What to wear in family photos

July 9, 2019

To make your session color cohesive I recommend following the guidelines below for putting together outfits for the entire family.

#1 Pick accent colors and season

The easiest way to dress your family for a photo shoot is to first pick an accent color or two that will be complimented by neutral tones. For example: many members of your family have blue eyes and tend to have a lot of navy/blue/grey pieces of clothing. Set the main color of the outfits to be blue, then pick pieces that are white, navy, grey, black and tan. This will help simplify your selection across a bigger group of people.

Consider the season of the year that the photos are being taken: obviously if you prefer a light summer look to your photos but the shoot is taking place in October you are running a risk of getting everyone cold and looking uncomfortable.

#2 Decide on dressy or casual

Once you have an idea of the season and colors you will need to decide on how dressy you’d like to go. If you have kids and as a mom are considering a long elegant dress then your kiddos clothes will also need to be a little more dressy than shorts and t-shirt. Also its is completely ok to plan their outfits around a piece that you love. Have a favorite yellow skirt that works with the season? Great – this might be your accent color that will also determine how dressy everyone will need to be.

#3 pick pieces that will photograph best

For women and girls the outfits that tend to look best consist of layers: dresses, cardigans, scarves, boots, accessories such as hats and jewelry all photograph really well.

For men and boys dress pants or dress shorts, a nice and simple long or short sleeve button up is always a great option.

#4 check this list of things that are NOT recommended

Here is a general list of items to keep an eye for that do not photograph well:

Polos, shirts and dresses made of thin shiny polyester fabric that can show off unflattering creases and underwear.

Cargo pants and shorts.

Athletic type clothing and hiking or rugged looking boots.

Tight fitting dresses that hug around the belly and hips. Also be watchful of sleeveless dresses as they can exaggerate arms and make them appear bigger than in real life.

Pieces with large pronounced patterns (plaid, flowery etc). Some patterns are ok but should not be chosen for more than one family member.

#5 Don’t overthink it

At the end of the day simple is better. A pair of jeans with a nice clean ironed shirt or flowy top will always look great. You don’t need to purchase new outfits for the entire family, some simple color coordination with seasonally appropriate pieces should do the trick. Have a little fun and don’t forget to dress the kids last!