What to Wear for your Mini Session?

adorable little girl laughing and holding her hands out, in front of some wispy fall grasses

Top 5 Tips: What to Wear for your Mini Session?

Selecting your wardrobe and that of the rest of your family can be one of the most daunting tasks when preparing for your mini session. With only 20 minutes at an outdoor location, there won’t be time to change outfits. There isn’t really a wrong answer to the question of what to wear, but if you’re here, then I’m guessing you’d like some advice! so I am happy to share what I’ve learned about what to wear or how to coordinate. 

Read on for my top 5 tips for how to style coordinating outfits for your family photo session here in Pittsburgh.

1. Get comfortable!

Wear what makes you feel good! The greatest gift you can give yourself (beyond having the photos done, of course!) is to ensure that everyone in the photo looks like themselves and feels comfortable in their clothing. This is especially helpful for young kids with budding strong opinions. 😉

What would you wear out to dinner with a few friends? This is a good place to start. If you’re not typically a dress and heels girl, I probably wouldn’t dust those off for your photo session. Pick a flattering outfit that makes you feel attractive and confident. Ultimately the goal is to forget about the clothing and allow yourself to enjoy the company of your family… because those emotional connections are all you’ll really notice in your photos, anyway! 

coordinated family casually hanging out in the park for family photos

2. What is your end goal for the photos?

Most people choose to fill their home with photos and wall art of their family, so you might want to consider the decor of your home when planning out your session. Are you generally drawn to calming neutrals or is your home really vibrant and colorful? Coordinating the color tones of your clothing with that of your home decor will allow for your family photos to seamlessly fit in once you hang them up on the wall. Then again, black and white pictures could always be an option… 

3. Coordinate; don’t match!

In general when considering what to wear, avoid dressing to match (Remember the white shirts and jeans fad?). Instead, try to pick 3 or 4 colors in the same color family and mix and match complementary patterns with solids. 

I recommend you start with one person’s outfit that has a lot of colors or a fun pattern, and then pick and choose coordinating colors from there. Dig up that old color wheel from high school art class if you have to! If you’re unsure, keep patterns to a minimum and focus on complementary solids. (Or feel free to text me for feedback on your ideas!)

One technique you can try is shopping for all of your family members at the same store. In general individual stores will tend to keep their clothing lines along similar color palettes and styles, so it could be a good place to easily knock out all of your family outfits at once.

coordinated family holding hands and walking together, in front of colorful fall foliage

4. Neutrals never go out of style.

If all else fails, neutrals are always a safe and classic option. By thinking long term and focusing on classic colors and styles, you’ll avoid dating your photos in a few years. For outdoor family sessions I also recommend you skip wearing large amounts of black and white, too, to avoid highlight and shadow clipping in your pictures. Essentially anything that is going to distract from your beautiful faces = bad. This means that if you can avoid clothing with characters, text, logos, and sunglasses, you totally should. Keep it simple and classic and fitting for the environment in which we are photographing.

5. Test out your outfits.

Whether you are purchasing new clothing or wearing some tried and true favorites, it’s a good idea to wash, iron, and set them aside a few days before your session. The last thing you want is to be running around your house the day of the session trying to find/clean/replace a skirt or shoes!

Have your kids try them on and make sure they fit properly, too. If you anticipate some outfit defiance, try giving them two options and let them choose one. 

Finally, consider the weather! Kids in particular are especially sensitive to weather fluctuations and a chilly kiddo can make or break a photo session. Think LAYERS when choosing their outfits- and yours, too! Even a linen scarf can really make a difference. 

family dressed in coordinated clothes standing in a field of tall grasses for a family photo together

Preparing for your Mini Session

Whew, that’s a lot of information. I really hope it helps and remember I am happy to chat about this at any time! You can also read more about how to prepare for your mini session here, and I will be in touch in the week before your session to firm up details. Looking forward to it!

Until next time,

Pamela 💜

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Pamela Anticole

Serving PA OH & Beyond

Pamela Anticole is a Pittsburgh based newborn and family photographer. Her award winning style is thoughtful and emotional, and your client experience is both relaxed and fun!


Pamela will photograph your baptism, birthday party, anniversary, bar/bat mitzvah, or wedding in a documentary style learned as a newspaper photojournalist. It is her focus on real, natural relationships and ability to anticipate emotional candid moments that bring sensitivity to her work as a documentary photographer. Pamela is located in the Wexford area of Pittsburgh, PA and available for family photography within 45 miles of downtown Pittsburgh. She also offers photography education for parents both online and on location in person in the Pittsburgh area.