What to Wear for my Family Photoshoot

May 9th, 2024

Family photos hold a special place in our memories, capturing moments that include our loved ones and creating lasting treasures. Whether it's for an annual photo Christmas card or a cherished display above the mantle, putting effort into looking your best ensures that you and your family will shine in your portraits. These timeless portraits are cherished forever, which is why it is essential to plan ahead and carefully consider what to wear for your family photoshoot. Fortunately, as a family photographer in Vancouver, B.C., the city offers a plethora of iconic locations where you can have your photo session. Of course, the luxury of our green forestry and mountain views come with frequent rain as Vancouver is known for, and we are happy to conduct your session inside or outside your home.




When selecting your outfit for a family photoshoot, the most important factor to consider is your comfort. Above all else, you should feel at ease and confident in what you're wearing. While tailored clothing can be flattering, it is not a necessity. What matters is that your clothes fit you well, neither too tight nor too baggy. Well-fitted clothing ensures that you look and feel your best during the photoshoot, allowing your natural beauty and personality to shine.


If you have any concerns about your body shape or would like to smooth out any rolls or lines, consider wearing undergarments like Spanx. These can provide a subtle and comfortable way to enhance your confidence and create a more streamlined appearance in your chosen outfit.


It's advisable to avoid wearing brand-new clothes that haven't been worn before the photoshoot. New clothes can sometimes be stiff, uncomfortable, or may not fit as expected. Opting for clothing that you have worn before ensures that you are familiar with how it feels and how it looks on you, reducing any potential discomfort or surprises on the day of the photoshoot.


To add variety to your looks without spending excessive time changing outfits, layering your clothing is a smart strategy. Layering allows you to create different combinations and styles by adding or removing layers, such as jackets, cardigans, scarves, or accessories. By simply adjusting or swapping out a few items, you can achieve multiple looks within the same photoshoot session, maximizing the number of shots and providing more diverse options for the final selection.


Remember, the key is to prioritize your comfort while maintaining a stylish and put-together appearance. Feeling good in what you're wearing will contribute to a relaxed and confident demeanor, resulting in more natural and authentic photographs that capture the true essence of your family.



When planning your clothing for a family photoshoot, it's crucial to consider the location of the photoshoot. While coordination is important, it's equally vital to ensure that your outfits align with the setting. A formal attire may not be suitable for a park setting but would be more fitting for an urban environment like downtown Vancouver or the Vancouver Art Gallery. By considering the location, you can choose clothing that complements the surroundings and enhances the overall aesthetic of the photographs.


Another factor to keep in mind is the weather and season. It's essential to dress appropriately for the climate during the time of the photoshoot. For example, wearing a sleeveless t-shirt near the end of Fall may not be ideal, especially if the weather is chilly. When you and your family are feeling uncomfortably cold, it can affect your comfort level and will ultimately show in the images. To ensure a comfortable and pleasant experience, select outfits that are suitable for the weather conditions and provide adequate warmth or coolness.



Opting for neutral coordinating colors can contribute to timeless and enduring photographs. Neutral colors such as white, beige, gray, or muted tones tend to age well and have a classic appeal that transcends trends. These colors provide a versatile backdrop that allows the focus to remain on the individuals in the photograph rather than the clothing itself. It's important to note that coordinating colors do not necessarily mean matching outfits, as not every color suits every person's complexion or personal style. Instead, aim for a cohesive color palette where different shades and tones complement each other.


In addition to coordinating colors, incorporating patterns can add visual interest and depth to your family's outfits. Patterns like plaids, stripes, and florals can serve as great accents, injecting personality and variety into the overall look. However, it's important to be mindful of the scale and level of detail in the patterns. Fine and intricate patterns might become distracting or lose clarity in photographs. Opting for larger or bolder patterns can ensure they stand out without overpowering the image. To create a balanced visual composition, consider layering patterned pieces with solid colors or denims. This combination adds texture and dimension while maintaining a cohesive and visually pleasing appearance.


Remember to consider the individual preferences and comfort of each family member to ensure they feel confident and relaxed in their chosen outfits. The goal is to strike a balance between coordinated elements and personal style, resulting in photographs that capture the unique essence of your family while remaining visually appealing for years to come.





A white collared shirt paired with blue jeans is a classic and popular attire choice for a family photoshoot, and for good reason. This combination exudes a timeless and effortlessly stylish look that works well for various settings and themes. The crispness of a white collared shirt brings a touch of elegance and sophistication, while the casual and versatile nature of blue jeans adds a relaxed and approachable vibe.


This attire choice is particularly suitable for outdoor and casual photoshoots, as it blends well with natural landscapes and creates a sense of ease and togetherness. However, it can also be adapted to more formal or urban settings by simply adjusting the style and fit of the shirt and jeans, or by incorporating additional layers or accessories.



If you and your family are enthusiastic fans of a particular sports team or have a shared interest in a specific theme, incorporating that into your family photoshoot can be a fun and creative idea. If time allows it, bringing a change of clothes that reflects your favorite team or theme allows you to showcase your passion and add a personalized touch to the photographs. This approach can infuse a sense of playfulness and authenticity into the images, capturing your family's unique interests and creating memorable photos that truly reflect who you are as a group.



Avoid any logos or graphics as it often draws the viewer's attention away. Like the sample image above, your eyes are immediately drawn to the text and distracts from the rest of the family photo. 


Avoid hats of any kind. While they can be stylish, they may become unfashionable over time. Also,  it often casts a shadow over your eyes and a ring around your forehead when it is removed.


It is also essential to consider the visibility of undergarments. Avoid clothing that shows bra straps or underpants, as they can appear distracting or detract from the overall polished and coordinated look of the photos. Opt for well-fitted clothing or consider using appropriate undergarments that remain discreet and do not draw attention.


Furthermore, it's generally recommended to avoid certain clothing choices like cargo pants, sandals, or any type of loose clothing. These clothing items can convey a sense of neglect or informality, which may not align with the desired tone or theme of the photoshoot. Choosing well-fitted and structured clothing helps create a polished and put-together appearance that enhances the overall aesthetic of your images.


We may get you to go barefoot so please wear a pair of shoes that you can easily slip in and out.


Take off watches, and keep your phones in a bag.


If you wear transition glasses, keep your glasses in a pocket at the start of your session to get rid of the dark tint.


Bring a picnic blanket if you don't want to be directly on the grass (or if it's going to be wet).


There might be some closeup shots, so make sure fingernails are neat and tidy. It's also a good idea to trim any nose hairs as well.


For a slimming effect, remember the following: 


  • Darker colors are slimming; light colors are not.

  • Vertical lines are slimming; horizontal lines are not.

  • Avoid logos on shirts as well as shoes.

  • The v-neck shape is slimming, achieved with a  jacket, blouse, shirt or sweater.

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