Tips For Choosing What To Wear To Your San Diego Family Photoshoot

Okay so you scoured the web and social media combing through the portfolios of many San Diego Family Photographers. You came across us and fell in love with our work. After chatting with us, you booked your session at a gorgeous spot in San Diego County only to realize… you have NO CLUE what to wear and how to dress the family for the shoot.

We often get asked for advice about what to wear to photoshoots, so we thought we’d write a blog about it! These are tips and advice based on what we’ve learned photographs well and what doesn’t over the years. Okay let’s dive in…

  1. The goal is to coordinate and compliment! When the entire family is dressed exactly the same, e.g. white button down shirts and khaki shorts, photos can come across flat and there is a loss of self- expression. Photos will appear much more engaging and interesting when each family member’s clothing is different and complimentary. 
  2. Avoid graphic designs on shirts as well as clothing that displays logos and brands. These can distract in a photograph. 
  3. Look at your home décor. If you think there’s any chance that you’d want to print the photos from your session (and we highly encourage you to), then you’ll want to choose colors that compliment your home or the room where you plan to display the photos. 
  4. Limit patterns. It can be distracting if mom is in a floral print, dad is in plaid, and the kids are in stripes. It will come across very busy looking. Typically, if patterns are incorporated, make sure to lay the clothes out and see if the patterns are not-overbearing and are complimentary.  
  5. Textures photograph beautifully, so incorporate them all you want! Scarves, hats, layers, vests, all look great in photos and add depth. 
  6. Cream is better than white. Believe it or not, white is difficult to photograph. It takes on color around it and can often look cyan under a blue sky, which then reflects on skin. Cream is warmer and typically more complimentary to skin and looks better in photographs. 
  7. If there is a very large height discrepancy between parents, it typically looks nice to close the gap by either wearing a pair of heels or wearing flats to bring heights closer together.  
  8. If your session is at the beach, we highly recommend dressing with preparation to get a little wet and messy. Shots come across much more spontaneous and natural with bare feet and being close to the water.
  9. Outfits should be on the same level of formality. E.g. Mom should not come in an evening gown while the kids are dressed in a t-shirt and drawstring shorts. And on that topic, it’s best not to be too casual or too formal. Somewhere in the middle is perfect. Remember self-expression and comfort are everything! We want you to dress to express your family’s style while making sure everyone is comfortable and ready to have FUN! 

Here are just a few examples of San Diego families that chose beautiful colors and textures that photographed very well…

Remember these are not rules! This is just some advice for those who want some guidance. Wear what you want! What is most important is that you’re comfortable and expressing yourself and your family authentically. We want you to enjoy your session and leave having had fun!

Zoetic Photography

Serving San Diego, San Elijo Hills, San Marcos, Carlsbad, Encinitas, Vista, Escondido, Oceanside, Rancho Santa Fe, Harmony Grove, Poway, Rancho Bernardo, 4s Ranch, Rancho Penasquitos, Carmel Valley, Solana Beach, Del Mar, & La Jolla.