What to Wear for Maui Family Portraits

Wardrobe choice is the one thing that causes our clients the most anxiety about a Maui family portrait!

If you don't know where to start planning your portrait wardrobe, no need to stress. We have put together a guide to make planning your clothing easy peasy!

Read our tips below on colors patterns, clothing material and "what not to wear" to have your family looking stylin' and feeling stress-free! 

basic rules for planning your wardrobe for a family portrait in Maui, HI

Wear something you don't mind getting wet and if possible, doesn't show too much when you do get water on it. There are some fabrics and patterns you can't tell are wet or dry (usually synthetics), kind of cool!

Of course, it is no big deal if your clothes do look wet, you are on the beach after all! Also, if you have small children, bring a change of clothes for the ride home and a towel. They can't resist the water!

1. You Will Get Wet 

2. What is the best location for our Maui Portraits?

There are many great locations on Maui! To start, take a look at our

  we have our most favorite spots for portrait photography listed there. You can also see tons of real portrait sessions at these locations on the blog here:

We can also meet you at your hotel, condo or vacation rental house (some hotels do not allow outside photographers, so check with us first). TIP: West Maui locations are near the resort area of Kaanapali. State laws dictate that we may not shoot on Kaanapali Beach, that is why it is not listed. South Maui is near the resort area of Wailea. We generally prefer South Maui as the beaches are larger and tend to be less crowded, but the West Maui beaches are just as scenic! 


Maui Portrait Locations Page

3. What do we wear!? 

First and foremost, wear something you feel good in! The better you feel the better your portraits will be! Second, matching aloha prints or totally matching in general is not advised, it looks dated and takes away from the individuality of each group member. Our goal is to bring out your individual personality as well as the feel for the family as a whole. It is tough to do that when everyone is wearing the same thing! Try to coordinate rather than match. Our favorite colors on the beach are blues, pinks and greens. Try a neutral base like khaki pants for the guys then throw in splashes of color with tops, dresses or jewelry on the ladies. Take a look at the blog for tips from our past clients.

We have a really helpful blog post about this, check it out by clicking here: 

- What to Wear Article -

What do we wear!? 

General Tips: 
Wear something comfortable that you can move in and if you are planning on being on the beach, something you don't mind getting a little ocean water and sand on! Avoid loud patterns and prints or large logos, these sometimes look strange in pictures (especially stripes) and logos will make your pictures look dated quicker as brands and trends change quickly. You can also see our pin boards with lots of examples!

4. Who will be taking our photos?

We assign a photographer to you based on availability. If you have a preference for a specific Maui photographer on our team we are happy to assign them if they are available. If they are not, we will notify you and you can decide if you want another team member.

5.How many pictures do you take during our Maui Photography Session?

There is no limit to the number of pictures we take during your photo session, this usually ends up being about 100-200 pictures per hour. The amount of pictures you will get in your final collection will depend on your package selection. 

6.How do we pay for our photography session?

We require a $50 deposit to reserve your date and the balance of your session less the $50 deposit will be due on location the day of the session, we accept credit cards and cash (exact change).  You can also pay for your portrait session in advance if you wish and financing is available through Paypal Credit.

7.How soon can we expect to see our pictures?!

A sneak peek on our blog with around 20 photos will be ready in about a week. Your full collection will be ready to view 3-4 weeks after your session. Turnaround time may be longer in peak times.

8. How do we get our High Resolution image files?

Once your photos have been edited, we upload them to a private proofing website that you can share with friends and family. You can download a zip file of ALL of your photos directly from that proofing website! No waiting for snail mail from Hawaii!  In addition to the digital download, we also offer a keepsake USB drive for $175 that is made of wood and custom printed with a photo from your portrait and presented in a wooden keepsake box with a photo on the top.  

9. What happens if it rains!?

Luckily this does not happen very often in the locations we usually work in. The first option would be to re-locate your shoot to an area of the island that is not raining. If your session gets rained out, we can try to re-schedule at no additional charge, if your session can not be re-scheduled your booking deposit will be refunded.

10. Do you provide any props for us?

Our beach portrait packages are designed to capture the natural interaction between you and your loved ones, a snapshot of your time together, so we don't bring props unless asked. However we almost always have a few beach toys for kids who need a little help staying in one place or warming up. If you have a prop request, please let us know and if we have it, we are happy to bring it. For those looking for a very styled shoot, we offer our Magic of Childhood Portraits where we help you develop a theme and coordinate any props or floral you may want for your shoot.


White is not always the most flattering color for family portraits.

There are different shades of white, that often don't look different until they are out in bright light (sun or flash). When the whole group is in white, you can end up looking like one big white blob or a polo team about to take the field.

If you do choose to wear white, try to mix it up in different styles with different bottom options or a splash of color.

Think "COORDINATE" rather than "MATCH".

When you decorate a room, you don't use the same color for everything, you choose pieces that work well together, while at the same time all bring something different to the room. People are the same way, everyone has their own personality and style. Your portrait clothing choice should show off the personality of the people in the photo.

Rather than making everyone wear the same color, find a palette of colors that work well together and let each person express their individuality. This way each person has a say in what they are wearing and knows what to wear for family pictures that will work well with the entire group. 

See in these photos that everyone's clothing has their own look, but it all works well together and all blends!

Think about colors and patterns that work with each-other for a cohesive look. Don't be afraid to ask your Maui family photographers for some inspiration. They should be able to refer you more examples to find the look that works for your family.

When more than one person is wearing a strong pattern it is distracting to the eye. Instead of looking at your gorgeous faces, you are wondering which pattern is going to win the pattern battle.

Try to keep it to only one strong pattern in any group. Notice in the photo below that only one person has a strong pattern (which is totally fine), you just usually don't want more than one person in a pattern.

Using a strong pattern can be a great basis for the color pallet choice for the rest of the group, so don't be afraid of some flair.

Below is the exception to the multiple pattern clothing rule for family portraits.

If you have two different patterns within the same color palette, it can give your photos a fun eclectic look. Just remember to space the patterns between one solid color when posing and try to incorporate a color from each of the patterns that blends with the solid color.

Colors and patterns will help your portraits look individual, so don't be afraid of them either. Just choose wisely and ask for help if you need it. 

Teenagers typically aren't super excited to have family portraits taken. One way to make them dread it, even more, is to make them dress like you.

Let your teens show off their personalities. As long as the colors work well together let them be comfortable having their own style. Letting your children be themselves will make portraits much more enjoyable for all. 


4. Avoid multiple strong patterns 

5.don't make your teens dress like you 


Logos distract the eye from the important things (like your face) and can lead to an image looking dated too soon. Leave out the logos and your images will be timeless.


Short shorts and jumpers usually don't work well for portrait sessions as they can be tough to do sitting poses (most people's thighs look considerably larger when sitting and super short shorts only emphasize this). Jumpers look cute in person, but not so cute in photos, as they tend to bend weird and cause the illusion of a "front butt" or even worse, a certain humped animal's toes. 


We want you to look in the mirror and say, "Yeah I am looking good today!" Don't sacrifice how you feel in the clothes for the sake of coordinating with your family, "MOMS", I am talking to you!! Choose your clothing first, then help the rest of the group work around you.

We know that planning what to wear for Maui family portraits isn't always easy from thousands of miles away. We hope this guide helps, we want you to LOVE your portraits! Having a well put together wardrobe will help you love your photos even more!! 

3 more Important Portrait Planning Tips



Office Phone


Studio Location

Studio Hours

M-F 9AM-4:30 PM

Contact Us

Wailuku, HI

office manager &Editor



photographer &
Office team




founder & Photographer












Your Maui Photography team


Follow us