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Family photo session outfit ideas

One of the most exciting things about scheduling your Fall Family Photo Session is planning your outfits, am I right? I could spend hours scrolling through my favorite online stores and picking out the perfect combos for those magical shots and if picking out the perfect wardrobe stresses you out then I’m here to help you decide what to wear for your fall family photo session!

Let’s start with the first and most important thing of Fall family photos, and it’s this: Make sure you choose an incredible location and you’ve scheduled it as close to golden hour as you can!! If you haven’t already booked your session then stop and do that right now. If you’re feeling stuck on where to do your family photo session then I have an incredible blog that will showcase some of my favorite and most popular locations in Southern California and it will help you choose the perfect one for your family!

Now, when it comes to choosing your families wardrobe I known it’s easiest to start with the kids (because let’s be honest, kids clothes these days are incredible) but I dare you to think of yourself first for once. Your kids are going to look darling in whatever you choose but I want you to feel like the incredible, beautiful and loved Mama that you are so let’s start with choosing something remarkable for you!

Your Perfect Photo-Ready Outfit

When it comes to choosing the perfect outfit for you it’s important to remember a few things! First, take an assessment of your favorite angles, body parts and features. Do you love your back? Let’s show it off! Do your arms make you a little self-conscious? Make sure you pick a dress or top with sleeves!

IN OUR EXPERIENCE, EVERY WOMAN, REGARDLESS OF HER shape has an area of her body that she’s self-conscious about, so recognizing what area that is in advance is key. Choosing flattering silhouettes and colors that complement your natural features is the best way to ensure you’ll love the way you look in your photos.

Balboa Park Family Photography-Desert Gardens

Dresses and skirts look most stunning because they really flatter every female body, especially on camera — which is probably why the red carpet is always full of so many dresses and not very many pantsuits! We recommend avoiding pants and shorts for your session, and saying yes to a dress or two instead.

Long, full-length, flowy dresses and skirts look amazing on camera because they bring extra movement to the photos. Especially when juxtaposed with nature, like the desert, forest, plains or beach. Consider softer fabrics like chiffon or tulle which allow for beautiful movement in the images.

When considering the length of your dresses or skirts, it’s also a good idea to factor in whether or not there will be little ones in your photos. If you have smaller children, we’ll likely have you sitting or crouching on the ground to interact up-close with them. Cute, shorter cocktail-length dresses photograph beautifully, but if you have little ones in your photos, a floor-length dress or skirt, or perhaps a cute midi-skirt, will make moving around with your kids much easier, and look perfect on camera, too.

If you’re an expecting mother, we always recommend floor-length gowns or maxi dresses. These dresses create the best silhouettes to flatter your figure and really highlight your bump.

San Diego Family Photography at Coronado Sand Dunes

WHEN CHOOSING COLORS FOR YOUR OUTFITS, WE RECOMMEND selecting softer, lighter tones and more muted shades. By avoiding ultra-bright, bold colors, it will help bring all the attention to your faces and let the eye focus on the way you feel about each other. The camera loves shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like heather gray, creams, leather brown and white. That softer color palette fits beautifully into almost all natural outdoor environments, and especially compliments the coast.


THREE-QUARTER LENGTH SLEEVES create an awesome slimming effect on all arms, so be on the lookout for an option with a longer length sleeve. You could also bring a cute jacket, blazer or cardigan along, too. Skinny straps or strapless dresses have the opposite effect on arms on camera, so we recommend avoiding those whenever possible if your goal is a set of slimmer-looking arms.

HEELS ELONGATE WOMEN’S LEGS making them look fabulous. Closed- toes heels in particular look great on camera because they carry out the line of your leg all the way down to your toe. If your toes are showing in a peep-toe heel, you might want to schedule a pedicure before your session so you don’t regret letting your feet show. These little tricks make all the difference!

Now that you have all the tips and tools to choose the best outfit for yourself I’ve put together some outfit ideas and ideal color palettes to make your family photos everything you’ve dreamed!

