What Not to Wear to Your Family Session


Capturing beautiful family moments through photography is my passion. As a Louisville-based family photographer, I understand the importance of not just the composition and lighting but also the choice of clothing in creating timeless portraits. In this blog, I’ll guide you through what not to wear to your family session, ensuring that your outfits complement the overall aesthetic and bring out the best in your photos.

See why family sessions are so important!

Avoid Black

Like many moms, I often find comfort in my black leggings. However, when it comes to family sessions, black might not be the ideal choice. While it can create a bold look, it tends to make portraits look heavier and darker. Opt for vibrant colors to add life to your photos and make a positive impact on the overall look of the portrait.

Steer Clear of Neon Tones

While super bright reds, oranges, yellows, and hot pinks may be appealing, they can reflect their color onto necks and faces, making editing challenging. Neon colors, in particular, should be avoided for the same reason. Instead, consider pastel colors, as they don’t create the same color reflection effect.

Avoid Super Tiny Patterns

Patterns can add flair to your outfits, but be cautious about choosing patterns smaller than a dime. These tiny patterns can create strange effects with digital cameras. Select patterns that are larger and more visually appealing, ensuring they enhance rather than distract from your family portraits. Logos and loud prints can be disruptive in family portraits, drawing attention away from your beautiful faces. Instead, choose simple, solid colors and subtle patterns that complement each other. This allows the focus to remain on the genuine emotions and connections captured in the photographs.

Coordination Instead of Matching

Instead of everyone wearing matching outfits, aim for coordination. Choose colors that complement each other well. For example, neutral tones combined with bright and airy colors can create a harmonious look without everyone being identical. Coordination allows each family member’s individuality to shine through.

Consider Your Space and Location

When selecting outfits, consider the space where you plan to display your family portraits. Think about the colors in your home and choose outfits that harmonize with the existing decor. Also, consider the location of your photo shoot. Light and neutral outfits work well against dark backgrounds, while vibrant colors may pop against lighter settings.

Recommendations for a Bright and Airy Look

As a photographer with a style focused on bright and airy aesthetics, my recommendations lean towards creating that specific photo style. However, these suggestions are not restrictive; you have the freedom to wear what you love. If you desire images that reflect my online portfolio, these tips will guide you in achieving the look you envision.

See what working with me looks like!

Neutral vs. Dark Colors

Understanding the impact of color choices is crucial. Neutral colors contribute to light and bright images, while dark and heavy colors result in darker and heavier images. Aim for balance – one or two dark pieces are fine, but an entire family in dark blue jeans might create a visually imbalanced composition. The progression from heavy and dark to light and neutral outfits is evident in the images below, emphasizing the importance of thoughtful clothing choices.

Steer Clear of Trend Overload

While it’s tempting to dress your family in the latest fashion trends, consider the longevity of your photographs. Classic, timeless styles often age more gracefully in pictures. Steer clear of overly trendy pieces that may look outdated in a few years, and opt for clothing choices that reflect your family’s personality while standing the test of time.

Seasonal Considerations


Fall in Louisville brings a tapestry of warm and earthy colors. Embrace the season by incorporating rich tones like deep reds, burnt oranges, and mustard yellows into your family’s outfits. Layers such as scarves, sweaters, and boots not only add texture to your look but also provide a cozy and photogenic element.


Louisville winters can be chilly, but that doesn’t mean sacrificing style for warmth. Choose elegant, neutral-colored coats that complement your outfits rather than overpowering them. Don’t forget accessories like hats and gloves – they not only keep you warm but also add a touch of winter charm to your family portraits.


Springtime in Louisville is a burst of colors and blossoms. Opt for light, breathable fabrics and pastel hues that mirror the season’s freshness. Floral patterns and soft greens can evoke the vibrancy of spring and create a visually stunning contrast against the awakening nature.


Louisville summers can be warm, so choosing lightweight fabrics is key. Incorporate vibrant colors like blues, pinks, and yellows to reflect the energy of the season. Consider airy dresses, shorts, and short sleeves for a comfortable yet stylish summer look. Sunglasses and sun hats add a playful touch to your family’s summer ensemble.

Your family’s clothing choices play a vital role in the outcome of your portraits. By considering the colors, patterns, and overall coordination, you can ensure that your family session captures the essence of your unique bond in a timeless and visually appealing way.

Let’s plan your family session!

January 30, 2024