In the run up to a family photo session, I’m often asked by families what they should wear to step in front of my camera. I thought I’d try and answer that in a blog post for you in advance of your family photoshoot…
How to dress for each season
Spring: Layers always work because the English weather can be a bit four seasons in one day, can’t it?
Summer: Something that won’t make you hot and grumpy.
Autumn: Maybe try that spring tactic and layer up again?
Winter: Um…. stick a coat, hat and gloves over your autumn outfit?
What not to wear: Avoid things you wouldn’t wear on a normal day when you haven’t got a photographer popping over!
In all seriousness…!
Your family is unique just the way they are. You’ll find plenty of beautiful photos for inspiration on Pinterest – but if they don’t appeal to you, you’re in the right place. You can stick with whatever you guys usually wear for tooling round the house at the weekend. If your kiddo wants to rock their superhero costume, let their personality shine!
If you’re usually in jeans and comfy shoes then definitely don’t go for a dress with heels because you’ll feel awkward and that will show in your pictures. When you feel comfortable, you act comfortable and that results in natural, authentic photos.
A silly story about inauthentic photos
My Mum decided years ago that we needed to get a family portrait taken. Imagine putting on smart clothes to stand in front of a backdrop, hand on Dad’s shoulder and giving my best fake smile and you’ve got it.
This photographer thought my Dad was “holding his hand strangely” so he photoshopped in a finger… A few years earlier, my Dad had chopped his finger off with a circular saw!
On top of that, the photographer’s flash must have given me red eye, so he guessed my eye colour and GOT IT WRONG!
These photos are so ridiculous and every time I see them, I just think “urgh, I don’t even look like myself”.
I can do better than that for you – I can capture you exactly as you are.
So, what should we actually wear then?
If you love to hang out in your PJs all day on a Saturday then embrace it. (I may even wear my own because I’m a crazy jammies fan!)
Genuinely, please do not try and be something that you aren’t for a photoshoot. Just stick with what makes you look good and feel comfortable. Is your everyday wardrobe well-tailored jeans and smart jumpers and you shudder at the thought of being seen without makeup on? Then dress that way for your family photos. But if you barely even own a lipstick or a pair of heels then don’t dress to a perceived pressure to dress a certain way just because there will be a camera around you for the day.
Your family deserves beautiful photos that ACTUALLY look like you. Imagine flipping the pages in a gorgeous album… you won’t even notice what you’re wearing, you’ll simply be transported back to that time in your family’s life. I can tell you from personal experience with the family photo above, the thing I notice is now uncomfortable I look (after my dodgy eye colour of course!)
There is no “should” when it comes to getting dressed for a family photo shoot with me! The photos will be relaxed and happy, they capture you and your family as you are.
So, just be yourself and enjoy having your photo taken.
And there is a whole host more information on my FAQ page or in my FAQ blog posts such as what is the best season, what to do if your kid is in a grumpy mood and more, so go check it out… Then get in touch and let me help you create some amazing family photos of your own 🙂
Those stories are just hilarious! Love your work!
I just love your photos.
Can’t wait to see what magic you can conjure up with my tweenagers!!
I would much rather have relaxed family photos where our personalities show, not our eyebags!
Ah this is such a great post and wonderful advice.
So funny! Loved your stories here! Such great tips and I adore your work!!