Tips for Selecting Family Portrait Outfits | Knoxville Family Photographer

I’m so excited to be in the middle of holiday family portrait season.  And, I am so grateful for each of the families that I have had the opportunity to meet this year.  This season has been a huge season of growth for me, both personally and professionally, and I attribute so much of that to incredible families that teach me so much.  🧡

If we have had the chance to chat you likely know that I spent a huge chunk of time on the beautiful beaches of North Carolina, photographing destination weddings and families on vacation.  Year after year, we would have the opportunity to meet 100s of families seeking beach portraits during their time on the island.  It was such a gift!  I could not think of a better way to grow my skill set and learn how to best accommodate different personalities and questions.  With my families move to Tennessee and the rebranding of Westland Farms Studio as a Knoxville Family Photography studio, I have been over-the-moon excited to work off the beaches in these beautiful, deep colored and vibrant areas with greenery and rock and dirt!  It sounds crazy…but, I have loved the change of pace.

There have been changes in my work environment, but one thing has not changed at all- The Common Question of “What to Wear For Family Portraits.”

I actually LOVE this part of the planning process and offer the following advice:

Consider the Season

Be mindful of the temperature, wind, rain, and surrounding environment.  Make certain that everything from clothing to shoes is appropriate for the time of year and temperatures that you will be photographing in.

Limit Visual Distractions

Sometimes it is easier to say what not to wear that what to wear.  😉  Patterns are perfectly fine in group images, but limiting large logos, characters, and a mix of multiple patterns is important.

The Venue Matters

If you are planning what to wear for our time together, I’m certain we’ve spent a little time chatting about the location of your portraits session.  When deciding on outfits for your crew, make sure it fits the environment we will be working in.  For example, stilettos on the farm may not be the best idea…ha!

Decide How You Will Use Your Images

You may find that you want to select a specific color palette or style for your images based on a room you will hang these images in once complete or the fact that you plan to include the pictures in your Christmas card.  While this decision does not have to be set in stone, thinking through your possible uses can help narrow down the attire for your family portraits.

Don’t Think Too Far Outside the Box

It is my experience that children and adults feel far more comfortable in their pictures when the clothing they are wearing is a natural feel.  Certainly feel free to dress-up a bit or be a little more theme-oriented for your family pictures.  But, search for clothing that is similar in fit and style to what your family typically wears.

Start with a Color Palette

We’ve checked off the biggies above, my top recommendations of the Do’s and Don’ts of Dressing for Family Portraits.  So, now what?  It is time to dig through closets and peruse the clothing stores.  I have added some of my favorite Inspiration for Family Portrait Clothing Color Palettes below.  Typically including at least three, but no more than five, colors in your palette works best.

My favorite spot for finding coordinating, but not matching, clothing for my crew?  Old Navy, Hands Down.  For a larger group, this store makes it pretty easy.

I can’t wait to see what you come up with.  And, if you need more help- feel free to call!

~Sarah Keenan, Knoxville Family Photographer

Westland Farms Studio | 865.599.4652

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sarah keenan photographer knoxville asheville wedding family

meet sarah


I have an affinity to all things light and airy.  I love color, sunshine, romance, and laughter.  I love inspirational quotes, meeting new people, flowers, and the idea of finishing a great book.  My go-to drink is coffee.  My outlet is dance.  And, aallllll of my free time is spent with my crew, including our German Shepherd, Gaia.   

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Hi there!  I am Real Estate Photographer, Sarah Keenan.  Raised in East Tennessee and a proud graduate of the University of Tennessee, Knoxville and all that offers runs deep for this gal.  Having worked in photography for over 14 years, I am excited to be back home and working along side folks like you.

As a small business owner, I personally understand the time, effort, and dedication that goes into leading a life as an entrepreneur. I thrive on efficiency.  I am on your team.  I am your Knoxville Real Estate Photographer. 

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