What to wear for your family photo shoot

So you are getting ready for your photo session but what on earth should you wear?

These portraits are going to hang on your wall for a very long time so you need to be happy and comfortable with how you look.

Don't worry, this is not a fashion shoot, the prime interest here is to capture you and your children and we hope to show the dynamic between you, we want to show your love for each other in the family photographs.

Please don't dress alike! Outfits should compliment each other but everyone wearing matching jeans and t-shirts just looks unnatural.

You are all individuals please take this opportunity to allow for that expression in what you wear.

family portrait Nousha Photography

A few things to consider:

Colour versus tone

All our family portraits are in black and white so you need to think more about tones rather than colours.

Avoid really dark colours, a black top can have the appearance of a big black blob in a black and white picture and can draw the eye away from everyone else in the photograph if they are wearing lighter colours.

While not matching, try to make sure that the tones that everyone is wearing sit well together without one persons outfit really standing out.

Tones, not colours.

Tones, not colours.

Logos and Patterns, please avoid!

Our photographs are all about your children and their expressions, a top with a big logo or slogan on it can really distract from a beautiful portrait.

Also avoid loud patterns, when you are all sitting together for a family picture it can be painful on the eyes if you have clashing patterns.

You may choose to have a set of images together whether as separate frames or all in one frame, too many patterns can make this too busy and ruin the overall effect.

family portrait Nousha Photography


We ask everyone to take their shoes and socks off for the shoot, this creates much more natural and relaxed photographs without clumpy shoes. So please think about your toes!

Bare legs/feet look better in photographs rather than with tights on, we can always retouch out those random bruises you have on your legs that you have no idea where they came from.


There is a little bit of rolling around on the floor (with your children) so ensure your clothes will easily allow for this. Also sitting cross-legged and with your legs to one side of you so the length of dresses and skirts need some thought.

Please also consider that a low décolletage can be problematic when asked to lie on your tummy, it can be a little too revealing!

You must feel comfortable in your clothes, discomfort will show on your face however much you try to hide it!



The dreaded phrase smart-casual applies here.

Don't go too formal but please don't wear football shirts.

Trousers (no shorts) and a nice shirt or polo shirt is perfect, just be aware of really big logos.

Jeans or Chinos are great, but (this is important) before coming please dress in what you intend wearing and sit cross-legged on the floor.

Wear trousers that when sitting don't ride up too much, bunch up weirdly or stop you from being able to cross your legs.



Please please please no Disney or themed apparel!

Smart outfits can look great but if they are uncomfortable it won't last long, I have seen a little boy dressed in an extraordinary little jacket almost rip it off because it was so restricting of movement, it didn't really matter as in the end he held it over his shoulder his neatly tucked shirttails were pulled out and it made a great picture.

When selecting clothes for your children think  'C'est chic!'

siblings portrait Nousha Photography


Babies always seem to get the best outfits, but just because your mother in law has bought something really special for the photos, please don't let your baby wear it if it is too big.

Little ones can look swamped when they are sitting in an outfit that they still need to grow into!

For baby girls in skirts please consider a nappy cover, we will do lots of photos of them sitting on the floor and its much nicer if you can't see the nappy.

Please bring a muslin for quickly wiping up any dribble or drool, we are happy to do this after in retouching but its much easier to do it in real life!

Lovely top knitted by her mum.

Lovely top knitted by her mum.

The most important thing is that everyone feels comfortable and happy in what they are wearing.

We don't want you to look back on these photographs in a few years time and think "why on earth did I wear that?".

A little planning can make for a fantastically successful family photoshoot.