My most frequently asked photography question is "what should we wear to our family photo shoot?" Here is a compilation of my best suggestions as well as a few photos to help you gather inspiration for your own outfits. If you have anything to add, please let me know! I would love to hear what has worked for your family in the past. 

For your family photos

What to wear

The absolute most important thing is for your kids to feel comfortable in what they are wearing. When they like what they are wearing and can move freely, we are going to get the most natural, happy expressions from them. If they feel like their clothes are uncomfortable or itchy - or if they just plain don't like them - those opinions are going to show on their faces. It is better for your child to be happy as a clam in an outfit that was your second choice than to be perfectly matching the rest of the family but miserable.


Consider dressing everyone in a similar color palette. My favorites are a mix of blues, greys, and whites, or a mix of pinks, light greys, and whites. I also love a pop of a jewel tone somewhere to keep things fun.

Incorporate a mix of different textures - cashmere, linen, tulle, etc. Texture is what really makes an outfit pop on camera.

Tip: it is often helpful to choose one person's outfit first and then select the rest of the family's clothing to work with that first outfit. If you are having trouble getting started, think about this: if you were to frame one print from this shoot in your home, what room would you hang it in? Think about the colors in that room and the colors in your other artwork. This always helps spark ideas!

stand out with
Colors and Textures

Please no logos, branding, typography, or horizontal stripes. Don’t be matchy-matchy; no need to have everyone in the exact same outfit. Eschew trends; stick with the classics.


Snap an iPhone photo of everyone’s outfit as a screen test; you will immediately notice if something looks out of place or unflattering - or if a bright color looks different on camera than in person.

The night before your shoot: iron or steam everything you will be wearing.


Men: If you keep a freshly shaven face, shave the morning of the shoot.

Women: Opt for natural-looking makeup and hair, and neutral, light-colored nail polish. If you'd like, treat yourself to a blow out the day of the shoot!  

Babies: If you plan to put a bow or barrette in your baby girl's hair, bring it to the shoot but please don't clip it in that morning as it may leave a crease.

Faces and Hair

Don't stress! Pull out your favorite items and start there. After all, it's most important to look like YOU - if you like to be casual, wear jeans; if you love to dress up, dress up! And remember that I am always here to help; feel free to send me some of the options you are considering.

Final Thoughts

Copyright Ebbe Sweet Photography 2019

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