• Leo

What to Wear for Your Family's Photo Session in summer

Updated: Mar 29

Summer is upon us-- and since we are photographers in Arizona, the summer is very, very upon us! Despite the intense heat, we noticed one of the perks of the summertime is how much easier it is to get the whole family together. This is the time of year where you can get the family together to make a splash in the pool, go on vacations, and document the season and your family with a photo session.

What is a family portrait if not a way to document the value of human connection? Family portraits are a great way to capture our most important relationships and connections for years and generations to come. One of the most common questions we receive at Kaleidoscope Photography when planning a session is: “What do we wear!?” To this question, we have a few helpful guidelines to help you put together the perfect family that you are envisioning!


Wearing Black:

We have all heard it before, "Wearing black will have a slimming effect." This statement holds tried and true. Black is a very flattering option! Black can also be a difficult color to commit to when the weather is scorching hot! Not only black, but darker clothing in general has a natural tendency to blend the body into the background so that the faces become to focal point of a photograph. Darker shades of blues and purples are great alternatives when black isn’t what you are going for!

Bright Colors:


Bright colors are fun, exciting, and eye catching, however all of these great qualities can also be perceived as loud and distracting within the context of family portraits. Typically, void wearing bright colors that are on the verge of being neon . Wearing pastels will work the best without distracting the viewer. Wearing white can have a beautiful effect on photographs as they add a simple, clean, and refreshing look. White can also give a session a more whimsical feel. White will also be a more refreshing color to wear underneath the bright Arizona sun.

Prints, Patterns, and Logos:


Prints, patterns, and logos can be fun, interesting, and dynamic but are best left out of family portraiture. Prints, patterns, and logos are best suited for fashion and modeling where the subject and focus is of the clothing itself rather than the wearer. Solid colors tend to work the best and avoid having everyone wear different colors as it can be distracting.

Long or Short Sleeves:

Wearing longer sleeves and pants are often recommended for taking the most flattering photographs. Shorter sleeved shirts and blouses will cut off at the arms and bring attention away from the face or eyes. Short pants or skirts will also cut the viewers attention and offer more skin to compete with the face and eyes. Choose breathable fabrics that will help keep you cool during your session!

Accessories and Glasses:

Jewelry and accessories are a great way to add character and personality to the wearer. It is essential not to go overboard! Simple and minimal works best. Glasses are an easy thing to take on and off to add variety to the wearer. It would be odd to wear glasses the majority of your life and appear without them in every photo!


One rule of thumb when choosing your ensembles is to envision what you want the portraits to capture and convey. If it distracts from that vision, it is best to leave it for a project that is better suited for it. The most valuable resource you have is your photographer! We always try to keep everyone fresh by bringing ice cold water bottles, planning the session before the family arrives so that they can spend less time in over a 100 degrees, bringing fans to take a break. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your photographer for ideas. Photographers can come up with great insight about what color schemes, themes, and locations will bring out the very best in you and your family. Collaboration between a client and photographer is a key ingredient in making your vision a reality!

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