What to Wear in Family Photos

on August 28, 2020

Figuring out what to wear in family photos is no joke. You want your group photo ensemble to feel cohesive without wandering into von Trapp family territory. You also want to opt for silhouettes and styles that feel timeless. I know I have looked back on plenty of family photos and wondered why on earth I chose to wear a huge belt over a tunic shirt. Your outfits, poses and the location of your shoot will help guarantee that these family photos are ones you can’t help but print.

Here are our 10 tips to help you coordinate outfits for family photos. Get ready for picture perfect family photos that you’ll want hanging up all over your home for years to come. 

1. Choose your location

This factor will determine when you want to take your photos, what you want to wear and how the background will tie into your home decor. Ultimately, choose a location that is beautiful, easy to get to, and that will be a great fit for your family. If you decide on an outdoor location in the fall, you may want your outfits to have a coordinating, fall color scheme. If you opt for a family photo shoot at your annual beach vacation, consider that the blues and tans of the beach will serve as your backdrop, which might determine where in your home you’d want to hang this printed picture.

2. Think about how your home is decorated

Since you’ll want to hang some of these photos in your home, factor your decor style into your photo shoot. How will these photos match with or clash with your decorations? Where do you want your photos to be hung? Will they be a focal point in a room and, if so, what type of mood do you want to convey? As you consider these questions, you will have a better idea of what you want your photos to look like. 

3. Lay out everyone’s outfits in advance

Before the day of the photo shoot, look at everyone’s outfits together to make sure there is consistency. This will also give you peace of mind going into the big picture day. You can also take photos of different family outfit options to send to friends or your photographer for outside opinions.

4. Coordinate outfits in neutral colors

Neutrals will never go out of style and are always easy to match. Blacks, greys, and dark blues are simple and timeless.

5. Don’t have everyone wear the same color

Matching lime green shirts may be something you regret in the years to come. Choosing from one color palette rather than choosing one color is always the way to go. If you’re stumped on your color story, look for color palette ideas according to season and skin tone.

6. Opt for classic silhouettes

You might want to nix the belly shirt and bell bottom jeans for your family photo shoot, unless you won’t mind seeing it on your mantle in 10 years. Think of what photos you will want to look at year in and year out. Also, consider silhouettes that have withstood the test of time, like tea-length skirts, blouses in jewel tones and shift dresses.

7. Plan everything out in advance

Photographer, location, outfits, accessories, poses, props: you name it and you should plan it. This will relieve so much stress the day of the photos and will leave you more than satisfied with the results.

8. Make sure your kids are comfortable in their photo shoot outfits

The thought of a screaming toddler with red, puffy eyes does not make me want to say, “Awww, what a darling family photo!” Those super cute yet scratchy tights that you know your 4-year-old hates are just not worth it.

9. Accessorize

Add some flair to your photos with jewelry, scarves, cardigans, jackets, and belts. This is also an easy way to coordinate lots of colors to neutral outfits.

10. Let the focus be on your family

Taking family photos is all about your family. You are trying to capture a moment in time that you will be able to fondly look back on and remember forever. When you keep that in mind, you will be more than prepared for a great photo shoot!