A Photographer’s Tips on What to Wear for Your Fall Family Photo Session

Fall is the perfect time of year to schedule your annual photo session. Mother Nature gives you the most beautiful backdrop and you’ll have your photos just in time for your yearly Christmas card. If deciding what to wear for family photos in fall feels like an overwhelming chore, here are my expert tips for styling your entire family. It’s not as hard as you think, I promise!

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What to Wear for Family Photos in the Fall

Expert Tips for Styling Family Photos in the Fall

  1. Choose a color palette. Hands down, this is the most important tip. Especially if you’re working with a larger group, selecting outfits that coordinate (not match, there’s definitely a difference) will really take your portrait session to the next level. And it’s so easy! I have an entire Pinterest board with a ton of great color palette options to choose from. Once you narrow down a color scheme, you have a solid foundation and sense of direction for choosing outfits. It will be a much less overwhelming process.
  2. Add in 1-2 prints. Another expert tip for styling your family photos is to add in 1 or 2 people with prints on their clothing, and the others in fairly solid outfits. Too many prints can start to look chaotic, and no prints at all can look a bit flat. Having at least one person wearing prints will take your photos to expert level immediately!
  3. Rent something that stands out. Rent the Runway is the perfect option for family photos or holiday events, because it allows you to wear a truly standout piece without spending full price. I have tried and loved this service for years. You’re able to choose from a huge catalog of designer pieces with unmatched quality. Above all, you want to this photo session to feel fun and special, and treating yourself to an incredible outfit is going to do just that! Check out this post for a discount on your order!
  4. Embrace the season. Fall and winter seasons make for stunning photographs because of their natural beauty. You can amplify that beauty by embracing the season through your outfit choices. Adding layers like sweaters, coats, scarves, and hats adds dimension to your photos, makes everyone look warm and cozy, and ensures no one is uncomfortably cold.

Outfit Ideas for the Whole Family

how to style fall family photos

Here are a few quick tips to keep in mind for everyone when selecting pieces for your family’s photo session.

Outfit Ideas for Her

I love to style women and moms in long dresses and skirts because they are flattering on every body type and look great on-camera no matter the angle. They can elongate legs, minimize hips, flatter the neckline–simply put, they’re the ideal wardrobe choice no matter what your style.

Outfit Ideas for Him

Let’s be honest, men’s wardrobes don’t include a ton of options. For fall and winter sessions though, they look great in either a button-up shirt alone or layered with a sweater. I like to keep the guys simple because they usually hate having their photos taken. Keeping them in something comfortable that feels like them will make the session more enjoyable for everyone. The best option is something they would authentically wear, whether that is a short- or long-sleeved t-shirt, button-up shirt, polo, or even a blazer.

Outfit Ideas for Kids, Tweens, and Teens.

For kids, tweens, and teens, I recommend following the same guidance as you would for men and women. Let them wear something that feels authentically them, that is comfortable, and weather appropriate. Big kids are usually good sports and really easy to work with when it comes to photos. I think it’s always a great idea to invite them into the styling process by giving them 2 or even 3 options and letting them choose their favorite.

Outfit Ideas for Babies & Toddlers

For babies and toddlers, the number one thing to focus on is that they are wearing something comfortable that stays in place. Try to find shoes that stay on them even when they’re squirming (I know that’s harder than it sounds!) and the same goes for hats and bows. In general, if they are not comfortable, it’ll be difficult to get them to cooperate.

Where to Shop for Family Photo Outfits

When it comes to kids’ clothes in general, I don’t like to spend a ton of money for two main reasons: they grow out of them so fast, and they are constantly getting into messes. With that in mind, when I’m looking for kids outfits for holiday photos, or any dressier occasion, I’m looking for something that is above all affordable.

My go-to retailers for affordable kids’ clothes are H&M, Target, and Old Navy.

H&MI go here for neutral, muted colors with little to no prints. Great for finding slightly trendier clothing at affordable prices. They offer a loyalty program in addition to routine sales, so it’s not too hard to grab these pieces on sale.

Target This is a go-to for daycare-friendly options. I can usually find some plain t-shirts and jeans at really affordable prices; I generally find good shoe options at Target as well.

Old NavyOld Navy is a favorite for shoes, outerwear, and cute outfits that are very affordable. I don’t think the quality of Old Navy is as good as H&M, but I still love this as a very practical option.

J.Crew – For mom & dad, it’s nice to find something of a higher quality that you’ll wear way beyond the photo session. No worries of growing out of things for us at this point, right? Grab a nice sweater or dress shirt that can be worn into the holidays and beyond. Mom & Dad need a treat sometimes, too.

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