What to Wear For Family Photos | Albuquerque Photographer SMA Photography

What to Wear {Family Photography Edition} with Albuquerque Family Photographer, Stacey Adams of SMA Photography

I’ve been there. I remember the stress – no, the panic – I felt, trying to coordinate outfits for our family photos.

I’d end up spending money on new clothes, when what I really wanted were photos - photos that showed our joy in being together and how much we really love each other.

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And let me tell you, you definitely don’t need matchy-matchy clothes for your family to shine in photos and video.

Part of the magic of lifestyle and documentary family photography and video is that you can truly be yourselves – and that includes what you choose to wear.

But there are ways to stay true to your family’s vibe and look your best in your photos and video.

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What should we wear during our family photo shoot?

Here are a few of my favorite tips for families, when you’re choosing what to wear for your family photo and video session.

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1. Simple is Best – Don’t let the clothes steal the attention from you or the emotion in the photos. My number one piece of advice? Keep away from shirts with words, logos, or characters. Not only do they distract from the moment,

Instead, stick with solid colors, simple patterns, and a little texture and you’ll not only have photos that capture your life right now, but you’ll have timeless images you’ll love. (I adore the tiny polka dots on dad’s shirt above and the classic pattern on baby’s sweater below, with mom’s complementing top!)

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I love to see neutrals (grays, creams, navy, and tans) throughout your color palette - and I love them even more when they’re combined with a single statement color. This could be something bright and joyful or even something deep and bold.

One color to avoid? Red. Not only does it steal the scene, it brings out red tones in skin that most of us would rather avoid.

I just love how the texture of mom’s sweater below plays against the softness of both dad’s sweater baby girl’s sleeper. Paired with the gray and blue jeans on dad and big brother, this is a great combo.

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So although you don’t want everyone in a matching outfit (remember the white shirt and khakis phase from a decade ago?), it is a great idea for everyone to dress in colors that compliment or just look good together. In the photo above, I love how the stripes on the boys shirts are different sizes and how the blues play off of each other - and against the navy in mom’s dress. Such a great family outfit selection!

2. Be Comfortable – My #1 tip for great photos is to be comfortable - not sweatpants comfortable, but wearing clothes that feel good comfortable. No one wants to be pulling at their clothes or feeling squeezed toes during a family photo session. The clothes your family wears during our photo shoot together should fit well, without restricting your motions.

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Mom, a flowing dress you’d love to wear all day is perfect. Another great option is a pair of jeans or colored pants with a cute sweater or top. Add on a few small accessories and cute flats, and you’ll look fantastic!

Dad, solid colored pants or jeans (no cargo pants, please!) with a polo, button down, or sweater are my favorite looks for you.

For girls, I love dresses and outfits with ruffles or texture of some sort. Jeans and a cute top also look great!

For boys, I’m into striped or solid t-shirts, polos or button downs, and tops with small repeating patterns. Same as dad, I love solid color shorts or pants, but not cargo-style. Some of my favorite boys shorts have tiny patterns (sharks, palm trees, etc), and they look great paired with a solid colored top.

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The bottom line is, when you’re relaxed, you going to feel good and look great. So dress comfortably in clothes that not only look good, but feel good, and lean into your awesome selves.

3. Follow Your Child – That shirt your son wants to wear every.single.day? That works. Your daughter is begging to wear her princess dress? Great! Favorite pajamas? Perfect. When your child starts developing their own dress sense, it may make you raise your eyebrows, but you’ll miss it one day, and I promise you’ll be so thankful to have it captured in these photos.

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Another thing I often suggest to families capturing a morning at home is to involve your children in choosing their own outfits for the photo session.

Sometimes this may mean pulling a couple options and giving them the choice between those outfits. Other times, you may want to let your child choose his or her own clothes, and have them change into something that complements the rest of the family for a different activity later in the photo session.

4. Take Advantage of My Free Personal Styling Service – My goal during your family photography session is to create beautiful photos of your real life, and for you to feel amazing. That’s why I now offer personalized styling - based on your individual style and wardrobe.

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Choose a few of your favorite options for each person from your family’s closet, send me cell phone photos, and I will tell you honestly which combo compliments best, and even suggest easy ways to look even better.

It’s simple, convenient, and will ensure your family looks amazing during your family photo shoot.

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I love the layered sweaters on the girls, and the pop of yellow contrasting with dad’s blue shirt!

There’s no need to stress about what to wear for your family photo session with me. Between the tips here and my personalized (and free!) styling service, your family will be both true to yourselves and look wonderful. I promise.

Want more styling suggestions? Check out this Pinterest board for lots of great ideas for what to wear for family photos.

And check out Bethesda, MD Baby and Family Photographer, Tonya Teran Photography and her spring mini session with her children another super cute example of dressing your kids for your photo session with me!

I help families hold onto their favorite times for a lifetime.

Looking for more great tips on preparing for your Newborn In-Home Photo Session with me? Check out these posts:

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Stacey Adams is the photographer behind SMA Photography, specializing in newborn and family photography in Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and Rio Rancho. Book your family photo session and celebrate your real life.