What To Wear for Perfect Summer Family Pictures

Our family just had our summer family pictures taken and WOW was it an adventure. Cue 100 meltdowns before we even left the house and half of them were me… Coordinating family photo outfits can be a headache. After all, if you’re paying for a professional photographer, you want to make sure your outfits are on point! In this post, you’ll learn how to select summer family photo outfits!

Summer Family Photo Outfits

My Best Tips For a Family Photo Session:


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Summer Family Photo Outfits

Last year, I posed THIS post all about my top picks for family pictures.

We have 3 kids and over the past few years, we’ve conquered multiple newborn and family sessions. It’s not easy, and most of the time by the end of the session I’m drenched in sweat and ready for a nap. I’ve always prioritized family photos though because as cheesy as it sounds, you’ll never regret having those memories! Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way!

  • Take your pictures at Golden hour(late afternoon- early evening). Any family photographer will recommend this. Golden hour is the best time to get the stunning natural light you dream of for pictures. In the past, I was apprehensive to do this because golden hour happens to be toddler witching hour. This last time though, I decided to try it and WOW was the lighting worth it! The best part is, if you have young children you can put them to bed immediately after the photos! 
  • Pack snacks, a hairbrush, safety pins, bobby pins, and tide-to-go. Within seconds of getting to the shoot, Charlotte had dunked her hands in a mud puddle. If your photo shoot isn’t at home, you don’t want to have a wardrobe emergency and not have a backup. I also always bring a bunch of snacks and candy to use for bribes with my kids.
  • Dress kids/babies at literally the last minute. I mean, seriously. I’ve got my kids dressed in the car before because I knew the outfit would be destroyed.
  • Let your personal style shine through in your pictures. You want these pictures to look like YOU! This post has my recommendations for coordinating outfits but always go with your gut and what you love.
Summer Family Photo Outfits

The Best Family Photo Outfit Ideas

It can be incredibly hard to coordinate so many family members in a way that looks cohesive but not overly matchy-matchy.

Summer Family Photo Outfits

One of the first things to decide when planning your summer family photo outfits is: color scheme. Gone are the days of overly matchy-matchy outfits and now it’s all about selecting clothing in different colors but within the same color scheme!

Color Schemes For a Summer Family Photoshoot

family pics

There are a lot of options for summer family photo outfits, but in general, I veer towards lighter colors in earthy tones. I’m not a huge fan of overly bright colors for a summer shoot. Here are some various options for family photo color schemes.

Neutral Colors

neutral colors

I am a proud beige mama so I always gravitate towards a neutral color scheme. Below is an example of a neutral family maternity photo shoot we did that I absolutely loved! The location for these pictures was perfect because the yellow flowers were the perfect pop of color! 

summer maternity pictures

Warm Colors

warm colors

For our most recent family shoot, I ventured outside of totally neutral and threw in a few more splashes of color in our kids’ outfits! The common denominator here is the warm undertones. Even the soft blue color has warm undertones that really tie all the outfits together. Additionally, the outfits are all in similar or complementary textures like linen and muslin.

family photography poses

Here are all the links to the oufits we are wearing here:

Dark Colors

dark colors

Dark colors aren’t my favorite for summer family photoshoots but if you are set on darker outfits for the whole family, you can definitely pull it off! Below is an example of some photos we did for a newborn shoot in darker colors. Obviously, this was a fall photo shoot but the color combo can still work for summer.

family photo poses

Earth Tones

earth tones

Earth tones are great options for a twist on neutral with a bit more color. I love earth tones for creating interest and dimension. Remember when doing earth tones, you don’t have to stick to just beiges! You can incorporate sage green, soft yellow, robins egg blue, and even soft mauvy pink shades!

Summer Family Photo Outfits

How To Create a Cohesive Look For Family Portraits

Summer Family Photo Outfits

Regardless of the time of year you are getting your family portraits taken, you want the whole family to have the perfect outfits to create a cohesive look. Long gone are the days of overly matching “Olan Mills” outfits. In 2023, it’s all about selecting outfits that “go”, not “match”.

Here are my top tips for selecting outfits that are cohesive but not matchy-matchy:

  1. Mix different shades within the same color wheel. Check out the color swatches I included above for ideas.
  2. For every 1 pattern print, have 2 solid colors. So, if you have a family of 3, 2 people should be fairly neutral, 1 person should have a patterned outfit. This is a rough guideline and obviously, it varies with how many people are in your family.
  3. Incorporate floral patterns and stripes or checks. You don’t have to stick to one pattern. I love mixing florals and stripes! 
  4. Incorporate different textures. Textures are so key to creating INTERESTING photos. It amazes me how much textures come through in photography. My favorite textures for summer are linen and muslin!

Top Picks for Mom’s Outfit

Every body type is different and every mom will attest to feeling more comfortable in a certain style than another. That said, certain dresses tend to photograph better than others. I’ve found I much prefer the look of feminine, flowy dresses for family photos over a tighter bodycon style. In a tighter dress, I’m always worried that I need to be sucking in, aware of how it’s fitting throughout the shoot which makes me look less relaxed and natural.

