Heather Quintans Photography » The best Seattle newborn, child, family and highschool senior photographer.

What to Wear For Seattle Family Portrait Session

How to Coordinate Clothing and Colors for Your Seattle Family Portrait Session

It’s two weeks away and you are totally stressing about what to wear when creating your Seattle family portrait session.  I know the feeling firsthand.  I had my friend (amazing professional M., a perk of the job knowing some of the best) photograph my family this fall for our family portrait and I stressed about what we were going to wear for  our family portrait session and how it was all going to look together.  (When my husband chose a certain sweater color, he couldn’t understand why I had to go shopping at the last minute to reorganize my color to match….good excuse for me.)

In the over fifteen years that I have been photographing family portraits in Seattle, it always come back to keeping it simple and classic.  I usually have a couple of basic rules (and of course the way I work, I add in fifteen addendums) but the basic is, if you like how it looks in the mirror on you then it should look good in the picture.  If you feel like it’s pinching tucking or exposing some part of your body that you do not like, then throw it out and try for another outfit.  Start with you (Mom) first and then branch out from there.

  • The tones/colors of the clothes should be in the same family: You don’t want to look like piano keys, wearing black and a white is distracting
  • Everyone in the group should look like they are gong to the same party…if someone is dressed like they are going to clean their car and another person is dressed to the nines, you’ve got a bit of a disconnect,  (Not unusual in big families..I know)
  • The clothing should be comfortable enough to bend over and touch your toes or at least your knees…you might be standing or sitting/kneeling for a organized family portrait, so make sure you can bend a little in the outfit
  • Other thoughts:  I’m ok with a little white,depending on the setting ,but the color can be blown out a lot on a sunny day with no details.  Black can really wash people out and I wouldn’t recommend that tone in a setting that is bright.  Look at your kids/husband’s shoes:  this is my pet peeve, I know they like comfort over looks, but I’d rather see bare feet than screaming white tennis shoes and khakis…and that is about as far as I go in the fashion world.
  • Be YOU:  ultimately it comes down to your style. If you are a rocker family, I totally wouldn’t want you looking like something out of Lord & Taylor.  Please bring your style that is what is going to make your pictures unique.
  • Don’t wait to look into your closet the night before the shoot and discover that your kids cute clothes are not fitting
  • Bring backup: life happens and for kids they may split their pants or better yet spit up on the entire outfit.

Here are some examples of clothing coordination for families, that should assist you with some ideas for your family photography session:

Family Photography SeattlePINTHISFor a cute little family group, having your little one in a brighter color is just fine. I like how the parents colors go well together but they are not the same kind of cut of clothes.  You don’t have to be identical in the family to look coordinated.


Family Seattle Beach PortraitPINTHIS

For a beach portrait, this family did a great job in the tone of their clothes and the setting.  It just screams summer and light-hearted.


Photography Family SeattlePINTHIS

Adding in a  contrasting color to the scene of the image worked really well here.  (If they had gone with the colors of the flowers they wouldn’t have popped out so well.  Again, I like how the daughter is playful in her coloring. And the white sweater has contrast with the dress.


Seattle Family PortraitPINTHISCute jean jackets on the girls, bring the colors in as a group with Mom’s Dress.  Like the casualness of Dad’s look.


Family Bellevue PhotographyPINTHIS

Like the tones this Mom chose.  The colors go well with her family (but maybe not yours, so go with your styling.)  Again Mom has white on but its not the entire top so it works well as a contrasting color.  Like the textures very much in the daughter’s sweaters.

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