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The Detail Blog

What to Wear for Family Pictures Outside

TLDR: Browse Our Themes!

We've organized our themes by settings for portraits. See below for links to each collection and get the details below. 

  • Bright Blossom - Flowery and geometric prints for summer and spring! - Girls
  • Coastal Getaway - For all things beach, seaside, and more! - Boys/Girls
  • Tropical Adventure - Perfect for jungle and animal themes! - Boys/Girls
  • Escape to the Sun - When fun in the sun is the way to go! - Boys/Girls
  • Floral Fantasy - Best for portraits with bright flowers - Girls
  • Island Dreams - Perfect for sandy backdrops and splashing waves - Boys/Girls

It’s family picture day, and you’ve decided to make it an outdoor affair. 

Just like all events with children, picture day can be a stressful affair. Location, choosing a photographer, and what to wear are among the considerations parents have to make when getting ready for a photo shoot with children.

That’s why we’ve put together a comprehensive guide on not only what to wear, but how to manage all the considerations parents have to make when preparing for a photo shoot. After each section, you’ll see a list of important points to sum it all up. 

Are you a parent who has recently undertaken a photo shoot with children? Leave your tips in the comment section! 

Expectations - How Age Matters

Perhaps the first consideration is how old your children are.

If you’re bringing baby to a photo shoot, the results can be much less predictable than with toddlers or children five to nine years old, for instance.

Outfits for Family Photos for Infants

With infants, it’s crucial to bring with you the knowledge of how to make them smile. Whether it’s their favorite ticklish spot or a particular toy they love, it’s up to you as the parent to bring the best knowledge and resources you have, and supply them to the photographer.

What to Wear for Family Pictures Outside

As children grow, they become more aware of their surroundings. When bringing toddlers along for a photo shoot, you can use this to your advantage.

Toddlers are better able to understand that a particular event is important, and it’s even more important to control their often-wandering attention to the camera. Making a photo shoot feel like playtime is a great way to garner your toddler’s attention.

Outfits for Family Photos for Five-Year-Olds and Up

By this time, children are far more aware of circumstances, and their importance. In order to appeal to a child five years old and up, make the photo shoot into a fun game.

The Takeaways

  1. Tools and Knowledge - Parents need to make sure to bring the right toys, or know what makes their child tick
  2. Patience - This is not always going to be an easy ordeal - make sure to take a breath 

Choosing the Right Photographer

You may have a photographer friend who loves children. You may even want to take care of the shoot yourself. Choosing the right photographer is crucial, and is not as easy as it sounds. 

The interchange between photographers and their subjects is important - any great photographer will tell you that.

The best photographers for photo shoots with children understand how to interact with children in a way that will keep them engaged and looking at the camera. These photographers are able to do whatever it takes to keep their attention, especially if you are also in the picture and can’t take on the role of entertainer.

Choosing a photographer is relatively easy. If they have a portfolio that includes pictures with children that consistently look great, then you know the photographer had something to do with the results.

The Takeaways

  1. Engaging - Your photographer should know how to engage with children - it’s not something every photog is cut out for
  2. Portfolios - Check your potential photographer’s portfolio. If they’ve consistently created stunning images with children you can bet they had a part in those results 

Locations for Family Photos

You’ve established that you want the shoot to take place outdoors - otherwise, why would you be you be reading this?

Location is crucial for a few reasons, some not so obvious. For one, it has to be a place that speaks to the sentiment you are trying to express.

For instance, is it a Christmas photo? Then you may want to make it a photo shoot with Santa. Or, if it’s a simple family photo, is there a background that can express your values, or just the value of family?

Rich and dark backgrounds allow subjects to stand out more. A location with an eye-catching element that is subservient to the subject - your family - is best.

Also, if it’s an outdoor shoot, lighting is everything. Contrary to popular belief, overcast skies actually are ideal for outdoor shoots. 

This is because the clouds in overcast conditions distribute light evenly. As opposed to a cloudless day, finding the right lighting in overcast days actually increases options and is much more manageable. 

