Truth Photography LLC | What to wear for fall family portraits | Denver Family Photographer

As of last weekend my busy fall season is in fall swing! The one question I get the most in this season of family portraits is what should we wear? Here are some tips to choosing the perfect outfits for the whole family!

We are dressing for fall, so the first thing we want to think about is the colors that will be the background of your portrait. Most of my clients want a spot with some beautiful fall colors, which means the background of your portrait will be will be WARM colors, yellows, oranges and reds, mostly yellow here in Colorado. So do you want to blend in or stand out in your portraits? If you said stand out great, then you want to wear COOL colors for your photo shoot, greens, blues and purples.

There are a few ways to do this. Here are a few examples of color palates that you can use.

#1 Choose one color

When I say this I am NOT suggesting everyone show up in matching black or white shirts and jeans, please don’t. Instead have everyone wear different shades of the same color. For example say you choose greens, one of my favorites for fall since it both stands out and give a touch of Christmas feeling if you are gifting these for Christmas. You would want to choose several shades of green that compliment each other and use simple patterns and textures to give the image some interest. This can also be mixed with a neutral color to mix it up a bit. Here is one example of this:

And here are a couple of examples of this with blues and a neutral.




#2 Choose 2 colors next to each other on the color wheel: 




So if we are working with mainly cool colors for fall we would want to work from that half of the color wheel.




Blue and Green , Blue and Purple, Purple and Red or Pink, Green and Yellow

#3 Choose opposite colors

Choosing opposites or near opposites on the color wheel is another great option. For those of you who want to go with a Christmas look you could always go with the classic red and green, but there are many options for great opposite colors that look amazing together. Try Coral and Teal , Deep purples with mustard ,   Yellow and Navy just to name a few.

Now choosing the actual clothing

Ok so now you have some ideas of color palates you could work with, mom, lets start in your closet. One of the most important things for a family photo session is that mom is comfortable and loves the way she looks. Lets face it ladies, if we hate out outfit or the way we look we will not love the portraits. So what do you have in your closet that you LOVE the way you look in? Once you have your outfit chosen you have the colors or at least the first color for your session and can plan your families clothing.

Still feeling lost? 

Ok here is one other way to choose colors if the ideas above still have you feeling lost. Look around your home, where in your home do you plan to hang your portraits? Are you thinking of a beautiful canvas above your couch? If so what colors are in that room. Dress in colors that will compliment your walls, furniture and decor.

Here are just a few more tips to help you out.

Layers look best

Don’t be afraid to layer your clothing, especially now that the weather is getting a little colder. Some ways to add layers can include sweaters, scarves, jewelry, jackets, bowties, sports coats etc. Most of the samples above for color were also great examples of layering so if you are not sure what I mean take another look at the links.

Shoes matter

Yes your shoes will show and no I cannot hide them in every portrait, so please don’t forget about them. I don’t know about you but all of my kids shoes are bright colored and have characters. So if you need to go buy them some dress shoes or plain colored shoes don’t leave it until the last minute. Nothing worse then spending hours to put together outfits only to have Spiderman or Hello Kitty shoes on your kids feet!

Dress mom up and dress dad down

This one may seem a little odd but it is a rule that has worked for our family. Mom don’t be afraid to dress just a little more dressy than your every day. The only time I wear jewelry and lipstick is for a photo session.

On the other hand if dad never wears a tie or sports coat making him wear something he wouldn’t usually wear will just make him uncomfortable and often grumpy. Its ok to be dressed up just a little more than he is as long as the gap is not too extreme.


Make sure you can sit

You will be sitting on the ground in a variety of positions for many of the poses. Avoid short skirts (especially on little girls) and white pants, really anything you won’t be comfortable sitting on the grass in or that you can’t sit in a variety of poses in modestly.

Now that you have your outfits picked out…

I hope all of these tips have helped you out figuring out what to wear from your session. Now that you have clothing chosen for your session send me a picture. Just something simple, lay it all out on your bed and take a snapshot. Don’t forget to include shoes, jewelry etc in the picture. I would love to take a look to see if I have any suggestions to make it even better and seeing your clothing colors and styles helps me plan the look of the session before we get started!


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