There is just something so special about summer family portraits. The sun is shining, the grass is green, winter is a distant memory, the sunsets are amazing. If you’re beginning to decide what to wear for summer family photos, here are some ideas to consider:
Choose a Color Palette
A lot of times, families will choose two colors to plan with. While that is a step in the right direction, you may want to consider incorporating more colors into your palette. For example, let’s say you decide to go with white and navy as your primary colors. If there are five members in your family, that’s a LOT of white and navy. If you introduced two other accent colors, maybe gold and blush pink, you can add accessories and pops of other colors that help break up the primary colors.
Muted colors are always encouraged, especially in the summer. Lighter colors tend to photograph more beautifully (and show off sweat stains way less). Don’t shy away from patterns either! Light patterns, especially florals, can be really flattering and complement the colors your family is wearing nicely.
I’ll be the first to admit, I had never heard of the X pattern until I became a photographer. The X pattern put simply: imagine a family picture with four family members. If you drew a line connecting the primary color palette, it would ideally make an X.
In order for this to happen, some family members will wear the primary color on the top, others on the bottom. If navy is your primary color, maybe Dad is wearing Navy pants, the son is wearing a navy shirt, the daughter is wearing a navy skirt and Mom is wearing a navy dress with a white cardigan over it. Two family members have the dominant color on top, while two have it on the bottom. This is where the color palette is especially helpful. That is a lot of navy! If this family then introduced another color or two, it would add a lot of variety and depth to the picture.
Dressing for Summer
One of my favorite things about summer is I can get away with wearing maxi dresses all the time. Maxi dresses have a way of slimming everyone down. Add a belt? Amazing. You can find great dresses at Baltic Born or Free People that are comfortable, yet give off a dressy vibe. Mom, take advantage of that! Summer accessories, like wide-brimmed hats, can add a fun touch to your summer family portraits as well.
Don’t Forget about the Heat
One other thing to keep in mind when planning what to wear for summer family photos is the heat. A lot of families plan their wardrobe in the spring, when it isn’t as hot. Remember to avoid dark clothes where sweat stains will show, especially on Dad. You may even want to plan to put on a shirt when you arrive at the location just to avoid this. I always carry a changing tent in my car, so if anyone in your family wants to wait to change until we get on location, you are more than welcome to do so.
And finally, the best part about summer: shoes are optional! The barefoot vibe is just a comfortable, intimate vibe and don’t be afraid to rock it. If the adults feel more comfortable in shoes but the little ones want to kick them off, I’m here for it.
These are just a few tips for helping you decide what to wear for summer family photos.
Are you planning a summer family session this year? August is one of my favorite months to shoot, especially if you are looking for a gorgeous sunset session. Here are some of last year’s sessions to get an idea of what a golden hour shoot might look like.