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What to Wear for Your Summer Family Photoshoot (17+ Outfit Ideas!)

Family photos aren’t just for the holidays, the summertime can also be a great time to schedule a summer family photoshoot!

You can capture these in your hometown or on vacation. And yes, you can still use these photos for your holiday cards.

What’s more, if you love the idea of taking family photos outside but live someplace that’s typically snowy in the fall and winter, taking your family photos in the summer will allow you to get out without freezing!

It’s also generally easier to plan family photos in the summer; kids are typically out of school and professional photographers have more availability.

So the next big question is: What to wear for your summer family photo session? Don’t fret; I’ve rounded up some great examples + cute outfits to shop for in today’s post.

But First, A Few Top Tips….

Gather Your Inspo

Like any major photoshoot, you’ll first want to gather some inspiration. That’s where posts like this come in handy!

You can also create a Pinterest board with looks that inspire you. Share this with your family photographer so they can give you even more tips and ideas on how this will work in your setting.

Create a Collage

This may be a bit of an advanced step, but it’s super helpful! If you can, you can create a mood board using a free tool like Canva so you can visually see what all of your outfits look like together.

I created one myself for our fall family photos before I really knew how to make decent collages. It gave me a great idea what the final product would look like! Here is the result from that shoot:

What to wear for family pictures outside | family of 4 standing in Arizona desert for family photos, woman in gold sequin skirt | lifewithmar.com

If you aren’t tech-savvy and don’t want to create a digital collage, you can still do this the old fashioned way. Just lay out all your outfits on the bed and see how well they do or don’t work together!

Prep for the Big Day

I’ll be the first to admit that taking family photos can be hard, even in the summer months! There are just a lot of people and little things to coordinate.

To help ensure everyone is happy, keep these quick tips in mind:

  • Try to time your shoot so everyone is well-rested
  • If you have little ones with you, keep the photoshoot brief!
  • Don’t forget the snacks.
  • Bring an extra layer if it tends to be chilly in the mornings or evenings
  • Get outdoors! Take advantage of that natural light in the summer months.
  • Mom: Get your makeup professionally done. It makes a HUGE difference, takes the pressure off of you and you’ll be much happier with the results.

Cute Family Photo Outfit Ideas for Summer


You 100% cannot go wrong with choosing neutral colors for your summer family portraits. A neutral color scheme works in just about any environment–from white sandy beaches to cool forest escapes.

Don’t be afraid to dress your family in different shades of neutrals–it doesn’t have to be all white! Choosing complementary neutral tones adds visual interest to your photos and can be a really great choice.

One of the key ways to pull off this look is to focus on bringing in different textures to each of the outfits.

Neutrals also doesn’t always look the same. Case in point: This overall look has more of a boho flair to it. The combination of the fields, the lace dress and hats are what give it that vibe.

If your personal style is more on the casual style, a neutral outfit like this family would be a great one to try. This also works particularly well when shooting outdoors in the summer vs. fall family photos.

In this neutral color scheme, the siblings are somewhat of a pop of color in their pretty peach dresses. It works perfect for this summer vacation photoshoot at the beach.

Earth Tones

Family photoshoot outfit ideas, pink and beige
Photo: Jen Keesee

Although earthy tones are typically something that may remind you of fall family sessions, these warm colors can absolutely work in the summer, too! Keep your location in mind when choosing your outfits as they should complement the environment.

A late summer grassy field or mountain backdrop would work well with earthy tones. Jeans and a T-shirt is a classic look for dad for summer photos.

RELATED: 40+ Of the Best Maternity Dresses for Pictures

Shades of Green

If your summer family pictures are in a grassy area or orchard, try outfitting the family in shades of green! Incorporate a few neutrals as well, like the photo above featuring a little boy in a white top and green shorts.

Shades of Blue

Taking summer family photos while on vacation is something the whole family can get behind. And, it’s a great way to commemorate your trip!

