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What to Wear For Photo Shoots: Spring Edition

What is the first thing that you do after scheduling a family photo shoot?

If you are anything like me, you march straight into your closet. Your eyes begin to skim through your rows of clothes. You tap your foot and squint your eyes while you are trying to picture every outfit in your family member’s closets. You are trying to think of the perfect combination of colors and patterns. If someone would walk in on you, they would think (based on your expression) that you were trying to figure out E=MC2. But alas, it is more complicated that that.

I call this The Great Quest of What-to-Wear.

Nowadays, schedules are chaotic and life moves at a fast pace. Family portraits are very important- and they are also high pressure.

I’ve included here my 5 easy-to-follow tips to guide you on your outfit search. Also, I have included some 3 of my favorite spring outfit color combinations. Finally cross off the hardest part of your photo shoot checklist now!

Tip #1: Limit Matching Outfits

Of course there are exceptions to each rule. Sometimes a group of kids in matching outfits is adorable. However, for a family portrait, it is best to avoid having multiple people in the exact same outfit.

You want your family portrait to look like a natural gathering, not an army of clones.

Tip #2: Pick 2 to 3 Main Colors

Select 2 to 3 colors to focus on. When I say ‘focus on’, I do not mean that you all should be head to toe in these focus colors. You want to creatively sprinkle your color choices through-out the outfits.

This will be pleasing to the eye and allow for those colors to pop through. For example, in the below picture, the colors navy blue and yellow are seen throughout the portrait. The subjects are not drenched in these colors, but you can see the color consistency.

Tip #3: Add in Accessories

Think of creative ways to pull in the colors that you select. For boys you can use suspenders, ties, bow-ties, hats, or solid color shirts. For girls, you can sprinkle in some headbands, necklaces, cardigans, and scarfs.

Tip #4: Keep it Simple

While there are always exceptions, your family portrait should portray a casual family interaction. Unless you are doing a very formal picture or you are in the Royal family, skip out on the suits and ball gowns.

Additionally, keep the patterns simple. If every one in the picture is wearing a fancy floral shirt, then it will be very distracting to look at. You can throw in some patterns, but I always like to have solid colors layered in.

Tip #5: Check out the Weather Forecast

The weather forecast can be tricky and unpredictable for outdoor photos; however, it is important to follow one simple rule:

Make sure your outfits are temperature appropriate.

If it is chilly, do not suffer through short sleeve outfits. Nothing creates crankier subjects and more uncomfortable expressions like being too cold or too hot.

Spring Photo Shoot Outfit Ideas

Included here are 3 beautiful spring outfit color schemes that will guarantee a beautiful portrait. Click on the pictures to review the selections and add them to your Amazon cart for an easy shopping trip!

Navy and Yellow

Mom or older girls

Dad or older boys



Pink And Mint

Mom and older girls

Dad and older boys



Lavender and Teal

Mom and older girls

Dad and older boys




Follow these simple tips for natural and beautiful family portraits! Remember to keep the outfits simple and sprinkle in a few colors throughout the clothing choices.

The above navy/yellow, pink/mint, and teal/lavender themes will make for spectacular spring portraits!

The Great Quest of What-to-Wear can now be easily tackled, and all you have to worry about is showing up and smiling!

Check out some of my other recent posts on family and photography here:

What are your favorite spring color combinations? I’d love to hear in the comments below! If you found this helpful, share it!

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Tips for Photographing Large Groups and Big Families - Simply Snapping Mom

Wednesday 24th of April 2019

[…] As far as outfits go, you want to avoid all wearing the exact same color or the exact same patterns. Typically pick a few primary colors for people to wear. You want to COORDINATE the outfits, not match the outfits! Check out my post on the 5 rules to follow when selecting photo shoot outfits. […]

lynn armstrong

Tuesday 16th of April 2019

Love love the pops of lavender and pink especially the boys ties and girls headbands! Thanks for the round up of looks!


Saturday 13th of April 2019

I love picking two contrasting or coordinating colors for family shoots. We also try to wear bright colors.


Friday 12th of April 2019

These are great tips! I love those color combos. Early on I tried to match the family more but I learned it does look better to more have some similar colors or at least colors and patterns that work well together rather than everyone in a white shirt and denim :)


Friday 12th of April 2019

GREAT tips. I'm always awful for not getting us to wear simple styles with a few colours. We're always a mish-mash! But perhaps, this is because we rarely do a professional shoot. Time to do one!

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