If you are planning to come along for a photography session, no matter how good the photographer, the styling will make all the difference. So we thought we would put together a few tips on what clothes to bring to your family photoshoot shoot. Below are some things to remember and recommendations to get he most out of it. These are simply suggestions that we have come up with. You might like to look at Pinterest and make a mood board to get the best out of your session.

The Rule of Threes

In the photography world we work on the rule of thirds and in terms of clothing we recommend a similar rule, the rule of threes. An ideal world we see you bring 3 changes of clothes. These can be categorised loosely as casual, smart casual and glamorous, although can of course be variations on these theme. Please remember that this is merely a guide.

You could always bring your pj’s, a pair of sunglasses, a ballet tutu, your sports kit or your favourite dress up! If you have specific ideas about themed shots let us know. Why not bring your heals, your mum’s heals or failing that have a rummage in our dress up box!

House Beautiful

When thinking about themes for your session, remember to look at where the frame will be mounted on the wall. Will the colours that you have chosen for little billy match with the colour theme of your living room, kitchen or entrance hall? We do ask you to take a shot of your preferred hanging space before you come back for your viewing, so by having this in mind before your shoot, you would be one step ahead.


Having a gentle colour theme for your photoshoot is a great idea. Especially with large groups. Please remember that you don’t necessarily need to be ‘matchy-matchy’ and that in some cases this can look quite contrived.

If someone (ie Grandma) is wearing a bold pattern, why not dress the rest of the group in more solids. You can then try to have one or more of the colours from the “star” outfit feature on each other person for consistency and to create your theme.

A coordinating colour palette (which does not mean the same colour) can add a real “on trend” look to your wall portrait. Throwing in a check or a strip always helps to bring a theme together if you’re struggling.

Layer Upon Layer

Layers and textures add depth to your photos. When shopping for your clothing, look for clothes and accessories with simple detailing – embroidery, tweed, ribbons, etc. or layer pieces to add dimension and texture. The texture is especially important if you want a lot of black and white shots, which naturally need more visual depth and detail than colour images.

Also, because you’ll want to keep the pace going during your session, layering is a great way to make quick, convenient outfit changes – so pull off the sweater, slip on the vest and you’ve got a whole new look! Just remember that big fluffy jumpers can add pounds to the final images, so silks and cottons will be better to flatter your figure.

Nothing Else to Wear

If you really have ‘nothing to wear’, then a simple plain white shirt / t-shirt / blouse is perfect for everybody. And don’t worry, if anyone forgets, we have spares! Bring a dark top too if you have one – black, grey or navy – just plain without logos. We can always make it black and white if they are different tones. And if you do forget to loose the logo, then we’ll turn it inside out … where there’s a will there’s a way!!

Kids Will be Kids

Kids naturally run, skip, dance and jump around during photo sessions – they’re kids! To avoid unnecessary aggravation, let them be comfortable in the clothes and opt for apparel that accentuates their natural energy. Skirts, hats, scarves, and knitted sweaters allow for natural movement, so when the kids start getting wild, their clothes will look even better.

And just this once let the little darlings choose one of their outfits. It’s one less thing for you to think about. And yes, it might not be your choice, but it will create the fun element. Footy kit, dress up or just their favourite dress. It doesn’t have to go on the wall in the living room, but might look ace in their bedroom.

Don’t Leave it to the Last Minute

Timeless styling is key, but takes some effort to create. Please have a think about what to wear in good time – don’t leave it to the last minute. You’ll have these images for generations so don’t regret your choices. Have some fun planning the outfits. Be classic, be glamorous or be creative and completely outrageous. The choice is yours. Have a look at some of our Galleries to get some ideas.

Of course if you have further questions about styling then we would love to hear from you. Contact us here or give us a call on 0114 4040898 and we would be happy to help.

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Would recommend Chrysalis Photography to anyone. Friendly and thoughtful, what could have been a disaster with a 2yr old turned out to be fun and the end result is fab 5 stars from us.

Hannah Nettleship

Chrysalis Photography

The Stable Courtyard,

Renishaw Hall,

Sheffield, Derbyshire

S21 3WB