Classic Wardrobe Palette

If you’re looking to keep your wardrobe classic I highly recommend sticking with creams, blush, blue and tan as your palette. These colors will pair well with the greys, denim, khaki and browns the men in your life will wear.

Family Photoshoot Outfit Ideas for Women

Above outfits sourced from:



Bohemian Mama

Fall Wardrobe Palette

If you’re feeling like going a little more festive I highly recommend a neutral color palette that includes creams, yellows, tans and some darker reds like the photos below. All of these colors will pair well with denim, khaki and the plaids the men in your family might wear.

Photoshoot Outfit Ideas for women

Outfits above sourced from:




Dressing Your Man!

Let’s be honest, guys have it so easy and yet we never know what they should wear am I right? I’m here to give you all my best tips for styling your man and I have also put together a few outfit inspiration boards for you!

When it comes to putting together your man’s outfit keep in mind that LONG, FITTED PANTS AND CLOSED-TOED SHOES ARE the most sophisticated and masculine looks for men. They draw attention away from his legs and feet and place it where you want it: on his handsome face. So, for your session, it’s best to leave the shorts, sandals and jeans at home, too, as well as any pants that are loose or baggy. Fitted dress pants or fitted colored pants work best on camera. Solid shades of gray or navy are a strong compliment to most women’s outfits, whereas pinstripes or plaid patterns tend to distract the eye. We also recommend staying away from graphics and logos.

Many of our guys love to mix a suit coat, blazer or sport coat with a different pant color. It adds some extra visual interest, and break up the color tones. We’re big fans of this fresh take on a timeless classic.

Scripps Pier Family Photography

NEXT TIME YOU WALK BY a store like J. Crew, you’ll notice the male mannequins and models are always wearing several layers at once. Layers on men look great on camera, so even when it’s hot outside, trust us when we say that it’s worth an hour or two of discomfort for photos that will last you both a lifetime. Adding another layer will bring extra dimension and visual interest to your photos. Blazers, vests and coats up the level of any look. If the temperature permits, he could even consider adding a v-neck sweater with a pop of color from a long-sleeved collared shirt and tie underneath. Don’t be afraid to get a little creative with layers!

Sunset Cliffs Photography-Family Photo Session

BROWN LEATHER DRESS SHOES COMPLIMENT ALMOST EVERY look, whether he’s wearing a full suit or a blazer and colored pants. Ties, bowties, pocket squares, colored socks, belts, tie clips, suspenders, vests and watches are sharp compliments to any outfit for men and boys alike. If you bring two outfits to the session, you can start with a traditional necktie and belt, then switch to suspenders and a bow tie for your second look. If two looks are too stressful, no problem! One will do the trick! You can still mix and match accessories to compliment both of her dresses without doing a full change during the session. So, either way, it’s a win.

Fall Wardrobe Color Palette for Men

If you’re wanting to go the Fall route for your family photos stick with browns, creams, denim and tans for a look that will pair well with a multitude of dresses for you and outfits for the kids

Family Photoshoot Outfit Ideas for Men

All men’s outfit inspiration sourced from: J.Crew

Classic Wardrobe Color Palette for Men

If you’re looking to do more of a classic, timeless look for your family photos make sure you keep your man in shades of blue, grey, navy, cream and denims! All of these colors can look really sophisticated and do wonderful when layering dress jackets with a causal pant.

Family Photoshoot Outfit Ideas for Men

Coordinating Your Whole Crew

As you’re coordinating your outfit with your family, keep in mind that your outfits will look the most cohesive on camera when the color palette and wardrobe pieces coordinate, but don’t actually “match.” In fact, we recommend that you avoid thinking about “matching,” and instead think about what “fits” together. This will create more visual interest, and allow each personality to shine through.

Leo Carrilo Ranch Family Photography Session

The goal for coordinating a family is to visually break up the colors and shades so that you’re not all wearing the same color on top and bottom. The more we can mix that up, the better. We encourage you to think about planning each outfit with “dominant colors” and “accent colors” in mind. A dominant color is the color that you see the most in an outfit, while an accent has a smaller piece of visual real estate. When you’re planning each family member’s outfit, if you can aim for each person to have a different dominant color, and then tie in and vary the accent colors, it’s going to look great all together.

