London family photography – What should I wear on a family photo shoot?

I’m talking about my London family photography sessions today as the question I keep hearing at the moment is “What should I wear on a family photo shoot with you?”

Writing this advice here means I can ping you the link when you book, so you’re not sitting there worrying about what to wear (because if you’re anything like me you’re wondering if a top and jeans is enough!)

outdoor family photography London

Comfort is Key

I really love to photograph you and your family as naturally as possible, so this isn’t the time to glam it up if that’s not your usual day-to-day style. This isn’t the time to try an eccentric new look if you’re usually quite natural looking for example!

Here’s where to start – think about what you wear normally day to day and then think about the smartest version of that look. Not the comfy t-shirt you love with the holes in it, but the cute new top you picked up the other day. Not the jeans with the weird inexplicable purple stain down one leg, but the jeans you like to wear when you’re popping out for a drink. The aim is to feel comfy.


Wear clothes that fit

Now, if you’re anything like the clients I’ve worked with, you’re bemoaning your pre-lockdown body meaning your clothes are a little tighter than usual OR you’ve gone the other way and you’ve lost weight meaning your clothes are baggy. Either way, try and find something in your wardrobe that fits you well, and you feel good in. You’ll feel better and more confident and that will come across in the photos.


What do you like to do with your family?

This really ties in closely with “Where should we go for a family photo shoot?” because if you want to go out into the woods you’re going to be in waterproofs and wellies or walking boots and shorts, or whatever it is that you wear in the woods.

If you want to go and see the lavender in the summer, you might wear light cotton outfits or something equally comfortable.

black family photography London

What should I wear to a family photo shoot – the don’ts?

Ok, so with the question “What should I wear on a family photo shoot with you?” it’s equally important to look at what not to wear. So with clothing with large graphics or logos generally don’t turn out well on camera, and the same goes for large prints and patterns however fun they look in real life. Plain colours generally work best but try not to go all plain white (you run the risk of looking washed out against the background), or all plain black (you run the risk of merging in with your background!) Depending on the weather, darker clothing may be best for small ones running around in the mud!


Should we wear matching outfits?

It’s completely up to you, but I know families I work with prefer to be natural. Think about how you want to look back at these photos in 50 years’ time. What feels right to you?


What should I wear on a family photo shoot? Can you move about easily in the clothes?

Pencil skirts, brand new jeans, and other such tight-fitting clothes are not going to be the one. Make sure you can move about easily as I’ll be getting you to crouch down with the kids, or move into different positions when you’re playing together.

See also: Short skirts or deep-cut tops – you don’t want your bra or pants on display if you’re hanging out for a family photo shoot.

outdoor family photoshoot London

Think about your feet

Same as thinking about the weather, it’s important to consider what you’ll wear on your feet. We could be walking through fields, woods, or perhaps a more urban setting like a city park, but you’ll be on your feet for a while. So cute shoes work well but only if they’re comfortable, and you can walk far in them.


Dress to match the weather

I know that with the Great British weather it’s entirely unpredictable but don’t worry I’ll be checking the weather forecast and speaking with you before your shoot to check what you’re wearing is weather appropriate. If it’s hot, light cotton clothing is best as hot and bothered children (and parents!) don’t bode well for a photo session. Equally, if it’s cooler, then jumpers, hats, and coats are needed.

black and white family photography London outdoorslavender field family photography London

What about glasses, hats, and makeup?

If any of you wear glasses, then keep them on for the shoot. You need to see it after all! Just let me know if they’re the ones that go dark in the sun as these can be tricky to photograph (see also: sunglasses)

I would suggest not wearing hats (unless it’s cold weather) because whether it’s beanies or baseball caps, they don’t always come out well in photos.

As for makeup, keep it natural, as strong makeup looks don’t always come out well on camera, particularly as I shoot in a natural style.


Are the kids comfortable?

It’s not all about what the parents are wearing, it’s about the kids too. Make sure that babies are in an outfit that they are comfortable in, and that children won’t be pulling at the neck of their shirts because it’s scratchy, itchy, you name it.


Is fancy dress OK?

So many kids love to dress up like Batman or a princess or both, so if your kid usually likes to dress up, sure! Come along dressed like rainbow Batman. But if your kid doesn’t usually do it, now is not the time to try it for the first time.

And finally – take your phone and keys out of your pockets! It will really show up on camera 🙂

If you want to email me pics of the potential outfits, I’m more than happy to talk it through and reassure you.

daddy and daughter family photography London

What should I wear on a family photo shoot?

My job is to make sure you look your best in the pics and I want to help you do that! I hope you found my tips on “What should I wear on a family photo shoot? helpful. If you’d like to book in a London family photography shoot with you and your family, please do get in touch.

Found this helpful? Read my 5 Essential Do’s and Dont’s of Family Photography.

Thanks for stopping by,

Fee x