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What To Wear (and Not Wear) on Your Outdoor Family Photoshoot

Updated: Feb 22, 2022

Rose & Julien's step-by-step recipe to cook up the best outfits for the whole family!

If you are feeling a little daunted by the idea of a photoshoot, looking and feeling your best on the day and in the photos will help boost your confidence and make the experience truly enjoyable.

But we understand it can be difficult to come up with outfits for your little tribe. Worry not, we’ve got you covered! A step-by-step guide to help you make sure the whole family will look amazing in front of the camera (and wear genuine, stress-free smiles!)



Find your own outfit first

Part I


The idea is to have a starting point to build every else's outfit around. Find your own first, then work outwards! Let's start with a few of the key things to consider when choosing your own outfit for your family session...


There's a big chance you will want these images on display in your home. You might want to consider colours that are coherent with your interior. For example, if you have a rustic style living room, neon colours will clash. What colour palette would look best for these visual keepsakes?


You might also want to consider the colours of mother nature at the time of the shoot to help you plan your colours and textures. Here’s some tips:


Mustard, teal, dark green. Big wooly jumpers or textures like Tweed, Corduroy.


Yellow, white, fresh greens. Cashmere jumpers, vests, dress with a cardigan.


Sky blue, mint, pastels in general and light pink. Cotton, linen.


Rusty colours like orange, red, brown. Corduroy, wooly scarf and beret.


This is edging towards getting technical, but the colours you wear can have a big influence on how you look (not just in photographs!) We all fear looking washed out, and there is a real science to wearing colour well. We've linked an article at the bottom of the blog post that can help you figure out what works for you. Alternatively, 'The Colourful Edit' in Galashiels offer a colour analysis service to expertly help you discover your colour profile!

A personal tip: A family of outfits that are too dark, like all black, will hide you. Which is the opposite of what we want to achieve! Try to incorporate some contrast in those colours, whatever tone you end up on...

Part II


Ok, now you have a better idea about what colours you will pick, now what style?

It is all about finding the right balance between looking your best and being comfortable. Smart casual is the answer, but let’s look deeper into what could work and what to avoid.


We always recommend something simple and classic. You don’t want to look too formal, as it could be uncomfortable and can look out of place. Likewise, going for something too casual has the same problem in reverse. Consider avoiding something too tight, or too baggy. Like we said, it's a true balancing act between being comfortable and feeling your best!

An outfit that will stand the test of time is a good look to aim for. Remember, these images will serve you for years to come. But that's not a one-size-fits-all rule! Looking back on fashions with a certain nostalgia is part of the joy of photography.

In the end, wearing something that makes you proud is a winning way to make you feel beautiful.

You can even go traditional, for a beautifully coherent look that's not 'matchy'.

A personal tip: for us it is all about those 90’s Ralph Lauren adverts. We love the creative vision back then and how these classic outfits can make us feel. Look at some group shots on Pinterest for inspiration, if it inspires you of course!


Everyone else’s

Okay, your outfit is in the bag! Now let’s figure out what everyone else will be wearing.

If you want to go down the matching path we recommend you work to a colour palette, rather than full-on identical styles. Find colours and textures that complement each other using your own outfit as the starting point.

If you're planning to go shopping before the session, buying from a collection could make your life a lot simpler. Brands tend to come up with coherent collections seasonally that work for the whole family.

Things to avoid

  • Big logos, writing, or characters! Your children might love a cartoon character with all their little hearts just now, but we are capturing these memories to last. We want to focus the attention on those faces, rather than be distracted by what’s on their clothes.

  • Overdressing! To have cooperative kids during the session, they need to feel comfortable. A buttoned-up shirt or a tie might make them feel very fidgety if they are not used to it, and we'll end up missing out on genuine giggles of enjoyment!

  • Neon! It will never look organic in a natural setting and distract the eye away from the family moment in frame.


Final steps

The best way to visualise outfits together and see if your cleverly concocted combination of colours and style actually work is to lay they all down on your bed. Take snaps on your phone, change things up and make tweaks until you’re happy with what you see. Coherence is the key!

Check the weather forecast. We all want to be prepared with enough layers and most likely an umbrella. But also pay attention to the wind - this will help inform hair styles!

Last but not least - Shoes! Wear something clean but comfortable, unbranded is ideal. Remember the focus will mainly be on beaming faces, so don't force yourself into impractical heels - it's not worth it!

Locally sourced

This is a bonus step that's close to our hearts!

We always strive to support our local businesses and the Scottish Borders have some of the best quality clothing in the world.

The obvious being Tweed, with classic cuts available from Lovat Mill. Staple classics in cashmere and country wear available from William Lockie. Colourful knitwear to wrap up warm available from Collingwood-Norris. And handmade accessories to brighten your look available from The Colourful Edit.


Has this helped you feel more prepared for your family session?

If you book a family session with us in the Scottish Borders we will always offer our help. We want to make sure that the images we create for you will be a cherished asset for you and your loved ones to enjoy year on year.

Fashions fade, families flourish!


Link to “What colour suits me?” article.

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