top of page

What to wear - Family Sessions

We are often asked by families about the best clothes to wear to a family photo session. Clothing and styling is a subjective and personal choice, so we would never want to be too prescriptive.  However, here are some general guidelines and recommendations that we are happy to offer:



The most important consideration is that every family member should dress in a way making them feel confident and comfortable. This will help achieving the relaxed and natural photos in order to show the family members’ true personalities. Please bear in mind that because family sessions often involve sitting on the floor,  your choice of clothing should not restrict movements.


Think classic

These photos will be on your walls and be treasured for years to come. By choosing simple and classic clothing, you will help giving your images a timeless feeling.


Keep it clean & natural

A clean-shaven look for men is the best (but if you’ve always rocked a beard, I’m not saying that you to shave it off!).  Haircuts for boys and men should take place about a week or so before the session.


For women, hair should be styled naturally. That means try not to change too much from your normal self. The same principle applies to makeup.  Choose natural makeup that makes you feel beautiful, and then add a light layer of powder to reduce shine just before the session.


Coordinating colors, but not matching

Our advice is that some degree of color coordination is great, but families should not be too worried about matching their outfits.  Generally, keeping the number of colors between 1 and 3, or 1 to 3 coordinating colors with 1 color theme that stands out and links everyone’s outfit works fabulously well.


Bright pastel colors work really well for children photographed together even if the colors are not especially coordinated. Pastel colors just seem to offer a sense of fun to the occasion and final images.


Limit patterns

I enjoy having an outfit in the mix that has all the colors in it.  However, not everyone in the photo should wear patterns as it may distract the final image.


Texture and Accessories

Texture and layering is a good and when used appropriately, can really add dimensions to your photos. A cute scarf or knit cardigan over a simple shirt can really add some character to your look. Watch out for items that make you look and/or feel bulky or weighed down.  Jewelry is also great (we always encourage accessories that help reflect personalities), but we don’t want it dominating the image.  Have them ready and we can always decide before the session. 


Prepare in advance

It helps if the clothes are clean, pressed, and on hangers for a few days before the session.  This way, you don’t have to worry about it on the day of the session.


And don’t forget about shoes if the session includes outdoor shooting!  They are an important part of your wardrobe.  There’s nothing worse than a beautiful outfit ruined by scruffy shoes or tattered flip flops.



After we have captured the family group shots, we often take a range of individual portraits (typically the children). This is where we welcome props, which can offer creativity and variety to the photos.  Families are always encouraged to bring along plenty of cute hats and outfits for your child(ren).

Outfit changes during the session are welcomed, so don’t feel that you have to stick to one look. 


Group Shots

The biggest question that we receive from clients concerns family or generation groupings. Our advice is that some degree of color coordination is great, but families should not be too worried about matching their outfits.  Generally, keeping the number of colors between 1 and 3 works really well.

Headshot tips for business photos

General Tips

  • Tell us how and where the photo will be used (so we can be sure it's appropriate)

  • Drink lots of water and be well rested (so your eyes will not have dark circles)

  • Arrive on time. Please do not arrive more than 10 minutes early (we may have other clients scheduled before you)

  • Please call if you are running late or arrive early


What to Wear - Everyone

  • Wear clothes that are comfortable and that make you look great

  • Make sure your jacket and shirt fit you well. A poor fitting jacket or shirt will be obvious in the photos (especially around the neck)

  • Avoid overdressing and turtlenecks 

  • Clothes should be neatly pressed and should look new or like new

  • Avoid bold, distracting patterns or colors and large lines/stripes

  • Avoid high reflective, shiny, silk tie and other accessaries

  • Blue/green/turquoise shirts/blouses or accents can help emphasize blue/green/hazel eyes


What to Wear - Men

  • The standard business look is a suit jacket, dress shirt and tie

  • A casual business look is often a jacket and open dress shirt, shirt and tie (no jacket), or dress shirt on it's own

  • Polo shirts are a good look for some businesses. Be sure the shirt is in good condition and fits well

  • For a no-jacket casual look, bring colored shirts - ideally darker than your skin tone

  • A white dress shirt by itself is a bad idea - unless you plan to wear it underneath something (jacket or sweater)

  • Bring a few different jackets, shirt colours and ties so we have choices for the photo


What to Wear - Women

  • Avoid big, bold prints and busy patterns

  • Different necklines will change the apparent shape of your face. Bring a variety different shirts/blouses to see what works best

  • For a no-jacket casual look, bring various colored blouses - ideally darker than your skin tone

  • Be stylish and fashionable, but remember the picture is about your face and not your clothes or jewellery

  • Sleeveless tops/dresses can draw attention to your shoulders/arms. Consider bringing items with a variety of different sleeves

  • Remember: Select and wear clothes that make you feel comfortable. Select something that makes you look and feel good.



  • Keep jewelry extremely simple - small is better

  • Avoid jewelry that would distract from your face or that looks dated

  • The picture is about your face, not your jewelry

  • Consider if facial piercings or multiple ear piercings are appropriate for where your photo will be displayed


What to Bring

  • If possible your previous headshots (so we can improve)

  • Sample headshots to help communicate the look you want

  • Favorite Music (iPod/MP3 player, phone, thumb-drive)

  • Various changes of clothing (see above)

  • A good attitude

  • Lip balm

  • Hair brush/comb

  • Makeup and hair products you prefer (especially if you have allergies)


Hair and Makeup Tips

  • Make-up should be clean and natural

  • Wear a heavy layer of translucent powder - your face will appear flawless in photos. Shine disappears, pores seem smaller, skin looks even, and blush is smoother

  • Line lips before applying matte lipstick, then reline. Don't overdo it. Dip a cotton bud in powder and run along lip line to prevent color from bleeding

  • Avoid shimmers or products with lots of sparkle or shine

  • Avoid frosts or overly-bright colors

  • Don't get a new hair cut just before the shoot (you may want to let it grow-in a bit or get used to styling a new cut)

  • Do not try/use any new product on your hair, face or body the day before or few days before your shoot. In case you have a bad reaction to the product

  • Please arrive with hair styled and makeup already applied (if not using makeup artist)

bottom of page