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  • Pamela Yool

Fall Family Portraits - What to Wear & Style Guide

Updated: Jun 2, 2022

I absolutely love shooting family portraits Fall is the perfect time for for outdoor pictures, it’s also the busiest time of the year for most family photographers as many people use these portraits as gifts or for holiday cards. The gorgeous autumn leaves in the park are the perfect backdrop to complement your portraits. I only shoot outdoor portraits in the evening; a few hours before sunset is ideal for lighting and avoids that harsh mid-day sun which creates harsh shadows under your eyes. Fall has an earlier sunset so this time is ideal for families with small children as we can shoot between 3-5pm compared to summer portraits, which have us shooting later, around 7-8pm.

Are you looking for family photo outfit ideas? This guide will help you choose the best outfits for your portrait session. Here’s a step-by-step process on how to choose the best attire for your session. I’m also going to include an insider tip: where photographers shop! These brands are well known in the industry for using colours, textures and fine details that photograph well.


I recommend choosing classic attire that will still look amazing in 15 years. Super trendy clothes are fun because they look amazing now, but won’t look so great once the trends change.


Before you even choose your outfits, talk to your photographer about location options and what you most prefer. Would you like a casual beach session or will you be dressed up downtown? Will you be frolicking through wildflower fields or hiking to an amazing waterfall location in Hamilton? Your location actually matters a lot as you choose your outfits. Consider the overall feeling you are going for as you select your outfits and then work with your photographer to choose a suitable location.


Its often hard to where to begin, but think of it as building blocks. Start with one outfit and then you can build up from there. I usually begin with a pattern outfit - this might be a dress for mom or daughter, since women’s clothing tends to have more colours and prints. My best advice is for you to wear a dress in your favourite colour and make sure its a style that you feel comfortable in If you're not into dresses, think about a fancy pantsuit, but choose something that is dresser than your everyday look. Opt for high quality fabrics because they hang better.


After you’ve chosen mom’s outfit, think about 2-3 coordinating colors, some neutral and one of which pops and brings life to the outfits. The color palette you choose will affect your appearance and the overall look of your photo. for fall portraits - I love jewel tones: emerald green, navy blue, red, and mustard yellow. Warmer colors like peach, ivory, and browns, will give your photos a soft glowing look, while bold and vivid colors like yellow and purple will produce a brighter and sharper appearance.


Choose colors that complement each other but are not overly matchy-matchy. For example, avoid wearing the same color top as your spouse or putting your girls in the same matching dresses.

After mom’s outfit is chosen, begin to find 2-3 coordinating colors that complement. Need more inspiration? Check out my Pinterest board!