The most important thing is to wear something that makes you feel beautiful! That confidence will always shine through in photos. Here are a few beautiful options for dresses for mom for a summer family photoshoot:

Summer Family Photo Outfits
  1. Free People Freya Maxi Dress- $250
  2. Madewell Linen Mini Dress- $97.99
  3. Madewell Denim Jumpsuit- $148
  4. Abercrombie Silk midi Dress- $120 (I own this dress also and it is VERY flattering)
  5. Lulu’s Floral Brown dress- $41.60 (My dress in photos! Wearing size small)
  6. Abercrombie Floral Dress- $120

Top Picks for Dad’s Outfit

Dad’s outfit is infinitely easier to pick than moms (If you have a picky husband, I’m sorry!). I usually keep my husband’s outfits very simple. You can’t go wrong with a white shirt and blue jeans, a black V-neck tee, or a linen shirt with chinos. I try to have my husband’s outfit complement my own. So, if I have a busier floral pattern on, I’ll keep him in a solid color or a subtle stripe shirt.

Summer Family Photo Outfits
  1. Madewell Seersucker Shirt- $70
  2. Abercrombie Light Wash Straight Jean- $70
  3. Abercrombie Premium Heavyweight tee- $40
  4. Vintage Sweater Polo- $60
  5. Linen blend button down- $60 (Nate’s shirt for pictures)
  6. Madewell retro reeboks- $90

My Favorite Organic, Fair-Trade Kids Clothing

All of the kid’s clothing I’m linking today is from one place… Dannie and Lilou! These clothing items are offered in sizes 0-3 mo through 7-8 years.

I first discovered this little shop a few years ago on Etsy. Dannie and Lilou is a female-owned and run boutique that sells mainly linen baby and kids outfits. The outfits are made out of amazingly high-quality linen and other durable fabrics. They are hand sewn by local seamstresses in Kyiv, Ukraine!

When I first saw the price tag on these outfits I was hesitant but let me tell you, the quality is worth it! These are 100% heirloom pieces that can be handed down to kids and grandkids! Also, the fit of these outfits is unlike any other clothing I’ve bought for my kids. They are obviously such great quality and totally worth the splurge in my opinion.

little boy organic fair trade romper

Another awesome thing about Dannie and Lilou is the outfits are customizable. You can pick whatever material you want from their large selection and then select the style you love best. The options are endless.

I’m not an affiliate with Dannie and Lilou, I just genuinely LOVE the clothing. Also, if you want a surge of dopamine, check out their Instagram!

Baby Outfit Ideas

baby girl bubble romper organic and fair trade

I could shop for baby outfits for days. For this post, I’m linking only my favorite items from Dannie and Lilou for babies! Keep the baby in a simple outfit that doesn’t require a lot of fuss or adjusting. During warmer weather, I opt for something cool and relaxed. Make sure you pick an outfit that goes with the overall look you want. 

One of my favorite types of outfits to show off baby thigh rolls are these adorable romper bubbles:

Summer Family Photo Outfits
  1. Rose Colored Romper- $50
  2. Vintage Rainbow linen bubble- $50 (Hattie’s romper in photos)
  3. Tank Jumpsuit- $50
  4. Gingham linen romper with Peter pan collar- $50
  5. Mustard yellow plaid bubble- $50
  6. Short sleeve linen gender-neutral bubble- $45

Little Girl Outfit Ideas

little girl summer outfits

​During the summer months, there is no shortage of adorable dresses for your little girl!

Check out my top picks for little girl’s summer outfits below:

Summer Family Photo Outfits
  1. Pink peter pan collar dress- $60.00
  2. Betsey Boo ruffle dress- $60.00 (Charlotte’s dress from the pictures)
  3. Pink plaid square neck gingham dress- $60
  4. Curved hemline linen dress- $60
  5. penstemon road short sleeve dress- $60.00
  6. Mustard linen boho dress- $65.00

Little Boy Outfit Ideas

Summer Family Photo Outfits

I find little boy outfits to be a bit trickier. There just are not as many options as for girls which makes this boy-mom a bit salty at times! However, as my son gets a little older (he’s 5 now), I’ve found dressing him similarly to his Dad seems to go well with the rest of the family outfits.

I usually go for a white top and blue jeans or for our most recent shoot I chose a solid color in a linen texture from Dannie and Lilou. If you have all boys, be sure to mix in some patterns! Stripes and paisleys are some of my fave patterns for boys.

Summer Family Photo Outfits
  1. Mustard Linen Tank Overalls- $50
  2. Latte Linen Jumpsuit- $50
  3. Beige Gingham jumpsuit- $55
  4. Green smoke harem short + top– $70 (set)
  5. Beige linen wrap romper- $50
  6. Latte Linen top- $35 and pants $40

Enjoy Selecting Your Summer Family Photo Outfits!

The most important thing to remember is to have fun and enjoy the memories you are creating with your loved ones! I hope this post was helpful in selecting your summer family photo outfits! What are your favorite tips and tricks for family pictures? Let me know below!

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  1. Such great tips! I’ve never even heard about Golden hour before…I can’t wait to take some family photos now and see how they turn out!! You have such a lovely family. Thanks for sharing!

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