6 Stylish Accessories for Family Photos

Duke and Darling Photo

Choosing accessories for family photos is almost as important as choosing the actual clothes to wear. A few well-chosen accessories have the power of taking your session from blah and boring to enchanting and memorable.

Start by advising your clients on basic wardrobe choices (perhaps using our Styling Tips for Family Photography!). Remind them to coordinate, not match, and to stay away from distracting elements like neon colours, character shirts, and the like.

Then encourage them to add some of the following accessories for family photos (and many of these, you can bring yourself!):

1. Blankets and Quilts

Not only will blankets, throws and quilts give your clients a dry place to sit, they add an intimate, warm, and homely touch to your photos.

Best thing is that they are also versatile! Have parents lift the blanket up like a parachute and let the kids run underneath. Or let the parents use the blanket like a swing for the kids (low to the ground!).

blanket used in family photography
Sand Pails & Pigtails Photography
family sitting on quilt
Teale Brown Photography

2. Textures

Textured fabrics give your sessions a dreamy and organic vibe, not to mention a total boho feeling. You can bring these textures into your shots by the actual clothing that clients select, or simply use them as a ground covering, or to drape around or over the shoulders of your clients.

accessories for family photos
TheABview Photography
long flowing lace shirt
Duke and Darling Photo
textured blanket draped over family
Finch & Mae Photography

3. Knits

I know these are technically textures, but knits are such a staple for popular fall photos that they deserve their own mention.

Their warmth and coziness (and texture!) can’t be beat when your families are all cuddled up. And it’s even better when your client chooses deep, rich, autumn colours for their knits.

knits as accessories for family photos
JJefferson Photography
child tossed during fall family session
Brooke Hadlock Photography

4. Flower Crowns and Headbands

If you invest in quality items, you can offer these to several clients for their family sessions. It just adds a beautiful touch of whimsy to your session. Just make sure they complement the rest of the wardrobe choices, and that they are appropriate for the shoot location – they will look natural in a field or forest, not so much in an urban alley!

While it will be mostly the children using them, some moms like to wear them too for a romantic touch, especially for shots of just mom or just the parents. Don’t be afraid to suggest it!

flower crown on child
Carissa Anthony Photography
flower headband in family photo
Photos by Kelly Lynn

5. Hats and scarves

These are some of our favourite accessories for family photos. Hats not only completes the trendy boho look, but also portrays the family as fun and relaxed. If that’s the vibe you’re going for, break out the hats! And not just for moms and dads – kids look darling in them too!

Light scarves are extremely versatile too – they can be worn around the neck, but also draped over someone’s shoulders, or tied around the waist, or spread on the ground to lie on.

In winter, toques/beanies and chunky scarves will complete the outdoorsy look.

child running towards mom and dad
Lavender Green Photography
child dancing in hat for family photos
Melinda Sue Photography

6. Props

There aren’t many props you can use in a photo session that doesn’t come across as very “set up” or unnatural, especially for outdoor family sessions. But keep your eyes open for impact items that will not seem out of place.

Maybe it’s an old VW bus. It could be a truck bed. Old barns have a lot of character. Or it can be as simple (and natural!) as a huge tree.

family photo in volkswagen bus
Lyndsay C. Photography

Whatever you use as accessories for family photos, be sure that it doesn’t take over the focus of the session, but simply provides a backdrop or support for the genuine love and connection in your client family.

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