Clothing Ideas

Dressing for family photos can always pose many questions, but dressing for family photos on the beach adds an extra layer of uncertainty.

best clothing ideas for family photoshoots

Outfit choices should complement the natural setting and be comfortable and authentic for the family. Here are a few clothing ideas for dressing a family for pictures on the beach.

Family photo shoot clothing ideas, everyone wearing white in a garden

Nothing Beats All white on the Beach. White dresses, white polo shirts, and white linen all look simple and beautiful against the colors of the sand, water, and sky at the Beach. This works because the bright white pops off the colorful background serve as an added light reflector, and has a clean and timeless look. With the gentlemen all in white and the ladies, the look will be a little more formal, but that does not mean they will be stuffy. Use different textures and materials to give uniqueness to each outfit. Remember to keep undergarments a nude color, so the white clothing does not seem sheer.

White and Khaki or white and tan are wonderful clothes photography ideas

White and khaki or white and tan. Traditionally this look has been more of a matchy-matchy look with white shirts and khaki shorts. While this works very nicely in beach photos, it is easy to coordinate these colors rather than everyone wearing the same outfit. White sundresses for little girls. Tan capri pants and a white sleeveless shirt for mom. Dad can be in a white linen shirt and khaki pants. The boys will look great in cargo shorts and polos. A pop of teal in a hair-bow or a pink necklace is a sweet, colorful addition.

Couple holding hands walking on the beach wearing white and denim

White and denim is another traditional beach option that looks good as matched or coordinated outfits. Put all the guys in jeans and white shirts and all the gals in white capri pants or skirts and denim shirts to mix it up. Blue denim looks beautiful against the sand and beachy sky, and the white helps show off sun-kissed skin. A colorful belt or scarf can help to bring in more personality and fun.

Coordinated pastels. Think about the sunset that will be happening in the background. Think about the beautiful shades of pink, yellow, peach, blue and purple. These soft pastels will look stunning in a family photo if they match the sky. The colors will work together with the natural beauty in the background while giving each person their look. Put dad in a light blue button-up shirt with the sleeves rolled. Mom can wear a peach sundress with a white ribbon belt. Brother will look great in a light green polo shirt and khaki cargo shorts, and the sister will be perfect in a light pink dress with little flowers.

Couple holding hands walking on the beach at sunset time wearing Blue and White

Blue and White. Blue always looks beautiful on the beach. Tell everyone in the family to pick out something blue to wear in the pictures. Blue is one of those colors where the different hues all look great. Plus, allowing everyone to have a say in what they wear will make for one less fight with your teen or toddler, and dear dad will be able to wear his favorite button-up shirt. Do not be afraid of an aqua sundress, a navy and white striped polo, a blue blouse with little pink flowers, and a white and blue checked button-up. It will look fabulous. Pair it all with neutral shorts or pants to complete the look.

Dress it up in black. Even a black knit sundress will look dressed up out on the beach, so to put a "formal" spin on some casual beach pictures, dress the family in black. To keep the look summery and light, think of short sleeves or summer dresses for the girls and shorts or rolled-up pants for the guys. Always keep your feet bare in the pictures and add splashes of color with fun accessories like a statement necklace or flower pin.

Go bold. Bold colors like teal, sunshine yellow, and tangerine or July colors of red, white, and blue make a statement in beach photos. These bolder colors scream summer fun, sunshine, and fireworks. These colors tell a story of their own. They work outdoors. They encourage smiles. To make these bold choices work, stay away from the neon and busy patterns. Solids or color blocks work best—jazz up solid colored shirts with texture and tone-on-tone patterns. Do not mix these bold colors with lighter colors. The bright red shirt will overpower the pastel pink.

Speaking of pink. Pink is often overlooked in beach pictures, but it is a gorgeous complement to the surroundings. Men, women, girls, and boys all look beautiful in this preppy color. A pink woven belt with green shorts and a white shirt would look great on dad. A pink sundress for the girls, a salmon-colored skirt, and a white t-shirt will look beautiful on mom. Pink and blue plaid shorts and a matching polo will look dashing on the boys. Together the look is fresh and light.

Two colors. Pick two complementing colors, like yellow and blue, and split up the family. Put all the boys in colorful blue polos with khaki shorts and the girls in matching yellow dresses. Mom and dad should mix in both of these colors to tie it all together and coordinate.

Just have some fun. Family photos should tell a story. They should tell about your family. If non-traditional clothes are a better fit or you want the pictures to tell your story, try something different. Stay casual with shorts and t-shirts. Mom is in khaki shorts and a v-neck shirt. Dad is in shorts and a shirt with subtle stripes. Then let your kids stand out with superhero shirts and capes. Mom and dad are casual and coordinated, and the fun-sized kid personalities stand out. This works for lifestyle-type shots and families who enjoy a story in their photos.


  • Don't wear your clothing for the photo session during your commute to the photo session location.
  • Arrive 10 minutes early and change at the location. There is no grace period.
  • Bring an extra set of clothing in case you get wet during and early in the photo session.
  • Wear clothes that hide tan lines.
  • Consider wearing hair pulled back or secured with headbands, clips, and hairspray. It could be windy.
  • Bring touch-up makeup for shine.
  • Do not use lotion on faces before the session; windblown hair will stick to sticky cheeks.
  • Try not to get sunburned before the picture day.
  • Use nail polish colors on fingernails and toenails in colors you do not mind being seen in pictures.
  • Feed the kids beforehand, so no one is starving five minutes in, and bring water and simple snacks to keep everyone satisfied until the end of the photo session.
  • Wear clothes that fit! Ill-fitting clothing can allow undergarments to show and make the wearer not feel their best.
  • Don't get stressed out. Remember to have some fun and go with the flow.

With so many excellent outfit choices, it can be hard to know what to do, but the ultimate decision in outfit choice should coordinate with the type of portrait most vital to you. Making sure everyone is comfortable with what they are wearing, and the fit will put them at ease and make the experience much more fun.