Style Guide for Family Photography

Why I don’t Give a Photography Style Guide for Families

January 5, 2022

Style Guide for Family Photography

I don’t give a photography style guide for families. Full Stop. There I said it. I could end with that, and this would be a super short blog, but I should explain myself as this question comes up a lot. Here are the top three reasons I choose not to give a photography style guide for families and what I do instead.

Spokane Family Photography

#1 I want the photos to feel like you

It’s OK to dress up a little for your photos (or even down), but they should still be something you’d see yourself wearing. Your images should look and feel like your family. I can give you tips, but only YOU know what fits the feel of your family.

#2 Photography Style Guides Fo Families Don’t align with MY Style of photography

Now, I’m not saying there aren’t many styles of photography where guides are helpful; I’m simply stating my style of photos isn’t suited for “guides” and curation. As a Spokane family photographer, I focus on lifestyle images that celebrate the art of everyday moments. Your everyday moments, not some “family in a magazine’s” everyday moments or even your neighbor down the street.

I would be doing a disservice to the art I produced if I guided you into something that wasn’t YOU.

#3 I don’t want my photos to look the same

I have a strong belief about the images in my portfolio. As a brand, I believe in everyday life’s unique and unaltered beauty. I want my portfolio to reflect the diversity and uniqueness of everyone’s story.

I continue to grow my portfolio organically by holding space for people to show up as they are and using those images for a diverse portfolio. Life isn’t cookie-cutter, nor do I want my portfolio to feel like cloned images. 

Spokane WA Family Photographer

What do I give instead of a photography style guides for families?

While I don’t specifically tell families what to wear, where to shop, and which color palettes to always stick to, I do offer advice on preparing for sessions, like this blog on preparing for a newborn session or this one preparing for a family session.

Most articles I’ve written about preparing for sessions have more to do with what to expect and advice for making the most out of your session. However, I do touch on clothing. So, I promise I won’t leave you hanging when selecting clothes. 

It’s just that I want your mindset around clothing to be focused on your family and staying true to how you do life. Often starting with a guide on what to wear sets people on the path for conformity, and that’s NOT my jam.

Here are a few tips I include for clothing at family session –

  • If you NEVER wear dresses, please don’t show up in one.
  • If purple is your FAVORITE color, go ahead and wear it to your session. Neutrals look nice in photos but don’t toss out your most favorite shirt because of that suggestion.
  • Please wear comfortable clothes to sit, play and run in with your kids.
  • Go ahead and lay out all your clothes on a bed side by side so you can get an idea of how they will look together in a photo.

Pro tip – In family photos, pick one person’s outfit first (like Mom) and then add the other outfits around theirs. It makes the process a little easier to have a starting point.

Spokane Photographer

Hopefully, this post answers the question about why I don’t have a clothing guide for my families. However, check out Pinterest if you’re hitting a roadblock on clothing choices. There are thousands of beautiful photos for inspiration.



P.S. Want to know how we can work together? I’m a Spokane photographer who serves newborns, families, and soulful brands and travels the Pacific NW. Let’s chat more here.

Life’s biggest adventures in modern photos co-crafted with you. Spokane Photographer | Serving the Pacific Northwest

Life’s biggest adventures in modern photos co-crafted with you. Spokane Photographer | Serving the Pacific Northwest

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