Remember those family portraits where everyone is wearing the same outfit? Maybe it’s a family photo of everyone in pastel windbreakers (hello, the 90s!), or perhaps it’s a portrait with everyone wearing white shirts and jeans. Those days are long gone! 

Now, we always plan family portrait sessions with the end goal in mind! If this portrait hangs on the dining room wall for years to come, we want to make sure it compliments your home. That’s why it’s so important to plan out your family’s outfits so that everyone is comfortable and the portrait is cohesive. Yes, fashion trends come and go, but we can choose pieces that look amazing together and will stand the test of time. 

My recent blog shares tips for choosing which season is best for your family portrait. If you like summer portraits, then you’re going to want to keep reading. These are my top tips for what to wear for your family portraits in summer near Lake Country, WI!

Lake Country family photographer

5 Tips to Answer What Should Your Family Wear

1. Lean on the Classics

Trends come and go, but there are clothing staples that you can rely on, such as solid polos for dads and boys and solid tops with jean jackets or sweaters for moms and dark jeans. Sticking with solids or minimal patterns is best! Mixing solids with patterns and layering looks best in photos. Avoid dressing every member in your family in plaid, for instance. If you need a great local place to shop, check out Mission Road Boutique and Fray Boutique right here in Oconomowoc.

2. Steer Towards Comfy and Cute

This is true for any portrait, but especially if you have kiddos, you don’t want to stuff them in something uncomfortable or that they hate wearing. If your daughter is a tomboy, then let’s not make her wear a dress! They won’t feel comfortable or happy, and we don’t want that! We can create an outfit so that your child looks and feels great and shows off her personality!

Family of four posing for camera at Bender Beach, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin

3. Blend Neutrals and Like Colors

This portrait is about capturing your beautiful family just the way they are right now. Think about the style of photo you want and plan outfits accordingly. Choosing neutral colors (creams, tans, light browns, greys, and navy) gives a classic, elegant look to your portraits. Want to capture the fun, spunky side of your family? Add small pops of color like yellow, teal, or purple. Pops of color don’t need to be in the clothing, but can come out in accessories like jewelry, shoes, hats and blankets. It’s wise to use color in moderation so that your clothing isn’t the focal point when your portrait is hanging on the wall. We definitely want the focus to be on your beautiful faces but that doesn’t mean you can’t express yourself.

4. Add Fun Layers or Accessories

By all means, let’s pop in fun layers to showcase your family’s personality! Maybe this is a cute headband or bow on your daughter. Maybe it’s a nice jacket for dad or a special necklace for mom. I love when an accessory has special meaning too!

5. Try On Outfits Before Your Session

This is a big one – make sure you have everyone try on their outfits prior to the session! Even if you’re pretty sure everything should fit, it’s better to be safe than sorry. Plus, you may realize you want to wash and iron something or notice you wish to add an accessory for an outfit.

Schedule Your Family’s Summer Portrait

I love helping my clients with wardrobe support before their portrait session. I always make recommendations based on the session location and season. And, even better, I can recommend local shops to find your perfect outfits. My calendar is booking fast, but I have some availability! Get in touch today.

Family of five smiling for camera during family photo session at Cushing Park in Delafield, Wisconsin


Photo of ipad with investment guide on a table

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