What to wear

What should I wear?

This is probably the number one
question I get asked before a photo
shoot. It can be pretty confusing and
stressful trying to decide what outfits
would be best for your photography
session ... but worry not!
This guide will help you with styling
tips and tricks to select clothing options
for a perfect outcome on photo day.

First and foremost, be you!
your clothing choices should
allow you to be yourself and
reflect your family

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Gone are the days of 1990s family portraits where everyone in the picture would wear the same outfit. A good way to start planning a photo session is to choose a colour scheme.

Try to choose a palette that has a mix of neutral shades and a bright colour. Another
option is a colour scheme with one main color and different variations of that colour.

Instead of having everyone in the photo compete for centre stage, you may want to
choose one person to stand out from the others. They can wear one impactful piece that
inspires the accessories and colours in everyone else's outfits. Typically, it's easier to have
a woman's or girl's outfit be the focal point of a picture.

Once you've chosen one person to be the focus of the photograph, use a bright color to
draw viewers' eyes in. Everyone else in the photo can have accessories that match the
bright colour, making the photo look unified and complete.

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After you've chosen your colour theme, choose one or two bright accent colours that you can use for accessories throughout the photos. If you've chosen your little girl or boy to be centre stage in the photo, look at the colours that are in their outfit. It might feature a pattern with grey, teal, and salmon colours. Mum could then wear a bold teal necklace and matching earrings, Dad could sport a grey shirt or tie and the big brother could wear a funky bowtie or some fun teal socks. The possibilities are limitless!

Bring along a choice of accessories for each person - you could have one or two changes
throughout the shoot. This is much easier than doing full clothing changes, but it's enough
to give photos a whole new feel


Adults can be comfortable in just about anything for the length of a photo shoot. However, choosing perfect children's clothing is of the utmost importance for a good photo shoot. Kids can be made itchy or uncomfortable by the smallest inconvenience - a tag in the back of a shirt or a fabric that rubs against the skin wrong.

Ensure that clothes fit properly as it can distract the children if are continually fixing straps or pulling up sleeves. Choose free-flowing clothing for kids will allow them to move easier and stay comfortable throughout the photo shoot. For outdoor photos, consider bright, free-flowing clothing that will move with the child and add movement and life to a photo. Layers are a great idea as we can achieve different looks by taking off a jumper, cardigan or top. As our weather is so changeable it means we can adjust accordingly and keep the little ones happy.

To ensure that the children are happy and at ease during photos, let them help pick their own clothing. They'll choose something that shows off what their personalities and interests are. If you are worried about what they'll choose, try selecting three or four main outfits that you would be happy with your child wearing for a photo. Let them choose from the outfits you've selected; they'll still feel like they got to make the decision.

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Patterns are like bright colours and accessories in photos - they are great when they are used with a light hand. One person wearing a patterned top or dress can break up the picture into visually interesting chunks. To avoid overwhelming a photo,
have just one subject in a photo wear a bold pattern. In the rest of the photo, have small bursts of patterns to draw the eye through the photo. For instance, a little girl dressed in a bold patterned dress can look great next to her mother who is wearing a subtly patterned scarf.

Keep the location in mind. You want the clothing choices and the photo setting to compliment each other, not look like they don't match. Imagine a little girl with a vintage cotton dress, sporting pigtails and holding a handful of flowers she picked herself. This would look great in a meadow or a farm setting. However, the same little girl would look a bit strange in an urban photo setting.

If your clothing is the same colour as the background, you may blend in. Choose a colour that will make you stand out. For example, in a forest there will be lots of greens and browns so a bright blue, orange or pink will pop. If the shoot is indoors with a plainer backdrop, ensure that you bring a variety of colours along so that we can mix and match. This will give you a greater choice to select from.


Nothing draws the eye to a photo like differences and variety. Two easy ways to add fun to a photo are layers and different textures.

Layers offer different aspects to a photo in several ways. Subjects can take on and take off layers for different looks in each photo, and layers add a nice bit of colour variation.

Textures look really well in black and white images. If a piece of clothing has some embroidery or detailing it can make a real difference.

Plan your outfits and layers to match your vision for the photo and what brings out your personality and style.


Accessories are often just what a photo needs to take it from drab to engaging. Don't limit yourself to jewelry when you think about accessories for photo shoots. There's plenty to choose from for both sexes and all ages - outerwear, jewelry, hats, headbands, flowers in a girl's hair, scarves, and more.

You want to use a light hand when it comes to accessorizing. Too many accessories, especially if they are big or bright, can overwhelm a photo and take the focus off what is really important - your subjects! This is particularly true for little ones. Their unique personalities and beauty need to be allowed to shine through, not be overshadowed by overdone accessories. Remember, accessories are just there to enhance what your subjects are bringing to the photo - their personality and beauty.

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Simple props are the best way to add some fun to your photographs. Look at the location of your photo shoot and think about you & your family. Is it a fun location? Romantic? Nostalgic? Keep your props in line with the theme of a photo session so they enhance the shoot rather than detract from it.

A photo in a field can be enhanced with a handful of wildflowers. A romantic engagement photo is made even sweeter when a couple holds an object that's
meaningful to their relationship. For photos featuring your children, pick objects that are meaningful to them for the photo. Their favourite toy can add to the feel of a photo and will make you smile when you look at the photo years later. Just make sure that a prop fits in with the picture!


Everything that is worn or used in a photo shoot affects the look and feel of each photo. This Includes shoes. Don't let shoes and footwear be an
overlooked part of your outfit planning. A pair of Shoes that doesn't fit in with the rest of a photo can detract from the picture.

Unless you have trainers that are unique and fun enough to fit in with the vibe of a photo shoot, you may want to consider other footwear options for your pictures.

Choosing a pair of flats that fit in with the colour scheme is a great way to make a photo look great and add a burst of colour. Shoes, when matched with accessories that are worn in the photo, can tie a photo together.

Bright red ballet flats can match a man's red tie or a little girl's headband. This creates a unified feel in a photo without making it too cutesy. Consider going barefoot in the shoot if the location (and weather!) allow it.



Avoid outfits where everyone is wearing the same block colours or patterns e.g everyone in white shirts. This can make a photo look a little dull and outdated, not to mention taking away from your unique personalities and preferences.

Choose a colour palette and let everyone have their own take on it. This will create a photo that is coordinated and classy without being cheesy or overdone.


Don't choose clothing that has large pictures, labels, logos, or words on it. This often looks too casual for a photo shoot and detracts from the overall feel of a photo. People who look at the photos will notice the logo on your child's shirt before they notice your child's beaming smile.


Photos look more natural if you let a fresh haircut grow out a week or two before taking photos.

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