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What to Wear for Fall Family Photos

Updated: Nov 4, 2023

Fall is a favorite time for family portraits, and why wouldn’t it be? The changing leaves create a stunning backdrop and you’ll get your portraits just in time to create the perfect holiday cards. But one of the top questions people ask about when they’re planning fall photography (or any family photography, for that matter) is what to wear. I give all my Bucks County photography clients personalized guidance on choosing their outfits, so here are my top tips for what to wear for fall family photos.


Muted Fall Colors with Neutrals


You want to put together a color scheme of 3-4 colors so your family doesn’t look overly “matchy” but still has a cohesive, complementary look. I recommend choosing one or two core colors and then choosing a few neutrals that complement them.


When choosing your core colors, aim for muted colors as opposed to bright, saturated colors. For example, go for burgundy rather than red, dusty pink instead of fuschia, and burnt orange instead of bright orange. You can complement them with neutrals like cream, tan, and gray.


Simple Yet Quality Pieces


It’s probably not a surprise that you should aim for solid colors and simple patterns rather than busy patterns. You don’t want to take attention away from your family’s lovely faces, so avoid overly complex patterns as well as anything with writing or prominent logos. But one of the lesser-known tips is to make sure your simple pieces use quality fabric. Fabrics like jersey knit or thin cotton don’t lay as well as stronger, higher-quality fabrics.


Fall-Appropriate Layers


Layers can be your best friend for family photos! Layers add some texture to your portraits while also adding more variety to your portraits (because you can take some photos with your layers on and some photos with them off) and giving you an easy way to adjust to the weather. Make sure your layers are fall-appropriate and align with your color scheme. Some fall favorites are cardigans, blanket scarves, denim jackets, and leather jackets.


Comfortable and Seasonal Shoes


I know, ladies, we all love how we look in heels, but for fall family photos, you need to choose your heels wisely. You want shoes that are comfortable enough that your feet won’t be in pain at the end of the session because you’ll be standing for most of the photo shoot and we may have a short walk from your vehicle to the shooting location too. You also don’t want anything that leaves your feet too exposed to the chilly Pennsylvania air, and it’s best to avoid shoes with stiletto or other thin heels because you may sink into the soil.


For ladies, your best bets are fall boots or ankle boots, with a thick or chunky heel if you’d like heels. For the gents, casual dress shoes are perfect.


Planning Your Fall Family Photos


As a family photographer, I’m proud to not only take my clients’ portraits but help with the planning as well to give you an easier, low-stress experience. If you’re due for new family photos, contact Samantha Wilson Photography, and let’s chat!





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