuggling.

  5. Make sure it fits.

    Goodness…those littles grow so fast. And then sometimes they’re in this in-between size. And I know we all like to buy a little big so they grow into it. I get it. But, for family photos, we want to try, the best we can, to make sure they’re (and we’re) in clothes that fit and everyone feels good in.

  6. Don’t be afraid of patterns.

    I know…this goes against the grain a bit. But I love a thin striped shirt on one, a light floral on another, and a solid on another family member.

  7. Pick out clothes in advance.

    At the very latest, the night before. The day of, I want it to be so easy peasy for you. I want everyone to know what they’re wearing, it’s already ironed (you know…if you do that sort of thing), and accessories are already laid out. Hiccups still happen, but at least you’ve done everything you can to make it so much smoother.

BONUS: For spring and summer sessions, think light, airy, and flowy fabrics. Nothing too heavy. Fall and winter…think layers. All the layers.

Now, truly those things are the biggest to remember. After that, you could have everyone pick their own clothes and, I bet, you would absolutely love the final outcome. But, if you wanted to go a little further, here are a couple of extra tips.

  1. Mom picks her outfit first.

    Mom, pick something you feel great in. Whether it’s your “go-to” outfit straight from your closet or something new. I want you to feel good about what you’re wearing. To feel beautiful. Long flowy dresses often photograph well, but if that’s not your jam, find what is. Wear what feels good to you. Okay…if you’re like me, you may want to think beyond the yoga pants though.

  2. Once you’ve found something you love, coordinate everyone else’s clothes around that.

    You don’t need to have everyone in the same color, instead, colors that go well together. You could also choose one color that flows throughout everyone’s clothes. But, please, don’t overthink this. If you find it causing you stress, remember, “let it go”.

What do I do for my own family photos? I just choose something each of us already has that goes well together. My husband and son are usually in either tees or button-ups with the sleeves rolled. I’m usually in jeans or a jumper. I love pink and blue, so we typically have a mixture of those colors.

Text or email me pictures of what you’re thinking of and I am ALWAYS happy to help. If you’re torn, bring it to the session or wait until I get to your home and I can help make the final decision.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

reader faves


browse by category


Belly to Baby





hi, there!

welome to my blog

I'm Cilla and I'm so happy you're here! You'll find bits of writing about this beautiful, messy, joyful, love-filled life...both mine and the families I get to photograph year after year. 

Learn more



session day
prep list

Let’s make family photo sessions a little bit easier. Just a small portion of the Lifestyle Session Guide all of my family’s receive.


free download

Steal this session day prep LIST

Let’s make family photo sessions a little bit easier. Just a small portion of the Lifestyle Session Guide all of my family’s receive.

© Priscilla baierlein photography 2024

design by tonic

photos by Priscilla Baierlein