The Best Clothes To Wear For Summer Family Photos

The best clothes to wear for summer family photos

Once you’ve booked your summer family photo shoot, one of the first things your mind might turn to is what you should wear. 

This is the one question that every family I photograph has, and it’s completely understandable. You’re investing in having some gorgeous new photographs taken, and might be planning to hang them on the walls at home.  It’s only natural that you’ll want to make sure that everyone looks their best.

So, how do you choose which colours and clothes to wear? In this article explain how you can choose colours and clothes that give your photographs a cohesive look and feel. I’ll cover:

  • How to choose your outfits for outdoor family photos
  • What colours to wear for summer family photos
  • The colours you should avoid in summer family photos
  • Tips for including patterned
  • Being prepared for all temperatures


Choosing an outfit for your summer family photo shoot

Regardless of the season the basics of dressing for a photo shoot still apply, and you can read about these in my guide to what to wear for an outdoor family photo shoot. In summary, the basic principles are:

  1. Dress for your environment
  2. Dress everyone for the same weather and occasion
  3. Choose 3-4 colours to build everyone’s outfits around
  4. Embrace layers and textures
  5. Avoid pictures and slogans on clothing
  6. Make sure your children’s clothes fit well

Read the full article here: What to Wear for an Outdoor Family Photography Session.

The Best Colours To Wear For A Summer Family Photo Shoot

When you’re planning what your family will wear for any photo shoot, I recommend choosing a maximum of three to four colours to base your outfits around. This will help you to achieve a cohesive look, and to give your final photographs a polished look.

Choosing a colour scheme doesn’t mean you all need to wear the same thing. The idea is that the colours of your outfits will complement each other – not that everyone is in matching outfits.

In the summer I recommend choosing muted colours for your colour palette. This will give a softer, more rounded look to your photographs.

Some colours you could include are soft greys, creams, whites, soft blues and soft pinks. Navy blue, denim and darker greys can also work well.

Here are some examples of how you could coordinate colours for your family during the summer months:

what to wear for summer family photo shoot


Colours to avoid in your summer family photo shoot

It’s best to avoid bright neon colours and black clothing in your outdoor photo shoot. These colours add a lot of contrast to your photographs, and can be quite overpowering.

We want your beautiful family to be the main focus of the photographs, not the clothing. Sticking to a softer colour palette will make sure that’s the case.


A little pattern is good

One of the things I’m often asked about is pattern. Add a little pattern to the clothes in your photograph and it can bring everything together. Add too much and it becomes distracting.

Summer has lots of opportunities to add pattern to your outfits. To make it work, try to limit pattern to one or two pieces of clothing, and avoid bold, overpowering patterns. For example, a small pattern on a dress, blouse or skirt can look pretty, but having one child in a bold, flower print, another in stripes and someone else in a checked shirt can look very busy and distracting.


Be Prepared For Hotter and Cooler Weather

Since we’re relying on the Great British Weather, it could end up being 30ºC or 18ºC on the day of your summer family photo shoot. With this in mind it’s helpful to run through everyone’s outfit choices and make sure they’re ready for all temperatures.

For example, if your outfit includes a cardigan or jumper, would you be comfortable taking it off? Make sure you’re wearing something underneath that you’re happy to be photographed in too.

Similarly, if you’re wearing a short-sleeved or sleeveless top, what’s your plan for cooler weather? Do you have a cardigan or jacket that will still complement your outfit and the family colour scheme?


In Summary: What To Wear For Your Summer Family Photo Shoot

I hope that you find this guide helpful as you prepare for your summer family photo shoot. In summary, here are the principles to follow:

    • Choose 3-4 complementary colours to build your family’s outfits from
    • Avoid bold colours, neon and black
    • Do add a little pattern, if it works with your family colour palette
    • Be prepared for all temperatures – will you be ready to layer up or down depending on the weather?


You may also find it helpful to see real-life examples of what works when you’re deciding what to wear:

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.
error: This content is protected by copyright!