What to wear at your outdoor family photo shoot, Northern Ireland

At home family, Family, Outdoor Locations

What to Wear at your Outdoor Family Photo Shoot

I am a Northern Ireland Family Photographer not a stylist.  For the past few years i have frozen writing this blog.  I mean my sense of style is eclectic if we are being kind and bizzare if we are calling a spade a spade.

Believe me when i tell you that. My beautiful friend Alison that asks me on a daily basis

what on earth are you wearing?

However over the years i have come to realise what photographs well! So ive decided to attempt to pull up a ‘What to Wear’ guide for my families that are always asking for helpful hints.  Ive also pulled together a guide of helpful hints for an outdoor photoshoot you should have a wee nosey at it too CLICK HERE.

So here we go, what should i wear or not wear ?

1. Pick something comfy

Always always start with what you feel comfortable in.  If you dont feel comfortable then it really does show in the photographs.  The tense look when the camera turns on you is hard to shift if your main thought is “am i going to look ok in this?”  So start with something comfy.  If its jeans / dresses / trousers – pick your favourite and that will be your base colour palette for everyone else.

If youve decided that its jeans then the entire wheel below is open to you. Jeans tend to be timeless, bellbottoms aside, so you can work with the entire colour wheel for your base colour.


Northern Ireland Family Photographer What to Wear to your photoshoot colour wheel


TAKE AWAY POINT – go with something comfy and timeless – NORTHERN IRELAND FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER


2.  What to avoid

Huge prints, block stripes, logos & slogans are generally a no no on a family shoot. You can find that it can quickly look like a GAP commercial.  They will draw the eye away from what we are trying to capture, your connection as a family.  Im always on the look out for your connections, big slogans can steal the limelight away from you.  Also avoid one person wearing one big bold bright colour, this will bring the eye to that colour straight away.

However i do find that an element of spots / strips along with a matching block colour of the same tone can add a bit of depth and variety.  These extra elements allow you to show a bit of personality and not this neutral bland canvas.  Every family is different, we want to celebrate that. Dont go down the  neutral route show me your personality !!  Please please avoid white teeshirts & jeans. This works for minimal locations and can become bland very quickly.

Kids especially have such a beauitful selection of fun clothes, if its in the wardrobe and they love wearing it then go for it.  If you are going to introduce patterns into your tops then, block them with a single colour, either another layer or trousers / jeans.

Mel Hudson Family Photographer Newtownabbey, Northern Ireland

The girls look so bright & colourful here, beautiful !




TAKEAWAY POINT – avoid big logos, big bright colours & block your patterns

3. Make up / hair stylist

Depending upon the family photoshoot you are after, will depend if you are getting make up. Do you normally wear make up? If you do then go for it, dark smoky eyes can be hard to photograph as they tend to blend your whole eye together, so go for light, day, natural.

Fake tan has to come in here.  This can be a super sensitive point to make so im going to say it really quickly and then move on. For it to work you need to read it really fast as well.  So here it goes – too much fake tan can make you look orange in the photos, especially beside your little humans.

Ok breathe, its hard to find a right way to say this. But orange knuckles are the worst to try and tone down especially if they are holding your little human.  So take it down 1 or 2 shades for the photo shoot and i promise it will result in you looking natural beside your family.

TAKEAWAY POINT – keep it light & natural, tone down the fake tan
4.  Where are we having the family photoshoot

As a Northern Ireland Family Photographer i have the joy of exploring nooks & cranys all over our little island.  If we are going with a beach shoot then you will want to keep it light & loose.  The colours at the beach are on the brown & hopefully blue tones. So lets look at another colour wheel –

what to wear to your outdoor family photoshoot northern ireland

Brown & blue are at the opposite side of the wheel, so complimentary colours will be either side of your browns or blues.  So colours that suit beach shoots are blue, purple, greens & pastels.  This will avoid you blending into the back ground.


Mel Hudson Family Photographer Whitepark Bay, Portush, BELFAST Photographer Carrickfergus 3





This family shoot was perfectly styled. Firstly it matched their personalities wonderfully & then also for the beach location.






Northern Ireland family photographer, Lady Dixon Gardens family shoot


If we are shooting in gardens, parks then green will normally be the predominant colour. So what colour suits a family photoshoot in Lady Dixon Gardens?  Lets look at the colour wheel again, red, purple, yellow, orange & blue will look lovely in a garden / park shoot.  Pastel tones are wonderful as they are lovely & soft against the green green of Northern Ireland




Mel Hudson Family Photography Northern Ireland


Autumn Colour Sessions provide you with the most gorgeous backdrop of reds, yellows & oranges.  The colours that stand our here are the yellows & burgundy’s , they just jump of of the picture at you.





TAKEAWAY POINT – think about the colours of your environment and pick a colour to compliment it.

M x


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