The biggest question I get when clients book me is “What should we wear for our family session?” So I thought I’d put together a blog post with my 9 Do’s and Don’ts to help your family plan. Read this blog post for inspiration on what to wear for your family adventure in Northern Michigan.

For the most part, your outfit depends on your individual style and where you are having your photos taken, but there are some other things to consider. Take a look at my ‘Do’s and Don’ts for Dressing your Family’ and feel free to contact me if you have any questions on what to wear for your family photo shoot.

Candid Family Photographer

1) Do dress in clothes that match your family’s personalities.

I want you to show your personality through your clothes and accessories. Most of my family adventures take place on the beach or natural areas, and I think that bohemian-inspired look goes really nicely with this type of scenery. For inspiration, take a look at some of the families I have photographed in Northern Michigan. 

2) Don’t wear clothes that make you feel uncomfortable.

Above all, I want you to feel comfortable in your clothes. Avoid clothes that make you feel constricted and itchy. Ties and button up shirts can be awkward for kids. We will be exploring for our photo shoot, so it’s best that your family wear clothes they can move around in easily.

Northern Michigan Adventure on the Dock Beach Sleeping Bear Dunes

3) Do avoid distracting logos.

Colorful shirts for kids is a nice choice, but try to avoid distracting logos and graphic tees. It can be very distracting in photos.

4) Don’t forget accessories. 

Adding accessories like a wide brimmed hat, bracelets, or big funky earrings can really make your photos stand out. I also recommend anything that can create motion in the photographs or blow in the wind- whether it’s long hair or a flowy dress. 

Family Adventure Sunrise at the Dunes

5) Do remove all distractions.

Be sure to leave all distractions like bags, backpacks, and water bottles in the car. I will capture your experience including the hike in and so it’s also important to empty your pockets, leave your phone behind, and also don’t forget to remove the hairband from your wrist. Watches that are a piece of jewelry are nice, but not if it’s lighting up on your wrist with notifications. 

6) Don’t have everyone where the same outfit.

Having every family member wear the exact same outfit, like jeans and a white shirt, can seem overly uniform. I recommend selecting coordinating outfits, not matchy matchy. This will make your photos much more interesting. To help you choose the right colors, it may be helpful to lay across the bed what your family is planning to wear. 

Coordinating Outfits Not Matchy MatchyGrandparents Babies What to Wear

7) Do select a color scheme.

Allow personalities to shine with colors. By choosing a color scheme and using hues that complement each other, you can achieve a more natural look in your family photos. First, pick two main colors. Then you can choose to add softer tones to accent and complete your color scheme. Avoid bright colors unless you absolutely love bright colors. For more examples on color schemes, take a peek at my family gallery.

Spring Photo Shoot at Sleeping Bear DunesColorful Family Outfit Sleeping Bear Dunes Colorful Clothes Family Adventure Photo Shoot

8) Do dress for the weather.

If you think it might be chilly- dress in layers that you can later take off if you get hot later. Layer fleece leggings under skirts, wool under shirts, and consider cute cozy hats. If we plan a dune hike in the summer, your family won’t even need shoes to get there. It’s a 5 minute sandy hike that’s relatively flat. Bare feet photograph nicely too, but only if everyone is on the same page with no shoes. You can always bring sandals and decide the day of your photo shoot whether or not to wear them.

What to Wear Springtime Family Adventure Fall Northern Michigan Family Photo Shoot

9) Do pack practical shoes

If you’re planning a hiking adventure, be prepared with good walking shoes that are comfortable to wear. Avoid wedges, high heels, and flip flops. It’s okay to have a fun pair of shoes to slip on for a few photos, but be sure to bring practical ones as well.

Fall Photo Shoot What to Wear

I hope you found this blog post helpful in planning what to wear for your family adventure. Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. You can also check out my Family FAQ page with more useful information on planning your family photo shoot.

Josh Hartman – Northern Michigan Family Photographer