Hey, this photo is © Frances Morency Photography
Tips on What to Wear for Family Photos

What to Wear for Family Portraits

May 11, 2015 ,
Documentary Family Photographer in Collingwood
Documentary Wedding Photographer
Documentary Family Photographer in Collingwood
caledon family photographer

All neutrals in denim and whites.

Deciding what to wear for your family session can be just as stressful as finding a photographer.  These photos will be cherished, displayed and passed around for generations.  It can seem overwhelming when considering what to wear, but it doesn’t have to be ….. just follow these easy tips.


1 ******  Choose a neutral!  Neutral colours include BLUE, BROWN, BLACK, WHITE, BEIGE OR GRAY.  Now you can either go with all neutral or add 1 colour.   The family above chose all neutral in a neutral room and background and this is why it works.  

2 ******  Look at your home decor!  Are you decorating with neutrals or colours.? These photos will be hanging in your home so you want to make sure your clothing choices will agree with your home decor.  If you don’t decorate with lime green then you shouldn’t be wearing neon colours in your photos.

3 ******  Choose 1 colour with neutrals!  So, choose a neutral lets say everyone will wear denim or blue and choose 1 colour like red.

unposed toronto family photography-8120

All neutrals here in beige and by removing coats and accessories for a quick photo gave them a completely different look.

This family wore neutrals in beige and blue then added a pop of red with accessories and this way they were able to get a variety in their photos.

unposed toronto family photography-7913

A second look for this family by adding 1 colour choice to all neutrals and choosing red really pops in winter scenes.

Lifestyle Family Photographer -2529

This family choose all neutrals…..denim, blue and beige but went with different patterns. This works also if you keep it to 1 colour.

toronto unposed family photographer-375

Choosing all neutrals here again with denim then adding red as an accent colour.

lifestyle family photography in toronto

Choosing neutrals in black and blue then accenting with the colour red.

4 *****  Don’t forget Accessories!  Accessories add a great deal to photography and can be fun to use in photos.  Add hats, scarves, knits of any kind, ties, and jewellery.

5 ***** Layers!  If you are all wearing a t- shirt and jeans your photos will look basic and plain like the image below…. although still nice and simple if that’s the look you are going for, but adding layers and texture will take your images to another level.

toronto unposed family photographer-0476

All white and denim is very simple and sometimes the easiest for family photos, but consider adding another layer and 1 colour for a more appealing photo.

5 ***** Textures and Layers!  By adding vests for the boys and layers on the girls we have added a whole new dimension and look to your photos.  Still staying in the neutral colour palette, but we’ve add pink as an accent and texture with knits, layers and accessories.

distillery family day photography

Denim was chosen here, but they added layers and the colour pink. See how vests, jackets, jewellery and knits adds to this image.


1 ***** Choose colour if that’s your style.  By all means colour works too, but you have to choose wisely.  It will overpower your image if you are not careful.  Patterns and logos here will make or brake the use of colour.  Choose all plain colours with very little pattern and logos are a no no.  That will be the first thing you see when looking at your photos.

toronto unposed family photographer-26

Started with all white…even the puppies and denim.

toronto unposed family photographer-115

This family when all out with colour, but look how it works. They all wore denim and white tanks or tees then added colour on top for a completely different look.

toronto unposed family photographer-92

They also chose to include a car and a guitar for a lot of variety.

toronto unposed family photographer-28

Including black and white edits in your collection of final images is also something I do for a well rounded family session.


The location you choose for your family session is just as important as what you wear.  Photographing in your home is ideal for newborns and little ones under the age of 5.  Toddlers will react better if surrounded by things they know and are comfortable with….all their things and toys nearby can make for a stress free session.

If your family dynamic is with older siblings then the location will dictate the look of your images.  The family above chose a spot with a creek, green space, and private location to hang out for a couple of hours.  This spot kept the kids occupied and safe in a very small area with not a lot of distractions, but a great variety for photos.

Sometimes an outing is all it takes.  Going to the zoo for the afternoon? I’ll tag along for 1 hour and take family photos, or how about the fall fair, or the water park, cottage, boat, beach? The possibilities are endless.

toronto family unposed photographer

Engagement Session with family at the Alton Mill in Caledon


Please follow and like us:

Leave a comment