What To Wear | Family Photo Session | Hilton Head Photographer


I’m not gonna lie… I kind of lost my love for doing family sessions. Teaching, on top of shooting every night, and the endless work that has to be done on the back end of running a business was just burning me out.

But every once in a while I would get this family that just *inspired* me. They filled my heart with so much joy and they would fuel up my love for family sessions all over again! So now I’m determined to help every family give me that same feeling!

I try to make every session unique to each family. We may do some of the some poses as other sessions, but the goal is for each moment to be different. One way I love to customize sessions is with outfits.

Gone are the days of everyone wearing khakis and a white top. This is 2021. We like to incorporate texture and movement! If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the last year and a half it’s that time doesn’t stand still. Your pictures should reflect that!

Incorporate long, flowy dresses. Look for things that have layers and encourage movement. A top with a knitted or waffle texture subtly stands out compared to a smooth surface. Buttons also add personality and depth.

Small Family Beach Session

If I haven’t been able to change your mind yet and matchy matchy is still what you’re going for, or coordinating outfits for a big group scares you, then we can still make something work! Choose one color (or two) to be the focus, and just have everyone choose a shade of that color (while still encouraging them to incorporate texture, layers, and movement).

When shooting on the beach, shades of blue are a very safe color. This family did an awesome job with some last minute coordination off just a few simple colors! And the best thing about shooting on the beach is that you don’t have to worry about shoes! Using simple bottoms like khakis and jeans, it’s super easy to dress guys who may be less than enthusiastic about getting pictures done. Another thing to keep in mind for guys is that they feel comfortable. Most girls are used to grin & bearing it, but guys will be much more relaxed if they can move in their pants. When I dress my husband for pictures, I always have to keep his arms in mind. He has broad shoulders and is dedicated to the bicep/tricep area, so button up long sleeve shirts are almost always a no go for him

Family beach session with coordinating colors

*Side note, we had to custom order his tux for our wedding because of his extreme measurements – super narrow waist, huge thighs & calves, and then the arms. I wouldn’t let him work out the entire month leading up to our wedding because I was afraid his jacket wouldn’t fit if his arms grew any more!

When in doubt, don’t hesitate to reach out to me for advice!


xoxo, Elle



June 23, 2021





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