Kate Farrell Photography

Family & Dog photographer
Burlington, stowe & Northern Vt




What NOT To Wear in Your Lifestyle Family Photos

Sometimes worries about what to wear prevent people from getting lifestyle family photos taken. Being worried about what to wear is not a good reason to skip family photos.

As you read through this fun list of what not to wear, I think you’ll see that selecting clothes for your lifestyle family photos is easier than you think!

**All photos in this post are examples of what you SHOULD wear.**

1. Skip neon and extra bold colors!

You already knew this! You want natural family photos so pick some tones that you might find in nature. This way the love and connection your family shares will be the focus of the photos not that bright yellow soccer jersey.

Grandparents smiling on the porch in Vermont.
Pastels were perfect for this spring photo session!

2. Say no to big logos and words on clothing!

Again, let the focus of your lifestyle family photos be your family, not a corporate logo. Go for solids, textured materials and simple patterns. Skip t-shirts with big logos or words. Both will be distracting.

A woman holds three puppies in her lap: a yellow, black and chocolate lab.
The puppies stole the show at this session! Peach/orange and blue works well with many dog breeds.

3. It’s is uncomfortable or doesn’t fit well, skip it!

If your clothes are pinching you, you will be uncomfortable and it will show. So be sure you feel at ease in your clothes.

Check to be sure buttons are not bulging on your shirt. Dads, especially, will likely be playing with kids and lifting Little Ones up high. So be sure you can move around with out the shirt coming up and showing your skin. It’s not the most flattering look.

Dad plays airplane with a toddler while Mom plays along.
Be sure you are comfortable moving around in whatever you wear to your photo session.

4. Save the bold shoes and socks for sports!

Bold shoes and socks look awesome in sports! But, in lifestyle family photos, they will be a distraction. Even a bit of neon on a sneaker can be really distracting. Brown shoes tend to look great in photos.

Since we will be moving around, at some point your socks will show. Be sure they are fairly neutral (or at least super cute, but not distracting for little kids).

A family of four walks on the shore of Lake Champlain in Shelburne Vermont.
Summer sessions are often barefoot sessions!

5. Don’t underdress.

If it’s chilly (and we know that’s really common in Vermont!), dress in layers. If you (or worse, your kids) show up in a coat planning to take it off, they will be uncomfortable. It’s hard to look comfortable when you are cold.

Sweaters, scarves and fleeces can be fun accents that add texture to your images. Have fun accessorizing knowing you’ll be comfortable and your photos will look natural.

A 4 year old girl hides her face with fall leaves.
Boo! Layers are perfect in the cooler months.

6. Don’t match, instead coordinate.

Except for very young children, matching outfits do not look natural. You’re a family, not a sport’s team after all! Instead of all wearing white shirts, how about an earth tone pallet? Let everyone pick something from that color scheme.

I know that little sisters often love to wear matching dresses so that’s my one exception to this guideline. I also think it’s fine if more than one person wears jeans or tan pants just try to have them be a different style when possible.

A family of four smiles with the Green Mountains of Vermont in the background.
Thumbs up for colors of similar intensity!

7. Don’t compete with the Green Mountain State!

It is green in Vermont all summer. If your lifestyle family photos will be taken during the summer, don’t wear green. You won’t stand out enough from the background and you might clash with the foliage nearby.

A woman sits with her dog in the grass.
Don’t wear green in the summer, let Vermont bring the green instead.

8. Don’t match the foliage.

Who doesn’t love a fall foliage family session? Every October, Vermont dishes up the golds, yellows, and reds in spectacular style. At this time of year, wear colors that won’t compete with the bright leaves warm shades of ivory, beige, cream, gray, blue and mocha are a great choice. Try to avoid bright spring and summer colors to keep a fall look.

A woman gives her dog a hug in the fall.
Be sure to pick a top that will not match the foliage in fall.

9. Don’t bring your reflective dog leash!

I love my reflective dog leash and collar for evening walks too. But, those little reflectors and bright colors will be a big distraction in your photos.

A woman walks a dog on leash in the woods.
Remember that your dog’s leash will be in some photos.

Try to bring a leash that coordinates with you or just opt for a plain black leash. In some cases, I’ll crop out the leash, but expect it to be in some of the photos where cropping it out would look weird. For example in a photo of you walking your beloved dog, the leash will be an essential part of the story.

10. Don’t dress as someone else!

This is your chance to get lifestyle family photos. Show up as you and let your family do the same. Your story matters and I’ll be there to help you tell it.

Mom kisses daughter on the head as they sit on a blanket in the grass.
Come as you!

Still wondering how you’ll figure this out?

Now you know what not to do, but you might still be wondering what to do. Or maybe you just don’t want to add one more thing to your plate. I’ve got you!

As soon as you book your family, senior or pet photo session with me, I’ll send along my complete Photo Session Prep Guide. It’s filled with specific actionable ideas about what to wear as well as how to pick your location and other photo prep ideas.

Of course, I’m also available to chat over email or video to help you plan and prepare for your session. I’m happy to help and here to make getting your lifestyle family photos as easy as possible. Reach out today to secure a spot on my calendar. I’d love to hear from you.

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Kate Farrell is a professional lifestyle family and dog photographer based in Williston, Vermont, serving Burlington, Stowe and Northern Vermont. 

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