Fall is the most popular time to book family photos in Chattanooga and it’s easy to see why.

Capturing the beauty and warmth of the fall season with your loved ones through photos is a cherished yearly tradition for many Chattanooga families. The changing colors of the leaves, the cozy sweaters, and the crisp air create the perfect backdrop for breathtakingly beautiful fall family photos here in Southeast Tennessee. However, deciding what to wear for fall family photos (or any photo shoot) can be a daunting task! That's where I come in to help! To help you make the most of your fall family photo shoot, I have put together a comprehensive guide to assist you in selecting the perfect outfits that will complement the Chattanooga autumn scenery and highlight the bond between your family members. What you wear plays a big part in setting the scene in order to capture those candid moments full of movement and emotion.

a large family walks towards the camera in coordinating fall colors for fall family photos

Embrace the Colors of Fall

Fall is a season known for its vibrant hues and that is certainly true here in Chattanooga. Incorporating seasonal colors into your outfits can add a touch of autumn magic to your family photos. Rich earthy tones like deep reds, burnt oranges, mustard yellows, and forest greens are excellent primary color choices. Blues and berry colors make for great accents that really pop! These colors not only blend harmoniously with the fall landscape in Chattanooga but also create a warm and inviting atmosphere. Consider mixing and matching these colors among family members to create a cohesive and visually appealing look. Additionally, don't be afraid to use accessories like scarves, hats, and jewelry to add pops of color through accessories. As always, if you want colorful photos, use several colors. If you prefer a more muted or monochrome look, stick with shades in the same 1 or 2 color families. There is no right or wrong when it comes to colorful or not-so-colorful, just best practices to achieve the look that fits your family best!

family of 4 with 2 teens sit on fall leaves at sunset and look at each other smiling for fall family photos
mom and dad hold 2 girls on their laps on the ground covered in fall leaves for family photo session in fall

Think Coordinating, Not Matching

Gone are the days when everyone in a family photo had to wear identical outfits. The key to a visually pleasing family photo is coordination, not uniformity. Choose a color palette or a theme that complements each other and reflects your family's personality. Opt for complementary colors or shades within the same color family to create a cohesive look. Choose one or two main colors and one or two accent colors and build outfits with those colors in mind. By coordinating the outfits around a color palette, you allow each individual to shine while maintaining a unified aesthetic. This tip works regardless if you’re planning Fall family photos or photos in any season!

2 sisters sit on the ground covered in fall leaves. toddler hands baby sister a leaf.

Add Visual Interest with Textures and Patterns

Utilizing multiple textures adds visual interest to your fall family photos (or anytime family photos) and helps to keep things from looking boring, especially if your style is more minimalist. Textures that photograph well are waffle weave, tulle, chunky knit, denim, velvet, lace, leather, clip dot, ruffles, fringe, etc. As with color, choose 1-3 main textures and accent with a few others and mix it up with both large and small texture patterns. 

Speaking of patterns, don’t be afraid to use a pattern or even mix patterns! If you’re using a large print pattern, let it be the star and mix with smaller patterns.  Here is an easy hack for how to use patterns in your fall family outfits. Start with the patterned piece (or the piece with the biggest/loudest pattern if using multiple patterns) and pick out the main colors from the pattern as your color palette. Choose solid colored (or small patterned) pieces for additional family members in the palette from the pattern. Then fill in any holes with neutral colored pieces. 

One of the best places to add in visual interest is with your accessories! Think about incorporating layers that act to add both warmth and visual interest. So don’t forget those jackets, scarves, booties, socks and tights, hats, and statement jewelry!

Mother with long blond curly hair kisses her toddler son over her shoulder as he smiles big for fall family photos
mother in green clip-dot dress and toddler in suspenders and bow tie show off what to wear for fall family photos

Consider the Setting 

When deciding what to wear for fall family photos, it's crucial to consider the location and setting of the photo shoot. If you want more of a rustic feel to your Chattanooga photos, consider outfits that have a causal and cozy vibe and choose a setting that matches, like a pumpkin patch or barn. If you want a more elegant look to your fall photos, you can definitely dress it up and choose a location that accents your elevated style while still feeling fall-like, like an orchard or urban setting. Many Chattanooga locations can easily go either way but both your outfits and location work together to give you the fall look your family wants!

