What to wear for outdoor summer family photos
Deciding what to wear for your outdoor summer family photos can be one of the most stressful parts about planning your session – but it doesn’t have to!
Wardrobe depends a lot on what works best in individual seasons, so check out these suggestions for accommodating the summer months for outdoor photos to make sure everybody is comfortable and looking awesome.
(SIDE NOTE: Scroll to the bottom for some of my favorite stores and direct links to wardrobe pieces I’m loving for your summer family photos!)
Mom is usually doing the planning and tends to have the most variety and preferences when it comes to fit, style, etc. So MOMS GO FIRST. Choose something you adore, then work everybody else’s outfit around that!
It’s hot here in VA summers, so please consider the heat and choose fabrics and colors accordingly to what you and you people feel good in!
If you tend to sweat a lot, moms should consider a sleeveless shirt or airy maxi dress, while dads should dirtch the khakis and dress shirts for a light tee and shorts! You’ll be more comfortable and that shows (in this case, literally and figuratively).
Mixing patterns is a great way to add interest and personality to your images. Stay away from bold logos and thick stripes, but small pattern combos work great! I suggest no more than 2 people in patterns, though, and then fill in the rest with solids and texture! Accessories like a vest, suspenders, or even a bright or patterned headband can be a fun way to add some fun and flair.
Think about your personal style – do you tend to gravitate toward cool colors (blues, greens, purples) or warm colors (oranges, reds, yellows)?
Maybe neutral is your thing – whites, tans, greys. Whatever it is, stick to a color family and it will be easy to coordinate without being all matchy-matchy.
The only real ‘no’ here is neon – it tends to clash with most locations and reflect strongly onto the skin.
In the summer, rural landscapes are lush and green, so I recommend staying away from solid green pieces if you choose this type of location so you still pop from the background!
A lot of people think that matching sibling outfits are super cute (I mean, they ARE) but they’re not the best choice for family photos because they make it really difficult to pose when your shirts are blending together.
In my sessions, we run, lay, stand, sit, and spin! I shoot from above and from all sides. Whatever you choose (for everyone in the family!) make sure it passes the movement test – aka, you don’t feel constrained or self-conscious at different angles or positions. This is especially important when considering dresses – I recommend staying away from short dresses (for girls and moms!) as it’s all too easy when moving around to get a great shot with expression but show a little too much below!
Clothes that are flowy and loose are great options for summer because they photograph so well with movement! Get your play on and have some fun with those outfits!
A classic henley or solid tee with some shorts is my favorite suggestion for dads. It’s simple and comfortable for hot days and basically matches everything!
No need to feel restricted to a polo or button-up shirt and dress shoes.
It’s my humble opinion that barefoot kids are simply the cutest. Not to mention, splashing in water is basically the best thing ever for the end of a summer session!
If we’re not playing in the water and we’re not hanging at home, though, remember to wear shoes that are comfortable (see a theme here??) for walking short distances and playing in! Feet will definitely be photographed so keep the full length in mind. Simple sandals and flats are always a win!
If you’re stuck between a few ideas and need a second opinion, I literally LOVE helping clients decide on what to wear. It doesn’t bother me one bit and in fact, it helps me get even more inspired before your shoot to know what you’ll be wearing!
I always encourage my clients to lay those outfits out on the bed, take a picture and text or email it to me for advice!
If you’d like some specific ideas for clothing pieces that will most definitely photograph well and be fun additions to your summer wardrobe post-session, too, check out these links below!
Reach out to get on the calendar and celebrate your crew with me!