Bellingham Family Session

What to wear to your family session | Bellingham Photographer

I always get asked a lot of questions about what to wear for sessions, and I love when my clients want help, because what you wear really does make a difference!

I have a client prep guide that I send out when a session is booked, that covers tips and tricks for all of the sessions I shoot. I thought I would share some of those tips here, too!

Here we go.

Dress for the environment

I shoot my family sessions in many different environments, in many seasons. I think what you wear for your session should reflect the environment, so you don’t look out of place, and so you are comfortable.

Some outdoor examples: field, beach, mountains, urban, garden nursery.


If we’re shooting in a field, during the summer/fall time, I suggest lighter colors to match the season. Dresses are always nice, summery, and playful.

Tips: when shooting in a location with lots of greenery, I suggest avoid wearing clothes with lots of green. You want to stand out, and not blend into the environment.


Here is an example of outfits that would be great for summer or fall! To make it more summery, I would trade out the male shirt for a lighter color.


Here is an example of darker clothing, with pops of color, and still season appropriate!

And here is an example of coordinating outfits, without feeling “matchy”



Beach sessions are so fun, and there are many different ways you can approach your attire.
This past year I have been encouraging my families to play more, and feel free to get dirty and enjoy themselves. Depending on whether or not you want to get in the water, what you wear can vary.

Beach sessions have become really popular with my clients, and I love it. My clients have made their own personal touch, and that is exactly what I want for them. I love giving suggestions, but at the end of the day, I want you to look like YOU! Some clients love having their little boys shirtless, everyone barefoot, and they’re not afraid to get dirty. Others may want a more “traditional” look for their outfits, and they want to be near the water, but not get wet. It really depends on what you want!


Wearing something with a pop of color is great when there are less colors at the location we’re shooting!

If your session is at the beach, come prepared to get your feet wet, even if you don’t plan on playing in the water. Most locations will require some walking in sand, rocks, and there is always the chance you’ll get a little wet! I say embrace it and plan on being barefoot.


Wearing colors that are similar to the environment, but still with colors/textures that pop is great. I don’t do a ton of sessions in the mountains, so I’ll attach some examples from Pinterest!

I am loving all of these outfits, and they could be for any session! - love the pop of color in the women’s dress. - darker tones for naturally rich location. - these rich warm colors are gorgeous. - these outfits are so fun! - love the coordinating outfits that are still unique! - a great option for a mountain session!

Tips: beanies, sweaters, and boots look great for mountain sessions. Or, you can do more traditional with dresses. I highly recommend checking out the links above.


I love urban sessions, especially when I am wanting a change of scenery, and a fun/edgy feel!

Outfit ideas for urban sessions vary, just like all family sessions.

Tips: you can have more fun with shoes! With the ground being even, you have less to worry about, and you can have fun with heels, booties, etc.

I love layers. I think they photograph so well, and they are just fun! Hats, jackets, and fun shoes.

Garden nursery

A garden nursery is such a fun and beautiful place for photos! It is a great option for spring time when there is a lot of rain!

How to dress for these sessions is pretty simple, and similar to what I would suggest for other locations. Rather than listing tips, I will just share some photos so you have an idea of what this type of session would look like.

Tips and tricks

I include plenty of tips and tricks in my prep guide, so I’ll just keep this part simple!

  • Avoid neon colors. They reflect on your skin and it is basically impossible to edit out!

  • Your shoes do matter. I ask that you avoid tennis shoes, because they really dress-down an outfit, and they can be distracting in photos. Converse are fine, and a nice looking tennis shoe. I am mostly talking about your typical tennis shoe!

  • Avoid too many different patterns of clothing. A really common clothing choice for men/boys is plaid, and sometimes it is fine, but other times not-so-much. It just really depends on the style of plaid, and what everyone else is wearing!

  • If you’re not a dress wearing person (I think I own two dress), that is totally fine. A more casual look is still gorgeous!

  • Letting each person have their own look is great, and helps you see each person individually in photos.

  • You still want to look like yourself! If you want help making your look showcase your personality, I am happy to give some suggestions on how to do this!

  • If you have a small baby, less is more when it comes to their clothing. Try to avoid clothing that will get pulled up, or is too bulky. One piece outfits are great!

Where to shop

I am going to share some of my suggestions for where to shop, but I don’t want anyone to feel it is necessary to go out and buy all new outfits. I just want to help with suggestions in case anyone is looking!

Zara - I loooove Zara for toddler clothes! They have the cutest clothes, and they do have good sales occasionally. They also have great options for mamas, too.

Roolee - This is a great option for dresses for women, at affordable prices! They also have cute kids clothing.

Shop Stevie - Lots of pretty dresses for women, and super affordable kids clothes (when they go on sale)!

Jamie Kay - The cuuutest baby clothes. ‘Nough said.

H&M - This is a great option for more affordable kid clothes.

Thank you for taking the time to read! I hope you found this post helpful!