What to Wear for Summer Family Pictures

You've chosen the best time of year to update your family's photographs, and now it is time to think about what everyone will wear! Thankfully during this time of year you have some flexibility and temps aren't usually a problem. Yes, of course we have hot days. BUT we prefer to shoot in the early mornings or evenings anyway, which means temperatures are tolerable. And the Summer has less rain and wind than a typical Fall or Spring day.


Dresses for Summer Pictures

Dresses are a classic look for Summer family pictures. You have options of long skirts or something above the knee. For kids, dresses are great as they allow for movement, twirling, and playing, but dress up their look just a bit. For teens and moms, it can elevate the entire look of the group by making it slightly dressier than a typical Saturday morning.

Galena family picture of girls with parents dressed up in front of floral bushes

The other thing I love about dresses is that they can add a pop of color, texture, or pattern, or interest in the photos. It is usually easy to find a dress with a floral pattern or multiple colors. Then you can simply base everyone else's outfits off of that dress by choosing a solid color for each other person from the pattern of the dress. The dress can be the piece that pulls it all together! Here's a great example of that:

family dressed up for family picture wearing dresses and button up shirt


Shorts for Summer Photos

Nothing says Summer like a pair of shorts! This is the one time of year that it is fitting to wear shorts, and can be a great compromise for Dad's that don't love to have their photo taken. At least they know they can be comfortable! Grey or khaki are great colors that will keep your aesthetic looking nice but also match pretty much any top from anyone.

Family photo sitting on steps in Dublin ohio

Worried about shorts showing off the bruises that illustrate a busy Summer playing outdoors? We get it! Kids play hard, ours included, and that often results in scraped knees, bug bites, and bruises particularly on the shins. For the most part, we can reduce or remove these temporary marks as a standard part of our editing (but if you are reading this and NOT working with us, you absolutely want to check on that!).


Summer Polo Shirts

A lightweight, solid color polo is a traditional choice for Summer photos, and with good reason. These can be chosen to match a patterned dress that another family member is wearing, or chosen in the same color for multiple boys as long as they are young enough to let you dress them alike. We like that these are comfortable and easy to move in, available in every color, and that they are a little dressier than a plain T.

what to wear boys in polo shirts


Sandals or Barefoot

Something that is unique to the Summer season in Central Ohio is the ability to go barefoot or wear sandals for your photography session. Believe it or not, the footwear you choose can go a long way toward the look of your images. For example, if you wear a sundress and go barefoot, it gives a casual & laid-back late Summer afternoon feeling! This is perfect for dancing in the grass, standing in a field of flowers, or stepping into the creek to wade in the water a bit. But if you wear a sundress and high heels, you may stick to a walking path or brick sidewalk.



Coordinate Your Family

One of the most important parts of preparing for family photographs is to have your family coordinated. This means not only with the color scheme chosen but the level of dress as well. For example, everyone should be causal, Sunday dressy, or formal. It makes less sense to have one family member in a graphic tee and another in a nice dress.


In terms of pulling colors together, I recommend taking the busiest outfit to start and pulling a solid color from that outfit for everyone else. For example, a dress with blue, pink, and grey means everyone else can wear a solid grey shirt with blue shorts, a pink top with grey shorts, or a grey dress, for example.



Summer family picture what to wear showing dresses and coordinated family picture

Another example would be if someone was wearing a plaid button up shirt and everyone else chooses a color from that plaid shirt to wear as a solid color. For smaller families I recommend no more than 2-3 main colors. For extended families, 3-4 main colors and a couple accents works.


Summer family picture of family of 5 coordinated outfits blue and white

Still Need Help?

I am here along the way to make sure you know everything you need to plan for your session day! I can help you coordinate outfits or give you feedback on what looks best. Our client prep page or galleries may give you some additional ideas! Get in touch to plan your session now!



Recent Posts

See All