Best Clothes Family Photo Shoot At Home


Once you’ve booked your family photo shoot, one of the first things you’ll probably start to think about is what each member of your family is going to wear. You’re making an investment in gorgeous new photographs of you all, and it’s only natural that you want to make sure that the photographs look great.

So, if your family photo shoot is going to be at your home, what are the best clothes for you all to wear? I recommend considering the following factors when you’re planning your family’s outfits:

  1. Consider which colours will complement the decor of your home best
  2. Choose a small colour palette to base everyone’s outfits around
  3. Choose clothes from your everyday wardrobe
  4. Avoid clothes with words and slogans
  5. Embrace pattern and texture
  6. Don’t wear shoes

In this article I’ll explain how you can consider each of these factors as you choose what to wear, so that you can feel confident in choosing the best outfits for your family.

Which colours will complement the decor of your home best?

Wherever I’m photographing a family, be it outdoors or at their home I always recommend that you start by thinking about the backdrop to your photographs. In the case of a photo shoot at home, your home will be the backdrop and it’s worth spending a bit of time thinking about which colours will complement it best.

For example, if your home is decorated in a soft, neutral palette then soft, neutral coloured clothing will probably complement it very well.

On the other hand, if your home is decorated with bright, bold colours then soft, neutral coloured clothing could well look out of place, and you may find that more brightly coloured clothes work better.

There is one exception to this rule, and that’s if you’re having your baby photographed. Generally speaking soft, neutral colours will always look better in photographs of newborn and young babies than bold colours. Your baby is soft, sweet and gentle and colours that carry the same feeling will usually work much better next to them.

older newborn vs 3 months baby photos

Choosing a colour palette for your family photo shoot

Once you’ve thought about the kinds of colours that will complement your home, the next step is to choose a palette of 3-4 colours that your family will wear.

Having this small, focussed palette will help to ensure that everyone in your family looks well coordinated, but gives you enough freedom with each individual’s outfit that you don’t all match. Coordinating rather than matching is the goal here.

Choose clothes from your everyday wardrobe for your at home photo shoot

Now that you have your colour scheme, you can turn your focus to choosing the clothes that everyone will wear.

Generally speaking, it’s better to wear things from your everyday wardrobe – things that you would usually wear at home, but that are reasonably smart.

If you’re not sure where to start, it can be helpful to take one outfit or item of clothing that you definitely want to include, and build everyone’s outfits around that.

Many families find it helpful to lay all of the outfits out on a bed together, to see whether they have the cohesive look they’re aiming for. Seeing everything together can make it much easier to spot something that looks out of place.

As you choose your outfits I also recommend that you consider the following:

  • Avoid Clothes With Words and Pictures: There are two reasons for this. First that writing or pictures on clothes can be distracting in photographs – they take the viewer’s focus away from the people. Second, words and pictures can date your pictures much more quickly. Clothes without words and pictures will usually give a more timeless feel.
  • Embrace Pattern:I’m often asked by clients whether patterned clothing is ok in photographs. Actually, a little bit of pattern can work really well, and add interest to your photographs. Where pattern can become overpowering is when there are lots of patterns mixed together – for example, you have a flowery blouse, your partner has a checked shirt and your children are in Breton stripe. One or two garments with pattern can work well – everyone in different patterns doesn’t work well!
  • Don’t wear shoes: Having a photo shoot can feel like quite a formal occasion. But, when you’re being photographed at home the goal is to look relaxed and natural. Unless you usually wear shoes when you’re at home I recommend leaving them off. You may also like to consider having everyone in bare feet, which can look lovely and natural. If you’d prefer to wear socks, try to avoid bold patterns and colours, so that they don’t stand out.

Esher Family Photographer

Over To You

I hope that this guide has helped you to decide what your family will wear for your at home photo shoot.

Which outfits have you chosen for your family? Let me know in the comments below.

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Picture of Clare Murthy

Clare Murthy

I’m a newborn, baby and family photographer working with families from South West London and Surrey. I specialise in timeless, natural photography with no props or unnatural posing. I photograph babies at my studio, and families in beautiful outdoor locations. I'm based on the Surrey / London border, close to Hampton Court.
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