What to Wear for Memorable Holiday Photos | 10 Tips

by | Top Tips, Family

what to wear for holiday photos

You probably read that title and thought, is she serious? “What to wear for Holiday photos? It’s not even Halloween.

Yes, I said it, and to be honest, it is time to start thinking about what you will wear for those holiday photos you will make into your 2020 Holiday cards!

My busiest time of the year is September, October, and November. Every mom I know is planning the Holiday card and scheduling the Holiday photoshoot. And I wish that I had a dollar for every time that I get asked, “What should we wear for our photos?

So I have compiled a list for you… apparently, I am good at compiling lists as of late!

1. Pick your holiday card ahead of your session.

I always suggest my clients do this. It helps to steer the session and makes choosing outfits and colors a bit easier.  

2. Decide if you want an indoor or outdoor photo session.

If you are shooting an indoor holiday photos session, you can make it a bit more relaxed. Matching pajamas in front of the fire. Light-colored sweaters, jeans, and fun wooly socks while reading books. Try going full glam, ala Kardashian. Put on your best formal dresses, and the guys in suits. If you’re shooting an outdoor session, have fun and play with winter hats, scarves and gloves. Make sure your outfits stand out amongst the surroundings.  

holiday photos what to wear ideas
Consider how your outfits may change for indoor verses outdoor holiday photoshoots.

3. Determine if you want to use this photo for more than just your Christmas card.

Not many people are going to want to see their family in their Christmas jammies hanging up on Grandma’s wall. So think through what you will be doing with your finished holiday photos before choosing your outfits. Will you order prints to frame and hang for years to come? Or are you just sending the photos out for season greetings and nothing else?

4. Stick with a neutral, earthy color palette.

You can’t go wrong with neutrals. They are timeless, look great with any card you choose, and work well for both indoor and outdoor holiday photos.

5. Or have fun with plaids.

Nothing says Christmas like a fun plaid. Just remember to keep the bottoms simple and to use the same color palette.  

6. Play with textures and different fabrics.

Christmas evokes memories of warmth and coziness. Choose fabrics and textures that do the same: comfy sweaters, fuzzy slippers, and mittens!  

7. Ensure that everyone is on the same page and that anyone who will be in the photo agrees.

There’s nothing worse than thinking you have it all planned and ready to go and your mother-in-law shows up in an outfit that is entirely different than everyone else. Discuss the holiday photos wardrobe and location several days prior to the shoot. This ensures everyone is on the same page and can allow enough time for anyone to voice any concerns or questions.

8. If your furry friend is joining you for the photoshoot, make sure he’s dressed up as well!

Grab a pet sweater in the same hues that you are all wearing or a bowtie to match. You don’t want Fido to feel left out!  

Let your fur-babies be a part of the of holiday experience!

9. Don’t wear crazy patterns, busy shirts, or uncoordinated outfits.

Again, if you want to be able to hang your photo on the wall and look back on the memory for years to come… a character or graphic t-shirt may not be a timeless choice.  

10. And lastly, if all else fails, get creative.

One of my favorite Christmas card photos was my boy’s sandy feet intertwined on a beach. Another year I had all of our footprints in the sand. Sometimes getting it all together is just too stressful, and that’s okay! Give yourself a break and realize that even using a photo from the spring or summer is okay. At the end of the day, you capture a precious moment and share it with your loved ones.

Remember, the key is low stress. It doesn’t matter how put together your outfit is. If everyone is stressed out, your photos will never turn out like you like them. Your goal should be to have fun, make the images look like you, show your personality, and create those family memories! Also, don’t forget to head over to my Facebook Group to share your favorite holiday photos!

Learn how to use manual mode and take control of your camera so that you can create the amazing images that you’ve always imagined with The Manual Mode Essentials Ebook.

Lifestyle Photographer & Mentor

Hi, I’m Dena, a natural light lifestyle photographer with 20+ years of experience capturing other people’s memories and teaching photographers how to understand and easily use their cameras.

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