Kansas Studios | Kansas Pitts Photography » Santa Rosa Beach Family Beach Photographer Serving 30-a, South Walton and Beaches Worldwide

Your Wardrobe…What to Wear For Your Family Portraits


The most asked question by far is What Should We Wear for our session? Before I give you any recommendations I want to preface this entire conversation on this: if you wear something you love, something you feel good in, it will show through and you will look amazing. Don’t fret too much about wardrobe because honestly it always comes together gorgeously in the end and it won’t be what you are focused on when you see your final images. The emotion, the family togetherness, all that beauty…that will be what you will see.

I am going to give you some recommendations but keep in mind, if we haven’t met I have no idea what your style is, what your body type is, what you feel comfortable in. I can give you advise but in the end I want you to pick out something that makes you feel gorgeous, a color that you know you rock. And I would start with mom. It is always hardest to pick out our outfits, kids are easy and husbands are even easier. I sometimes find something for my girls I love (because that is SO easy) and then its hard to find something for me to blend with what I got for them. So pick yours first, you can always find kids clothes that are super cute to match whatever you have for yourself. I love what Ashley did here-she picked a bold, colorful dress for herself and then pulled colors from it for the rest of the family. The rest of their session is HERE.What_to_wear_beach_picturesP I N

Also, make sure you give yourself ample time if you are ordering online. Things don’t always look the same on as they do online. For instance, I loved this client’s dress; it looked comfortable, the fabric seemed soft and flowed well, it was flattering, it was long (I almost always recommend long dresses), etc. so I emailed her to ask what dress it was. To me, it looks completely different online than it did on her. I realize it can be reworked into several looks so perhaps that is why but still, give yourself time so as not to stress. The dress is on my What to Wear Pinterest board and can be found at Lulu’s Boutique online (they have tons of great flowy, long dresses).

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Now I said I usually like long dresses; that is for obvious reasons. You will be moving around, possibly sitting down, etc. and short dresses are generally not good for that and can appear not very flattering at times because of that. I have had clients wear shorts and they can be just perfect for that casual family portrait. I loved the Baker family’s photographs with Mikah in her shorts; it doest hurt that Mikah has incredible legs (showcase your assets)! There are great selections of colored shorts and crocheted shorts that are in right now that would be a good choice for your family photographs. You can see more of the Baker’s Session HERE.

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Let’s also talk color. Certainly a clean white palette can be gorgeous but don’t sway away from color. Color on the beach, or anywhere for that matter, really can enhance your family pictures, make them more dynamic. Plus people look great in color! The only colors I try to tell you to stay away from are neons, fluorescents, and really bright pinks & oranges. Bright pink and orange appear to glow which isn’t a great look. My niece wore an exceptionally bright dress for these pictures and, although I did tone it down, the color was “blown” and was very glow-y in the printed images. Still gorgeous pictures but a toned down pink would have perfected the images. Also, over saturated pinks & oranges seem to cast a worse color cast on the face than most other colors and you don’t want an orange chin do you? hah!

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One final thing I will say is to accessorize. Accessories make an outfit come together, makes it look more intentional, more complete. You don’t have to spend a ton of money on them either. If you have a Charming Charlie’s that is the perfect place to go – in expensive and every color accessory you can think of! If you don’t have one, you can shop online HERE.

Once you are all booked you will be receiving a welcome package from me with lots of tips on wardrobe and do’s and don’ts so make sure you read over those carefully. But my top things would be:

  1. Choose mom’s outfit first, then plan the rest around it.
  2. Wear something you feel beautiful in. The eyes are drawn to what isn’t covered so if its not something you love then please don’t expose it. For instance, I hate my arms so I would never wear sleeveless for a family picture because I won’t be paying attention to what I am doing with my arms, I will be playing with my kids.
  3. Give yourself enough time, extra time especially when ordering online.
  4. Maybe have a backup in case you don’t like that outfit that day.
  5. Make sure it fits well no matter how you move…including sitting down (i.e. NO bra straps or spanx showing, no way for your child, if that young, to pull and expose you, etc.); this applies to tan lines too – figure out where your tan lines are and where your outfit will show those and make sure they aren’t distracting. For instance if you have a high bathing suit top thereby leaving a lot of white on your chest and you wear a shirt that is lower cut you will not like the white showing above. While we are on that, be careful about strapless dresses; bare shoulders tend to make you look larger.
  6. Don’t forget about your hair, especially if you aren’t used to our humidity! The beach, if that is where we are photographing, is usually windy so have a backup plan if it is super windy and try to stay out of the weather until right before our session, otherwise…

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What to Wear (My Pinterest Board)

My Website (look at the images that appeal to you and check out their clothing selection-there is something that drew you to their images)

Polyvore (you can put together outfits in there easily & you can even purchase through their site or just print and take with you when you go shopping locally)


Once you are done with your outfit your can move on to the kids. As I said before, you can pull some colors form your outfit to blend in with the kids or choose a complimentary color(s).  You can read more about complimentary colors HERE. But basically opposites on the color wheel are complimentary…

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I love long flowy dresses on little girls (just like on mom) but I also love fluffy skirts and tank tops! Little girls are SO easy to dress. And make sure you check out our sister site for wardrobe rental for those really special dresses at For boys my favorite outfit are shorts (white, color, or khaki) and a long sleeved button down Polo with the sleeves rolled up. But, again, anything looks good on boys! Same goes for babies…


Hubby…he is fairly easy too. I would say the same about dad as I would about the boys-shorts or linen paints and a button down with the sleeves rolled up. Just make sure everything fits-no strained buttons but not oversized on the shirts.