For example, if you’re wearing a blush dress, soft blue earrings and nude heels (blush being your dominant color), then he could wear a navy coat with a white button-down and gray pants, paired with brown leather shoes and maybe even a blush pocket square (making navy his dominant color). Your daughter could wear a soft blue top with a white tulle skirt (making a soft blue her dominant color) while your son wears light beige pants with navy suspenders and a white button down (making white his dominant color). Now each person has their own dominant color while still incorporating a few touches of the others that will pull all the looks together. This will break up the color visually and highlight each personality. Most of our moms choose their dress first, and then build the rest of the family’s outfits based around that.

Remember, we recommend selecting those softer, lighter tones and avoiding those ultra-bright, bold colors. The camera loves shades of soft pink and muted blues, mixed with sophisticated light neutrals like heather gray, creams, leather brown and white. Feel free to vary the shades of the colors, too.That softer color palette fits beautifully into a natural environment, and can easily be paired in so many different ways.

If you have multiple children, don’t feel like you need to put them all in the same type of outfit. For example, one of your daughters could wear a dress and flats, while the other wears a skirt and boots. One of your sons could wear a bowtie, while the other one wears suspenders. Mixing up the wardrobe pieces will bring a great visual interest to the photos.

Fall Wardrobe Color Palette for Older Girls & Boys

Once you’ve picked your perfect Fall outfits it’s time to dive into coordinating your entire family and let’s be honest kid’s clothes are way more fun! If your kids are a little older these fall outfits will look incredible paired with your warmer fall tones. Little girl’s have a great variety and you could put your daughters in a mix of dresses, skirts and jumpsuits layered with cardigans, hats and tall socks!

Let’s not forget about those little boys, if you have multiple boys in your family you can pair a plaid shirt on one with a cream sweater on another. Don’t be afraid of laying those boys up as well, they can look so handsome in a few simple, plain layers!

Outfits above sourced from:

Rylee & Cru


Classic Wardrobe Palette for Girls & Boys

I LOVE a good classic look for family photos and when you stick to blues, blushes, creams and tans you will be guaranteed to have a look that aligns seamlessly for the entire family. The bonus to going with a classic color palette is that it’s always easy to find these colors regardless of the season!

I love adding a casual blazer for your little man with some dress shoes and jeans. Little girl’s look darling in anything and love to adorn a special dress, fancy shoes and maybe an overcoat to add some layering to your portraits.

All outfits sourced from:

Rylee & Cru


Fall Wardrobe Palette for Toddlers & Babies

Can we talk about Toddler and baby clothes for just a second, the cuteness level is extreme and shopping for your toddler can become a true addiction these days!

Toddler and baby girl’s are so much fun to dress and you can do a wonderful variety of creams, tans and browns. Add some darling stocking and maryjane shoes for an extra little pop.

Toddler boy’s can look like little men in just a matter of moments and won’t blink an eye at those sweaters your older kiddos may not want to wear! Stick with yellows, burnt oranges and reds paired with denim and khaki for a look that compliments anything you wear!

If you have a tiny little baby there are tons of neutral, clean and comfy knits you can dress them in. Keep in mind that if your baby is still to young to hold their head up putting them in a complicated, layered outfit will not photograph well. Keep it simple and accessorize that little baby with some darling socks, a bonnet or a bow.

All outfits sourced from:

Rylee & Cru


Classic Wardrobe Palette for Toddler’s and Babies

Whatever time of year you’re having your family photos taken the classic color palette will be fitting for your portraits. It’s typically easy to find blues, blushes, tans, creams and denim for your toddlers and babies and all of these will pair really well with your outfit of choice.

Spice up your kids wardrobe with cute accessories, shoes and sweaters for a timeless look!

All outfits sourced from:


When it comes to planning what to wear for your family photo session it’s important to remember that coordinating color combos are much better than matching to the same color. Don’t be afraid to layer, especially for the guys in your life and accessorize for an extra little pop for the girls!

Fall Family Photoshoot Outfit Ideas

Family Photoshoot Outfit Ideas

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