What to Wear for an Autumn Family Photo Shoot

Worcester Park Family Photography

Autumn is a really wonderful time of the year for outdoor photographs – the golden colours, and soft light make for wonderful photographs, and the crunchy leaves mean there’s lots of fun to be had too!

If you’ve booked a autumn photo shoot, one of the first things you might want to ask is “what should we all wear?” This is the one question that every family I photograph has, and it’s completely understandable. After all, 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 I’ll cover:

  • How to choose your outfits for outdoor family photos
  • What colours to wear for autumn family photos
  • The colours you should avoid in autumn family photos
  • Staying warm on cold autumn days

what to wear for an autumn 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.


When you’re planning your family’s clothes for the shoot I recommend choosing a maximum of 3-4 complementary colours to base everyone’s outfits on. This doesn’t mean that everyone has to wear every colour – the aim is for the whole family’s outfits to complement each other, but not match.

During the autumn a much wider range of colours work well in photographs than in the spring or summer, when I recommend a softer palette. During the autumn you can choose a palette of soft colours – creams, dusty pinks and soft browns for example. But this is also a time of the year when deep colours such as mustard and berry red work very well too.

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

what colours to wear for autumn photos



There are some rules that do that apply all year round – black and bright, neon colours don’t work well against nature’s softer backdrop and can make people look washed out. To make sure your outfits complement the beautiful autumn colours, avoid black, bright and neon colours completely.



Whilst autumn is beautiful, it’s not reliably warm or cold. I’ve photographed families on very cold days in early November, and had shoots in December where it was so warm nobody had to wear a coat.

After all the hard work you’ve put in to planning everyone’s outfit, you don’t want to find that you’ll have to put a coat on top of it, or take off the coats you had planned on everyone wearing. Think about what everyone will wear in both situations so that you have a plan B you’re happy with.

Better still, if you can include lots of layers and textures in your outfits, you can remove the need for coats completely, which does give a cleaner look. Think thick cardigans, gilets, scarves, and jackets instead of one large coat.

What to Wear Autumn Family Photos

Summary: What to wear for autumn family photos

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

  1. Choose 3-4 complementary colours to build your family’s outfits from
  2. Avoid bold colours, neon and black
  3. Be prepared for all temperatures – use layers to make each outfit warmer or cooler 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:

  • You can see some great examples of how families have co-ordinated their outfits over in my portfolio.
  • And finally, you can find more outfit inspiration over on my ‘What to Wear’ Pinterest board:

Follow Clare’s board on Pinterest.

Thinking About An Autumn Photo Shoot For Your Family?

This year’s autumn mini sessions are now open for booking. Click on the link below to find out more and grab your spot:

Click here to book your autumn mini session


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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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