How to prepare for your family portraits

While it's up to us to create a beautiful image and capture your family on camera, we often get asked how families can best prepare for their portraits. Below are our best tips for preparing for your family photo session, including details on wardrobe, makeup, pre-photos activities.

Family photo on new hampshire beach

What should we wear for our family portraits?

Solid Colors

Solid colors are an absolute must! Prints and patterns distract the eye and draw attention away from everything else in the image.

Matching Hues

Matching colors are best. You don’t necessarily all need to have matching outfits, but tops and bottoms should all be of the same tones/colors. This is especially important if you're opting for lighter colors.

Darker Tones

Dark colors are not only flattering, they also keep the viewers eye moving toward the lightest part of the image (which should be your face). If you are doing an outdoor portrait, earth tones work really well. Blues, greens, browns are all great options.

Neutral Bottoms

Denim is a great option for paints. It is generally dark in color and almost everyone owns a pair that looks great on them. Avoid ones with rips and holes. If you are looking for something a little bit more formal, try dark pants, skirts or even khakis. Just remember that lighter colors draw more focus.

No Patterns

If you are all wearing a lovely shade of blue, the fact that one person has stripes, another has checkers, and another has flowers kind of defeats the purpose of trying to coordinate. The image will look busy and the viewer will be distracted. Stick to the solids

Be Comfortable

If there are pieces in your closet that make you feel self-conscious or uncomfortable, don't include them in your senior portrait wardrobe! Additionally, we will most likely be sitting on the ground, laying down, walking and doing other things that could be difficult if your clothing is uncomfortable!

Dress in Layers

In the cold months (fall & winter), adding layers to your outfits always looks STUNNING in portraits! Even in the warmer months (spring & summer) you can add these layers and dimension by wearing a tank top with a cute sheet cardigan or by throwing a denim vest over a dress! 

Fresh Fit

Ensure the clothes you pick out aren't easily wrinkled and are looking their best. No stray threads, sweater pulls, stains, or wrinkles! Fabrics that wrinkle easily might crease as we work through different poses.

How else should we prepare for our family portraits?

Rest Up

Get plenty of rest the night before your session. If you are exhausted, you will look exhausted. Go to bed at a reasonable time so you wake up refreshed and ready.


Drink lots of water! Good hydration will make skin glow and look fabulous. Avoid consuming alcohol or other dehydrating substances the day before your shoot.

A Touch of Makeup

If you are going to wear foundation make sure it matches your skin - all of it. You want to make sure your face and neck are the same color. Keep it simple and elegant!