If you’re beach-bound, choosing outfits in shades of blue is absolutely a timeless look.

Remember, you don’t have to go all out in blue. In the photo above, only some family members are in blue, while mom’s dress is white.

RELATED: What to Wear for Family Photos Outside

Summer family photoshoot, blue and white outfits
Photo: Jose Villa

The blue + neutrals color scheme also works really well for summer family photos at the lake.

Remember, there’s no need to be matchy matchy when it comes to your photo shoot. Complementary colors and patterns will create a beautiful look.

Floral Patterns

If you want to look beyond solid colors, incorporate a little bit of print into your outfit plans like floral patterns! Florals scream summer, after all, and can be another great way to add visual interest to your pictures.

When choosing prints, be sure that the other family members are in outfits with solid colors that incorporate some of the same shades of the print.

RELATED: The Best Tips on Taking Family Photos with a Toddler

Bold Black

Family photoshoot, black outfits
Photo: Jaclyn Roth

It used to be that no professional photographer would recommend black for family photos, but it’s definitely becoming a bold and popular choice!

This works especially well if you like moody photos that are still lovely and interesting. Family photos in darker colors are timeless and can work in the summer or even fall.

Blue Jeans

Summer family portraits almost always conjures up images of everyone dressed in a white shirt plus blue jeans outfit. Of course, you can modernize this by adding in some pattern and not being so matchy-matchy!

In this case, the girls donned lovely dresses while the boys kept it casual in jeans and nice polos.

Pretty Pastels

Photography by Tasha Rose

When it comes to spring family sessions, you can’t go wrong with pastels. What’s more, pastels work really well together!

This lovely family photo shoot mixes shades of blue and a beautiful peach. The yellow flowers add even more color to the photo and it all works really well together.

Bright Colors

If you love bright colors, summer is an excellent time of year to bust them out! And bright colors are especially on-trend for summer 2022. If you can get the entire family on board with this idea, even better!

What’s more, incorporating these bold and vibrant colors into your family photoshoot makes for an overall happy and cheerful look.

RELATED: 40+ Of the Cutest Maternity Outfits for Pictures

More Tips for Picking out the Perfect Summer Family Photoshoot Outfits

Tip #1: Dress yourself first!

This is really key and the most important tip of them all. Once mom is taken care of and finds that perfect outfit, you can dress the rest of the family in a coordinating color palette.

Tip #2: Stay away from fussy looks.

If your little girl is going to throw her headband in the grass or your little boy pitches a fit because he hates bowties, everyone suffers. Make sure the family is comfortable and you’ll get better photos.

Tip #3: Avoid matchy-matchy looks.

Remember that white T-shirt + blue jeans look I mentioned above? Keep it in the 80s. You’ll want clothes and colors that complement each other but don’t match exactly.

Where to Shop for Summer Family Photoshoot Outfits

Petal & Pup

Take some of the stress off of shopping for your family photoshoot outfit and try some of these go-to retailers for beautiful outfits:

  • Rent the Runway: This is one of my personal go-tos as I don’t have to buy an outfit for an occasion that I won’t wear again—I can just rent it!
  • Petal & Pup: This online boutique is full of unique outfits that are perfect for photoshoots.
  • Chicwish: If you have a feminine aesthetic (or love a dramatic midi or maxi skirt) then Chicwish is an excellent store to try.

Taking Family Photos on Summer Vacation

Some people choose to take family photos on summer vacation, which is a great idea! But has its own challenges. To make the most of this and make sure things go smoothly, keep these tips in mind.

  • Stalk your Photographer on Instagram to get an idea of where they shoot and the look and feel of the location.
  • Don’t have a photographer? Connect with one on Flytogropher! Or ask family and friends for a recommendation.
  • Bring a travel steamer for your outfit.
  • Relax and have fun! Vacation photos can be a great way to memorialize your trip and are lovely on holiday cards, too.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post of summer family photoshoot outfits! If you like posts like this, let me know in the comments below so I know to post more like this!

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