What do I wear to a Family Session?

The question that haunts you from the moment you book your family session… What the hell do we wear? My advice is to be yourselves, but cohesive, timeless, and a little romanticized. The colors you wear should compliment the location you have chosen, and the textures and tones should provide some variety between you.

What Should Moms Wear for a Family Session?

Mom is queen. Mom is the star of my little show. I want mom to LOVE the photos I take of her for the rest of her life. I want mom to feel the love from her children when she sees my photographs, not immediately focus on what she was wearing, or whatever parts of her she deems “un flattering”.

Mom MUST feel beautiful and comfortable enough in what she is wearing to hike, play, and snuggle all over her kids without worrying about things popping out, having to “suck in” or “pose” or being self conscious at all. We will always decide what mom is wearing first, then go from there.

I love to style my moms in flowy dresses or skirts with ankle high boots (winter) or flat sandals (summer). Even if you NEVER, EVER wear dresses (me either!), it can be so fun to frolick through a field in a big, flowy skirt. It brings another level of romance to the images.

I love to give my clients variety, so if they want to wear pants, and throw on a skirt or dress for a few, I highly encourage it.

For clients who are totally against a dress, I lean toward flowy, comfy, high waisted trousers with a cropped top, and maybe a chunky cardigan on top, or even jeans and a sweater can look perfect when styled right!

  • FABRICS: Natural fabrics and those that are comfortable, breathable, move freely, and have texture are the best. (Think linen, gauze, chiffon, wool, relaxed cotton, etc.)
  • COLORS: I want you to compliment the landscape, not completely distract from it, so earthy colors that aren’t too bold or vibrant will always be your best bet. Deep browns, rusty reds, burnt oranges, mustardy yellows, tans, creams, and muted greens are always going to look good. Keep away from pastel colors or anything too bright or loud. Choose natural white, or “off-white” over bright white., “DUSTY” blue over navy or royal blue, and dusty/muted pinks over brighter options.
  • ACCESSORIES: Take off your watch and hair ties. Rings and jewelry that don’t distract from your outfit are best to wear. Laying on things like Sweaters, ponchos, kimonos, scarves, hats (no baseball caps, PLEASE!), and vests make everything more interesting.
  • TEXTURES: Having a variety of textures will really make everything come together. Thing like thick knitted chunky sweaters or a fur vest over a light, flowy dress adds dimension. Choose thick, textured boot socks over plain colored leggings. I love to have dads in corderoy or flannel, maybe kids in cotton with overalls or a skirt, mom in something flowy, and add in some textured accessories on top. Wham bam. Perfection.


  • DON’T Perfectly match
  • DON’T Wear crazy patterns
  • DON’T Wear crazy undies under see through things. (Nude undies and boobie tape are LIFE SAVERS
  • (I have the booby tape if you need it)! If you want to hide some cleavage, a nude bandeau top is great for under things)
  • DON’T Wear fancy shoes – I want your shoes to disappear! Hiking boots, flat brown sandals, or anything simple,l comfortable and boring is best. (I may even make you go barefoot.)
  • DON’T Wear bright pastels, neons, or vibrant colors (unless we are going for something specific)
  • DON’T Wear baseball caps. If you must, try to find a blank, earthy toned one.
  • DON’T Over do it on the makeup. We want to capture YOU, just a little romanticized.
  • DON’T Wear short, fitted dresses. These limit the poses and fun we can do to just standing.
  • DON’T Wear stiff fabrics that wrinkle easily. (Editing can only help so much, and it’s usually not enough.)
  • DON’T Wear watches, big, distracting jewelry, or nail polish (choose nude if you want polish on)

I always keep a shopping list of style options for the whole family HERE if you need some more ideas!

Want to get a copy of the Family Session & Style guide I give my clients?

Click right here and I’ll email you a copy for free!

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