Preparing For Fall Family Photos

What to Wear for your Outdoor Fall Family Portrait Session

What clothing you decide to wear for your family portraits can actually greatly affect the outcome of the portraits. Not only just in style either, but overall happiness of family members during the session. I want to capture interactions between your family while you are all having fun. It's tough to just let go and have fun while dealing with wardrobe malfunctions! Some tips below to help you prepare and make the most out of your family portraits.

What to wear for family fall photos?

Choosing “Timeless Clothing” Styles is a must. You'll be looking back at these portraits for years so try to choose outfits that are timeless. Big graphics or logos can be very distracting and will not look as fun or trendy as they once did, in 20 years.

Temperature and the Importance of Layers is essential. The fall temperatures in the Bay Area can vary widely from week to week so it's hard to predict what season you should be dressing up for. The session can be unpredictable if the kids are cold, or everyone is sweating and just wants to get out of there.

The best solution is one word: layers! “Layering” your clothing is a great way to have options on the day without having to scramble. Things like sweaters, scarfs, hats, tights, a long pant option and a shorts option, etc. are good things to have as options.

For the kids, resist the urge to buy clothing for the kids that they can grow into. By putting the kids in the clothing size that they are currently wearing, you will save time and pressure of always have to fix clothing that your child is swimming in.

What Colors and Textures should I wear?

You will benefit from colors that compliment the environment at the location for your session. If your family portraits are taking place in the early fall, the leaves are beginning to change color but there may be a lot of green as well. When dressing for your outdoor family photos, keep this in mind when choosing colors.

Some of my absolute favorite colors for fall (and really anytime if I'm honest!) are: plum, maroon, burnt orange, navy blue, mustards, creams. Textures, like what you find in sweaters for example, are a fantastic way to add visual interest to the styling of your family portraits.

Try not to have everyone in the exact same outfit or color for top and bottom. It makes the image more visually interesting to break up colors or patterns. I suggest starting with one person's outfit and building from there. One person can be wearing a busier pattern with lots of colors that the rest of the family compliments.

What should I wear on my feet?

Try to find footwear that matches the style of clothing your family is in. While toes and feet are great, this isn't really a natural look in the fall. Not: Bright neon sneakers will stick out like a sore thumb. Hot: Booties, boots, ankle boots and shoes that you wouldn’t mind walking through leaves in.

The Latest In Fall Photo Fashion

I'm currently obsessed with plaid. At the bottom of this article, check out the flannel on dad in contrast to the background and complimenting mom’s beautiful outfit and their special occasion. Later, he removed the flannel for a completely different look... Perfect. Most importantly… it’s the most wonderful time of the year! The Bay Area is a wonderful area to photograph your family milestone. I hope you have found some tips and tricks for outdoor fall family photo clothing ideas.

About my photography, I'm DANNY and I've been a professional photographer since 2012. My specialty is family, special events and everything in between. My style is happy and natural and I am a “capture the moment” person. My business is located in Campbell, CA and I proudly offer outdoor onsite photography to families across the entire Bay Area. To schedule a session, please email me at

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