You’ll also want to check on the weather. Professional photographers will not want to bring their equipment to a shoot they’ll have to break down prematurely, and you don’t want to pay any kind of set-up fee without getting your pictures. 

Weather is also a factor in considering the comfort of your children. If it’s a blisteringly hot day, it’ll be harder to get children to stand still and smile for a shoot. You face the same problem if it’s too cold.

The Takeaways

  1. Character - Make sure you have the right backdrop to express the right character of your photo - seasonality is a great way to start.
  2. Lighting - Outdoor lighting is unpredictable, but overcast days offer the most options and easiest lighting setup.
  3. Weather - Make sure the weather is clear and comfortable - it’s already hard enough to get children to stand still! 

Outdoor Family Photos Outfit Ideas

When it comes to outfit ideas, the only limits are your imagination. 

Some parents will lean toward more comical choices - remember that stupid banana suit your parents made you wear for Halloween? Often this is only possible when your children are young, and can create those perfectly cute, cringe-worthy photos you’ll laugh about later on.

But, there are more than enough options for a truly graceful family photo with children. We’ve chosen some of the best from our own stock, based on gender.

What to Wear for Family Photos for Boys

Dressing a boy for photo day is just like dressing a man, but smaller! 

The cuteness of adult-style clothing on a child - whether it’s a suit jacket with penny loafers or a old-man sweater - is a classic approach to dressing boys for photo day. 

For something a bit more fresh, Catimini also has some great, distinctive choices for boys - see below!

  - Fun, bright, and distinctive, the micro-printed Poplin shirt is a button-up that screams fun, formal, and ready for the close-up!

The Jungle Print Percale Shirt - There’s nothing that pops like jungle prints, and the Percale shirt pops right at you. A distinctive and inventive design will command attention in any photo to your little guy!

What to Wear for Family Photos for Girls

Girls are much easier to dress when you’re going for gender-normative options. Whether it’s dresses, pants, or something in between, the options for girls are almost endless.

Here’s some of the best photo-ready outfits we have from Catimini:

This striped, pleated dress is everything about the 1960’s we love - reserved in design, bold in color, and comfortable for all climates.

For an occasion that requires a bit more elegance, this white sleeveless dress offers a touch of elegance uncommon with children’s clothing. Especially for summer and spring photo shoots, this dress will stand out among the rest.

The Takeaways

  1. Boys - Catimini has tons of fun, vibrant boys clothes for boys.
  2. Girls - With tons of different dresses and skirts, you can dress your little princess in style with Catimini.

What to Bring

Aside from clothing, the other items you need to bring should help you to gain the attention of your little models.


Your children’s favorite toys are always a great way to offer not only a reward for a good performance - toys are a wonderful way to get children to pay attention, especially for infants and toddlers.

These items can be displayed behind the photographer to keep them looking forward, and also can be used as a source of comfort if baby starts to cry.


Now for the fun part! 

Is there a theme for your portrait you’ve been thinking about? One of our favorite themed dresses is this loose-fitting leaf print dress! Part of our tropical line of girl’s clothing, you can outfit your little princess in something that will match an island sunrise background or as a perfect outfit for a beach location.

These scooter print swimming trunks are great if you’re thinking about a coastal-themed portrait or a jet-setting shot in an Italian coastal town.

The best part of our themed clothing is they work for many different types of circumstances. With Catimini, you can get creative!

The Takeaways

  1. Items to bring - Toys, pacifiers, and other attention grabbers are perfect to keep baby’s attention.
  2. Themes - Themed clothing is a great way to help your little tikes blend in with the surroundings, or the prepared background for your family portrait.

Browse our other themed collections for boys and girls and - as always - have fun with it!

Browse Our Themes!

  • Bright Blossom - Flowery and geometric prints for summer and spring! - Girls
  • Coastal Getaway - For all things beach, seaside, and more! - Boys/Girls
  • Tropical Adventure - Perfect for jungle and animal themes! - Boys/Girls
  • Escape to the Sun - When fun in the sun is the way to go! - Boys/Girls
  • Floral Fantasy - Best for portraits with bright flowers - Girls
  • Island Dreams - Perfect for sandy backdrops and splashing waves - Boys/Girls

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