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What NOT to Wear!


The wrong shoes

Think comfort over heels (talking to you mom!).  Wear something that you can easily and comfortably move around in.  We will be walking, playing, and moving during the session.  I don’t want you to trip, or focus more on your shoes than your family. 😉


Also think about style and if the shoes reflect your clothing style.  Neon sneakers are going to stand out like a sore thumb when your little dude is wearing earth tone clothes.  Think about the environment too!  If we are at the beach, or photographing in your home, ditch the shoes!  It will make more sense and look more natural.  


Below are photos with some great footwear (or lack there of)!





Avoid wearing clothing that you can’t easily, comfortably move around in

This is important! You’ll be lifting up the kids during the session, playing with them, walking around…test those clothes out at home first.  Swing the kids up, and if it feels awkward at all, keep looking!  For the Moms out there, let’s talk about dresses and skirts. I recommend long dresses/skirts because not only do they photograph amazing, but you can freely move around in them.  You don’t have to worry about covering up anything when you sit down!  If your bra strap keeps showing, consider ditching the bra and wearing pasties instead.  Anything to make your session easier and more comfortable, do it!


Do not wear the wrong pattern

Don’t wear a pattern that’s too big, it overwhelms the subject. On the other hand, you don’t want a tiny pattern if the colors are too contrast-y (a light and a dark color together). For example, tiny checker patterns and thin stripes have a really odd effect when photographed.

Please, no matching outfits

I know it was a fad for a while to wear matching outfits/patterns but it really is best to add a variety of colors and patterns to your overall look. If you stumble across mommy and me outfits or matching sibling outfits… just keep looking! The main reason for this is that anyone wearing the same color is going to blend into each other. It's better to have separation between people so you can see who is who. If you want to wear the same color as someone else in your family, just pick a different shade so there is a difference. 


Skip the turtlenecks

Let that neckline show!  When you cover the neck area is not very flattering and can look bulky.  If we’re photographing during colder months, wear layers to keep warm instead!  Be careful of scarves too, as your neckline can easily vanish. Let’s see that neck!  

Here is a great example of WHAT to show:



Avoid super dark colors or black

Personally, I love wearing black, but when it comes to photos, I strongly recommend reconsidering this color.  It has the ability to fade you into the background and cast a dark shadow on your skin (yikes, no thanks!).  So if you like darker colors, try something in the browns, greys, or dark olive 


Ha!  Now avoid White and Brights!

And on the opposite end, wearing super bright white is also a bit jarring. It can cast bright spots onto faces in certain light, or look blue rather than white. Off-white and cream are great, though, and also white lace is fine because it has so much texture.

Neon! Please, no. 😂


For the Dads, nothing too formal

It’s a photo session, not a job interview!  Keep Dads happy and comfortable in clothes they can move around in, play with the kids in and just feel like themselves.  Avoid blazers, ties, business shirts and pants…instead think more like layers with sweaters, texture in knits, solid earth tone colors.  I recommend Henley shirts, as those are casual, classic and great fitting on guys.


Avoid logos, characters, and words on clothing like the plague

Keep the focus on you and not the clothes!  Be mindful of words, logos, characters when choosing your outfits as they can be distracting and your eye will naturally lead to that spot. 


Don’t forget about the little things!

Before the session, double check for the small things that sometimes we forget:

-Anything in the pockets

-Scrunchies and hair-ties on wrists

-Food on kids faces or in teeth

-Watches (they just really stand out)

Don’t be anybody else, but yourself!

Draw upon your own personalities and reflect that into your outfits as much as you can. Not a dress kind of girl, think of details that can add interest and style to your photos like a sheer kimono, or statement jewelry.  Your girls aren’t into frilly dresses, but them in some cool pants or romper.  Your boy’s favorite color is yellow, think of ways to add pops of color into his outfit.  These photos are yours, this is your family!  The goal is to show your true self, however that looks.

That's It!

Hopefully by knowing what not to wear, it’ll help you narrow down outfits that will work for the session!  For more styling tips, visit my
What to Wear page.  There’s a link to my client closet (coming soon!) and lots of stores I recommend for all family members.

mother sitting at the base of tree with toddler boy in her lap and daughter wrapped around her arms, sunset family photo session, sonoma county, santa rosa, lifestyle family photographer for northern california Diana Jex Photography
Lifestyle family photo of mom leaning on tree, baby daughter on ther lap, lifestyle family photographer in sonoma, marin and napa county, Diana Jex Photography
lifestyle beach photo session, northern california family photographer, diana jex photography, toddler boy running to the rest of his family on the beach, golden hour family photo session, bodega CA
Lifestyle family photographer for the north bay, boho family photo session, lifestyle photographer for sonoma county, marin county, family of three, baby boy on dad's shoulders, mom in hat, looking up at her baby son
Expecting mom hugging her baby boy during a maternity photo session in sonoma county, lifestyle maternity photographer for northern california, diana jex photography, maternity photo session, north bay, california
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