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A happy family guide's to cute coordinated clothes for a family photoshoot. Image by Photography of Sarah Mae. A Dallas Family Photographer

Family Session Style Guide


Hi friend! So glad to have you here!

Dressing for your special session can be something that is stressful when you don't know what will look the best on camera. I have some tips for you that will hopefully make the process of looking amazing a little more clear. Don't forget you can always email me and ask for help with your session. I want you to feel secure in how AMAZING you will look in your family photos. 

Love, Sarah

Quick Overview

I will go more indepth on these pointers below, but if you keep in mind the following you can't go wrong:





I recommend the following for your family session attire:
















These colors will result in more of a light and airy look, and add style and class to your images.

These colors photograph soft and romantic! 


- If you’re looking for a soft, feminine look, I recommend a flowing, maxi-length dress or skirt! The movement of this type of fabric photographs beautifully!

- If you're looking for a more casual rugged look, but still want to look amazing, pair good jeans with cute boots, and a nice sweater and scarf.

- I love a good formal dress and tux combo! Don't be afraid of being "too formal"! Go big and wear something that makes you feel like royalty.

- I highly recommend getting your hair and makeup professionally done so you get some time alone before the craziness of photos and so you can feel your best. If you can't, here are some tips to remember:

1. I recommend having your hair down and adding some volume-enhancer by teasing it or adding curls.

2. Wear your makeup a little bolder than usual especially your lip color.

3. Don't be afraid to add some extensions or lashes. Enhance what makes you feel beautiful!


- In general, I would suggest wearing pants, not jeans unless they are a dark-wash. Wear complimentary clothes to your partner. If they wear a busy top, you go solid color; if they wear light, you go dark, etc.

- Layers are great for creating visual interest, so a button up over a plain t-shirt, or a sweater over a solid colored shirt looks great. Stay away from logos and shirts with large attention-grabbing images.

- I love more formal wear! Break out that tux or suit coat! Don't be afraid of being "too formal"! Go big and wear something that makes you feel like royalty, or like James Bond.

- Also, put a little extra care into your grooming today. Make sure your beard lines are crisp, hair is combed (no hats today, unless that's part of your photoshoot wardrobe), and that you've gone over your clothes with a lint brush and an iron, etc.

When in doubt do a quick turn-around for your partner so they can let you know if anything is amiss BEFORE hopping in the car.




- If mom's outfit is the one that everyone's clothes are tied into,  then choose 1-2 colors that your children's clothes can tie into. Remember, we are not looking for everyone wearing matching outfits, but COORDINATED ones. 

- We will capture a LOT more natural movement if your kids are dressed in layers. Sweaters, cardigans, blazers, ties or bows are a great way to add more visual appeal to your child's outfit. Just make sure to stay away from logos and shirts with large attention-grabbing images.

- Have your kids try on the clothes before the photoshoot. Neither you, nor I want to go through an entire session hearing how 'itchy' or hot something is so do a test run to make sure they will feel comfortable in their clothes. Remind them we want them to feel comfortable and confident, but this is also a special occasion. 

- Set aside more time than usual for your little one's grooming today. If you need to bribe your kids for this one -- DO IT! You will be so much happier with your pictures afterward if you pull out all the stops beforehand.


*Important Tip* - Consider the weather when planning your family's outfits.  Since you will be outside for about 60 minutes make sure what you are wearing is lightweight, or multi-layered so you can take things off as needed. If you sweat easily (raises hand) think about bringing an extra shirt or some small towels. I will try to keep us in the shade as much as possible, but I can't control the weather. 

Lastly, when putting together your outfit, don't forget your shoes! Cute boots, flats or wedges really complete your outfit, so don't forget to think about them! Stilettos aren't generally recommended unless we know we are going to be in a paved area. This should go without saying, but don't wear your old dirty tennis shoes. Any shoes you are wearing should be wiped down or shined before you bring them to the photoshoot.

Family of three along

Other Things to Note

  • Avoid all of you wearing white tops. White is fine as long as only 1-2 of you is wearing it.

  • Stick to 2 or less family members wearing a pattern (think half of the family or less). Tight, low contrast patterns are your friend.

  • When coordinating the color of your clothes don't forget the tone (light vs dark). Go half and half; make sure you & your partner are wearing different tones

  • Look for clothes & accessories with rich, simple detailing (i.e. embroidery, tweed, ribbons, etc) or layer pieces to add dimension and texture.

  • Avoid neon colors, and be very careful with red, orange, yellow, and bright blue tones.

  • Ill fitting clothing will not photograph well! More on this below...

  • Also, don’t forget to iron your clothes, because, you guessed it, wrinkles are distracting.

Planning on buying a new outfit?


Check out these great stores if you plan on taking this photoshoot as an opportunity to add to your wardrobe! Some of my favorite family outfits have come from these stores:

For Him


J Crew $$

Old Navy $$

For The Kids

Alice + Ames  $$

Cotton On: Kids $$

H&M $$

Shein $

You can shop at all of these stores online and usually receive your purchase within a week or two, but if you'd like to go into a store and shop for women's clothes I highly suggest taking a look at a local boutique!


Downtown McKinney has several options for parents (Grady Ln, Willow House, Jasper & Petals) and kids (Rockin' AB)!

Lastly, I recommend that you wear something that flatters the parts of you that you love the most and also allows you to be extremely confident! 


If you are uncomfortable when you look in the mirror (having to suck in and only like the way you look from one angle, or needing to constantly adjust), then that probably isn’t the best outfit choice for you. 

I want you to be really confident in your outfit, because I know that you will love your portraits so much more if you’re not worrying about how your clothes fit!


Final Thoughts

Dallas Wedding Photographer,  Sarah Mae posing with her camera

Plan to do some moving, walking, playing, and a little bit of dancing during your photoshoot with me.

I'll do my best to keep you cool down in-between getting your dream photos!

I'm so excited to photograph you and your beautiful family at our session! I hope you are getting excited too.


Sarah Mae

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