Children Family Portrait Clothing Guide

Timeless Style for Cherished Family Portraits

How does an idea to capture a fleeting moment in time of your family end up being photographic art for your home?

First it Starts with a Conversation: I’d like to get to know how you are, what your style is and what is important to you and your family. We’ll discuss where you’d like your family portrait created, either in our studio, at your home or on location (beach, park etc.) , and what personal objects or props you’d like to include. Second, we’ll discuss what you’d like to do with your art. Where are you considering putting your wall portraits in your home? Or, are you thinking of grouping a series of framed images or using an image box as an heirloom for your family portraits? Your design session can take place in person, by phone or by Skype.

Our family portrait sessions are relaxed and fun, designed to bring out the best in your family and capture those special moments in your life. Sessions are done on location or in our spacious studio. Your family portrait session can last any where from 1 to 2 hours. During your session you should choose clothing and an activity that represents your daily life experience. We’d rather see you, your children and your family playing with your dog in the park, relaxing at the beach, nesting at home or having a blast at Disneyland in your most comfortable clothes. It’s all about being comfortable and letting your personality shine. Its these slices of life that you want to remember. Depending on the location, outdoor children and family sessions are best done about 2 hours before sunset. I pride myself on my ability to create rapport during your session. Moms, Dads, kids and teenagers, tell me that they have fun during their family portrait session and that I put them at ease.

4 Key Ingredients for a Successful Family Portrait

How does an idea to capture a fleeting moment in time of your family end up being photographic art for your home?

Portrait Design Session & Booking a Time for Your Portrait Session

This is the first step in getting to know each other and what is important to you. Your family portrait design session gives us an opportunity to find out about you and your family and why you have chosen this time to make your family portrait. We’ll also chat where you envision having your family portraits made and if you have a theme in mind? Next, we’ll book a time. If your children are young, its important to consider their happy time. Sessions can last any where from 1 to 2 hours.


Clothing is a key ingredient that can make or break your family portrait session. Marc will make specific suggestions on what colors and textures will work best for your family. Proper clothing choice will enhance eye color, make you look slimmer, and compliment your family’s skin tones.


Together we will decide whether it’s best for you to have your family portrait created on location or in the studio. Where your session is done is important. Location sets a tone and evokes a feeling. If we are doing an on location session, pick a place that has meaning to you. If I’m shooting in my studio, I’ll carefully chose a background color to bring out the natural beauty of your family.

Beautiful Flattering Light

Whether natural or studio lighting, light is an essential ingredient. Light illuminates, shapes, and creates the photographic lusciousness that I’m know for.

“I have no idea what we should wear!”

This is THE MOST COMMON comment I receive from families.
After all, WEARING the RIGHT CLOTHING it is pretty important. Over the years photographing many families, I have a pretty good idea of how to help you look your best and how to accomplish it in a very easy way. The main thing to remember when dressing a group for photographs is to coordinate with complimentary colors, but do not under any circumstances dress like twins. Unless of course you go through most of your life all dressing like twins!

Outdoor Newport Beach kids photo-session with cute knit hat

Ladies Hair & Make-Up

I highly recommend a bit of pampering for your family photo-session. Get your hair professionally blown out or styled. Fingernails: Recommend that you go with clear coat or French tips nails. MakeUp: Have it done professionally. Here’s the thing, unless you are 18 years old and younger, or have near perfect skin, or are a professional makeup artist, having a professional makeup artist apply your makeup for you is a vital part of looking your best for your portrait session.

Looking Good

Show us your personality! Simple patterns and bold colors look great in photos. Choosing a bold color that is similar to your eye color is an awesome choice too. Depending on your skin tone the color you chose to wear can make a huge difference. Add LAYERS and TEXTURE. Think knit or silk scarves (light weight or winter weight), hats, jackets, blazers, ties, denim, knits and corduroy. Long sleeves under short sleeves, leggings under skirts/dresses. Fun shoes like tall boots or sassy heels. A variety of textures will give your photos some extra punch. Be a head turner. Wear the blazer that fits just right. Or that dress that makes you feel like a million bucks. It’s a fact; clothes that make you feel good make you LOOK good. Wear something that makes you want to smile and the fits you perfectly.

Logos, bold patterns and character-wear. Keep your portraits timeless and the focus on your faces, not your clothing, by following the simple rules below….

Pick Clothing that Fits Nicely

Along the same lines, pick clothing that fits nicely. It should be neither too tight (unless you’re a body builder) nor too loose. The clothes should hang on the bodies well, without folding or creasing. And always dress for full-length shots, which means socks and shoes that also match and are in good shape. A lot of times barefoot is best, weather permitting.

For Your Kids

Think personality. Cheerful, fun prints, polka dots, stripes, camo; whatever showcases who they really are. Add some layers and texture (maybe even a tutu, pettiskirt or tie) and voila! Instant photographic art. Most kids aren’t comfortable in formal dress and occasionally it can show in their pictures. So, if you have your heart set on your little angel in a suit and tie or an elaborate party dress, make sure to bring a second outfit that is more casual and comfortable.

Toys & Props for your Kids

We dont’ keep much in the way of toys and props in our studio. My suggestions is to bring along their favorite toys, their favorite stuffed animal or some building blocks, with the alphabet on them, so they can be used to spell out their name. As for the toys, this is a last resort to keep them occupied incase they are clinging for mommy or feel sad. Once they get their hands on their toys, they’ll get very attached to them and it will be hard for them to give them up. I’ve had parents bring in big toy tin airplanes too for their little boys and a tea set for their little girl.

Little Girls

I’m McLov’n tutu’s of all colors. They add just the right amount of girlishness and happiness to any girl’s portrait session. Plus, tutu’s come in all sorts of varieties, and a rainbow of colors.

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