What to wear for your family photos in Charlottesville (while keeping it simple)


As you are getting closer to your session date, you may be thinking:
  • What should I tell my family to wear?
  • What if my daughter insists on wearing her princess tutu?
  • I don’t want to repeat the outfit I chose last time our family had photos taken

This part can seem like the most daunting… but it doesn’t have to be!

Let’s break it down with a few helpful guidelines that will empower you to make choices that both look and feel great. 


Neutrals and heather tones tend to photograph best.

For lifestyle sessions, these are slightly more styled with an outdoor location in pretty light, so those lighter tones allow you to stand out from the setting without clashing. Don’t take that as me saying that color is bad… it’s wonderful! But too much can be overwhelming and distracting, so if one member’s outfit is bolder, choose colors that compliment it but are more toned down for everyone else. 

Consider adding color and texture with layers in colder months and avoid large logos or bold stripes.


For a documentary session – things are a little looser. We may start out in pajamas around the breakfast table and end up playing soccer… so, if your son wants to wear that Paw Patrol shirt, don’t worry. The photos will still warm your heart, reminding you of his personal style in that season. 


Think cohesion over matching 

There is no need to restrict yourselves to dress clothes or khakis – just be yourselves! While you may be unsure about whether certain old-school “rules” look ok, I’m a huge fan of things like mixing and matching patterns and colors – it totally works! If you want to play with patterns, just make sure you balance out big and small prints and have someone (or multiple family members) in solids as well so things don’t get too busy when you’re all in the frame. 


Wear something comfortable… then take it up one notch

We’ll be moving, sitting, walking, laying… make sure your clothing passes all those comfort tests and you can feel confident during your session and don’t feel the need to be constantly adjusting your clothes!

This includes shoes! We could be walking a little bit for your shoot and doing lots of movement within your photos, too, so please do not wear high heels!

Once you’ve got the comfort test, take it up a notch but choosing something that you might not wear every day, but still feels like you. When you wear something a little bit special or nicer than our typical weekend jeans and college tee, it can help give you that special sprinkle of fun. A really flowy maxi dress that blows in the wind or that sweater that you love but don’t want to get your kids yogurt on… now’s the time to pull it out 🙂 



Above all, remember that my style emphasizes the warmth and interaction between family members, so ultimately, your clothes are not the focus. Feeling good always translates to looking good, so most importantly… you do you.

client tips, families




What to wear for your family photos in Charlottesville (while keeping it simple)