If you’re even thinking about doing a fall family photoshoot, it’s never too early to start planning what to wear. Coordinating multiple outfits is already a challenge, but these days, with limited stock, shipping delays, and the challenges of gauging fit while shopping online, it’s best to start the process ASAP. I love a good outdoor shoot in the fall—crunchy leaves in the shades of autumn, a glorious golden glow, and if we’re lucky, a bit of chill in the Southern California air. Last year, I did some mini fall family sessions in the Bay Area in a beautiful field of pampas grasses. It was a bit unconventional, but the vibes were definitely autumnal and reinforced through the families’ wardrobe choices. So without further ado, here are my top tips for what to wear to your fall family photoshoot:


While bright and vibrant colors are dominant in spring and summer shoots, in the fall, we generally see a shift toward more moody colors. Think clothing in jewel tones like plum, emerald green, and sapphire blue—I’ve found that there is a jewel tone that works for everyone (whereas sometimes, pastels can be tricky for certain skin tones). Alternatively, you could choose clothing in an earth tone color palette—think rust, mustard yellow, olive green, and burnt orange. To avoid the scene looking too busy, you might not want everyone in a standout color, so try mixing in some neutrals as well, like creams, khakis, and warm grays. You’ll also want to practice some restraint in the colors you include though, so rather than picking a bunch of different jewel tones, make sure that the ones you do choose play well with each other (I go into more detail in my post How to Color Coordinate Clothes for Family Portrait).


Another important element to consider in your wardrobe selection is texture. Fall is all about being cozy and warm, so what textures come to mind when you think about that? When it comes to your photoshoot wardrobe, that can translate into chunky cable knit sweaters, leather boots, cashmere cardigans, denim pants, corduroys (in the form of a jumper dress for girls—so cute!), or flannel shirts. I’m getting those hygge feels just thinking about it!


One thing that makes fall dressing more interesting is the ability to add on layers. The option to put on and take off scarves, cardigans, belts, and vests allows you to vary your outfits throughout the photoshoot, and comes in handy in case the weather changes (this will be especially relevant if you’re doing a shoot during the “golden hour” before dusk, or if you’re in the mountains or near the ocean).

I love this time of year, when you feel a change coming and the holiday season beckons. Having a tradition of doing fall family photoshoots is a great way to document your growth throughout the years, and a nice bonus is that you’ll have beautiful photos ready to go for your holiday cards. Don’t let deciding what to wear get in the way of getting your pictures taken—just follow the above tips to start planning your outfits and contact me to schedule your fall family photoshoot today!

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