What Should I Wear? Family Portraits Made Easy!- Destin-Florida-Photographer

Coming to Destin or Pensacola Beach,  Florida for vacation? It’s the best time for Family Portraits! But then comes  the dread of figuring out what to wear for your portrait session with the family! It is one of my most frequently asked questions and I am here to give you all my tips!

First, I like to ask the question where will I be hanging these portraits? What colors work well in that room? You don’t want pastel color clothes and your room is maroon and hunter green. Try to picture the portraits hanging in that room and what colors would look best.

Second, what kind of location are you going to? Is it going to be cool and breezy or hot and sunny? You don’t want to be wearing ruffles on a breezy beach because they will just be blowing all over the place, however, a long flowing skirt looks great blowing in the breeze.

Third, what do I feel good in? This is a question mostly for us women. What makes you feel pretty? You want to be comfortable in what you are wearing so that you feel your best and aren’t constantly pulling and adjusting on things. Unless you have a particular husband, I would say to pick out Mom’s outfit first and then color coordinate accordingly.

Fourth, Pick a pattern and then choose colors from that pattern to coordinate.  Make sure to choose colors that are in the same family, like pastels or jewel tones, but don’t mix those two together.  Choose clothing that doesn’t have screen prints or large logos, those are distracting.  Bright neon colors are a no-no because they cast colors on your skin and make your skin look strange.  Men in hats are also a no go unless they are just insist on wearing them 😉  Hats shadow the eyes and just don’t look nice in portraits.

Fifth, I love accessories!  Bold jewelry looks great! Bows for little girls are adorable!   Don’t worry about shoes if you will be on the beach, we don’t wear them.  Leave your sunglasses in the car so you don’t risk them getting scratched up from having to take them off and I don’t forget to ask you to take them off 😉

If you wear glasses, make sure they aren’t transition lenses.  They get so dark on our sunny beaches and completely hide your eyes.  Your eye doctor may be able to loan you a pair without lenses just for the session.  Sunburns look atrocious in portraits especially on the face, I can edit it but it takes so much time and is an extra fee, it is so much easier to just apply sunscreen. I highly recommend using Visine if you have been swimming that day, eyes get pretty red and sensitive with the salt water and chlorine especially kid’s eyes.  Putting lotion on your legs is not a great idea, the sand loves to stick to the lotion.  Naps for little ones are so important and please feed them before, at least a big snack.  Hungry babies are cranky babies (just like me, lol).

Items to bring to session:  brush for hair touchups, hair spray and a hair band just in case (but not on your wrist), snacks for kids that aren’t messy, drinks for little ones, a towel to clean up with after, and a change of clothes (especially for little ones) if you want to get in the water or if you want to go to dinner after.

I have made a Pinterest board of helpful hints and ideas.  Check it out:

Also, here are some examples from past photo sessions:


I love the soft muted colors this family chose.





Pinks and blues look amazing on the white sand.  I love to take a pattern and pick colors out for everyone like the one above with Mom, Dad, Brother and Sister.  Her dress has the pink, blue and white.

Sea green is one of my favorite colors to wear on the beach.


This gorgeous family went with different shades of blue and white.

Coral and Navy are really big this year and look great!

Again, great. choice with the different but complimentary shades of blue.

Blues and soft green were a great choice for this group.  Looks good on little girls and boys.

Large family grouping.   I like how they chose complimentary colors but each family group had their own theme.

Seafoam and pink is one of my favorite combos.

Lots of shades of blues and whites.

I love how colorful these families were.  They chose patterns and picked colors to coordinate.  Easy peasy 🙂

This is one of my favorites!  Love the soft mauve and greenish gray shirt together!



If you are bold, orange can be great, just make sure not to have anything that casts colors on your face.



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