Family of 4 dressed in dark greens and blues with sweaters and velvet hold hands for fall family photos
Mom and Dad crouch down and tickle their young sons for fall family photos in Chattanooga

Timeless and Classic Choices

While it's essential to embrace the fall season and its trends, it's also wise to choose outfits that stand the test of time. In general, I recommend avoiding overly trendy or flashy clothing that may look dated in a few years. Try to choose classic pieces that will remain stylish and timeless as you look back on your fall memories over the years. Crisp button-down shirts, well-fitted jeans, neutral-colored sweaters, and elegant dresses are all excellent choices. Classic outfits ensure that the focus remains on the love and connection between family members, rather than being overshadowed by flashy fashion statements. However, if you’re the type of person who likes to follow the latest trends, you should stay true to yourself and the photos will be a fun reminder of the styles over the years when you look back on them later. And if you’re the type of family that gets photos every year (or more often,) it’s definitely less of a risk to embrace the trends! The important thing is to wear what makes you look and feel good! Which brings me to my next and final point.

young red-headed girl in a fancy white dress spins among fall wildflowers for fall family photos in Chattanoga

Dress for Comfort and Confidence

No matter what fall family photo outfits you choose, it's crucial for everyone in the family to feel comfortable and confident. A grumpy teen may be uncooperative or look unhappy simply because they do not like the way they look in their outfits. Try to avoid clothes that are too tight, itchy, or restrictive. Instead, opt for fabrics that are soft, breathable, and allow for ease of movement. I like to play games at my sessions and clothes that move make it easy and fun! This doesn’t mean you have to coordinate your outfits around your teen’s wardrobe. There is definitely a time and place to ask everyone to make compromises so that the whole family can look their best for these photos that you will cherish for a lifetime.  When everyone feels comfortable, their natural personalities will shine through, resulting in more genuine and joyful moments captured in your fall family photographs.

little boy in suspenders and bow tie sits on tiny bench with mini pumpkins. His golden retriever sits next to him.

In Conclusion

Selecting the perfect outfits for fall family photos in Chattanooga is an opportunity to showcase your family's unique style while embracing the beauty of the season. By incorporating the colors of fall, coordinating outfits, adding visual interest through texture, layers, and accessories, considering the setting, choosing timeless pieces, and prioritizing comfort, you can create a visual masterpiece that captures the essence of your family's special bond. Remember, the most important aspect of these photos is the love and happiness shared among family members, so let your outfits complement that warmth and joy and you will be sure to get beautiful fall family photos that you can’t wait to share with friends and family!

Now that you know what to wear, check out this post about what NOT to wear!

Knowing what not to wear for family photos is just as important as knowing what TO wear! Avoid these clothing mistakes to ensure your family looks their best for your next family photo session.

Looking for fall family photos in Chattanooga?

Good news, I'm a Chattanooga family photographer! I'd love to see your family this fall and see what lovely outfits you've put together! If you'd like to connect or get more information, fill out this form so we can be friends!

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Check out some of my favorite (and best-dressed) fall family photos!

Mom and Dad hold 2 young daughters between them and kiss them for fall family photos
close up of little girl held in her dad's arms while mom kisses baby sister behind.
Mother kneels and hugs both her young daughters in coordinating fall outfits for fall family photos
A older mom laughts with her 2 grown daughters in coordinating outfits in navy, berry, and cream for fall family photos
close up of 2 adult daughters standing cheek to cheek with their mom for fall family pictures.
top down view of baby girl sitting in fall leaves in a cute green overalls dress, navy leggings, and purple floral top.
top down view of little girl lying in orange fall leaves smileing up in a cream sweater and maroon top.
little boy in a blue shirt, suspenders, and a bow tie holds his moms hand for fall family photos in Chattanooga
Dad in navy shirt throws his little boy up in the air as the sun sets behind the trees at fall family photo session.
Dad in khakis and navy shirt holds young son with the god standing beside them in beautiful fall scenery.
Family of 4 dresses in creams and blues for warm weather fall photos in Chattanooga.
Mom and Dad hug their daughters at fall family photos session in Chattanooga. They chose a blue and cream color palette.
Older sister hugs her younger sister among fall wildflowers. what to wear for fall family photos.
Young girl with red hair in a fancy white dress spins around a fall wildflower patch in Chattanooga.
Girl blends fall colors with blue and yellow using a brightly colored book as a prop for fall family photos.
Husband and wife hug each other and laugh with fall foliage behind. what to wear for fall family photos in chattanooga
Woman leans on her husbands chest with fall leaves behind. She is in white and he is in blue for fall family photos.
Mother and daughters hold hands and look at each other wearing creams, whites, and blues for fall family photos in Chatt
close up of mom with her 2 daughters cheek-to-cheek for fall family photos in chattanooga
handsome young boy sits on a bench with mini pumpkins wearing a grey sweater. what to wear for fall family photos

PS. Pinterest is a great resource for researching family photo outfits for fall and any season!

Did you know that I have a Pinterest? We should be friends! I'd love to connect on that platform and collaborate on your sessions! Check out my Pinterest with the link below and let's get pinning together!

little boy in green velvet coat runs away holding a mini pumpkin by the stem to follow after Dad
little boy walks through brush with orange mini pumpkin in hand. father follows behind.
Feel free to pin the graphics below for an easy reminder and link back to this blog post!
Pinterst graphic for blog titled The Ultimate Guide of What to Wear for Fall Family Photos
floral graphic of fall colors with the test of the blog title. The Ultimate Guide of What to Wear for Fall Family Photos

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