10 Killer Wardrobe tips for your Family Session // Tips & Tricks

Wardrobe is a HUGE part of the photography experience. For some it causes stress and savaging through wardrobes, for others it provokes an impromptu justified shopping spree. Regardless of which category you fall under, there is definitely always questions as to what exactly to wear. I have a few personal rules, and others are across the board tips. Hopefully these tips give you even just a bit of peace of mind. 

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It wasn't cool in high school, and it won't be cool during your session. No one likes being caught in the same thing as another person, let alone your siblings. The clothing you wear during your photoshoot should show off your individual personality. And unless you are all robots, wardrobe for your family photos isn't a one size fits all kind of deal. I always recommend my clients to pick a colour scheme and have everyone pick out things that work within those few harmonious colours.


I'm the first one to say a good plaid shirt can make any day better, but when it comes to the day of your session, leave it at home. Patterns can do all sorts of things that aren't exactly flattering, so instead of list what patterns work for what body type, let's just agree to not do patterns at all, ya? Instead, I recommend playing with complimenting textures and fabrics. Suttle patterns like lace are fine, but anything that mixes colours should be put away and not looked at again. (Kids can sometimes break this rule if the pattern is simple enough)

3 - Fit is important 

When it comes to family sessions, a low cut top can be out of character, and when it comes to side angles, a loose top can be unflattering. I suggest leaning towards clothes that cover but don't necessary add extra to your body, if you catch my drift. Show that sucker off, but don't flash the children, you know? 

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4 - Location should be on your mind 

If we are heading out to the beach, don't wear heels, trust me, they'll come off. If we are going on a tramp up the Remarks in Queenstown and you wear sandals, I WILL make you change. Those are practical choices that sometimes get overlooked when deciding what would look cute with that summer dress you just bought. Oh! And on a similar note, if we are heading to the beach, maybe pick a different colour other than beige.. disappearing into the sand isn't cute. 


5 - Colour Scheme for the kiddies

Queenstown Portrait Family Photographer- Kate Roberge Photography

When planning everyone's outfits, I always encourage families to pick a colour schemes of 3-5 complimenting colours, keeping the adults and teens in neutral(ish) colours and have the kids be in slight brighter colours. 


6 - Black on black on black is reserved for the rap game

If you where to have a look in my closet... I only own black.. it's a problem. Like seriously, I'm at the point where I know the different shades of black. Luckily for me, I am behind the camera, you aren't! Just wearing black or white can make you hide into the background or be the distracting factor in a photo... so try and stay away from just black or white. This session is your opportunity to get creative!! 


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7 - Look at your home decor

Literally almost no one thinks of this one. Like honestly, when I mention it, I can see a light bulb go off in their head. Since your photos are most likely going to be hanging on your walls, you want your photos to match what will surround them. Mostly neutral? Stick with the beige and neutral tones for wardrobe. Have  awesome green accents throughout the living room? Maybe putting that in your colour palette would look cool. 

8 - Keep it classic

4 years ago, I loved me a good pink skinny jean... nowadays though, not so much. The photos we capture will be hanging on your walls and treasured for years to come. By keeping it simple and wearing clothes that aren't to risky, you'll help give your images a timeless feel. Similar to that, keep your makeup simple. Bright blue eyeshadow was super hot in the 90's, now, not so much. I always recommend my client to stick with neutral colours and leave the sparkly eyeliner at home (I definitely wore that in my family photos when I was 12... ). 

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9 - Bring Layers

Queenstown's weather is consistently surprising me. And Dunedin... every time I go down I have to pack for all four seasons (and end up needing all of it). So be prepared with layers! A.) you won't freeze/ melt your butt off and B.) It will give your photos diversity. Best of both worlds! 

10 - Be Yourself

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These 'rules' are a good starting point, and great if you have no idea what to do when it comes to wardrobe. But at the end of the day you'll only be happy with photos of yourself that LOOK LIKE YOU. If you only wear black, wear black. If you are in love with that new trendy romper you got, throw that thing on! If your usual style isn't the sort of thing you want hanging on your walls, find a happy medium. When you make your purchase, I want you to know we captured YOU and your family, not some weird, strike to the rules versions of yourselves. The purpose of these photos is to remember the love, the joy, the connection and the experience of NOW in the most beautiful way possible. Stay true to yourself and your family, and at the end of the day, wear whatever the hell your little heart desires. xx

Now with your superhuman knowledge of family session wardrobe, you're ready to role! Let's start planning your session today! 

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