How to Dress for Family Photos

Hey guys! I've been thinking about writing this post for a little while and I thought now was a great time since it's usually about the time everyone is preparing to have family photos taken for their holiday cards. I know I am hoping to get ours done by the end of the month too. Now, I will preface this by saying that we've only had our photos taken professionally twice as a family and the first time it was with just Camden. But, I feel like I have some good experience when it comes to dressing our family in a way that is simple and complimentary, which usually shows best in photos.

1. Colors : I always like to stick to a group of 3-4 colors that are complimentary of each other. Whether it's warm tones, or complimentary bold, gem tones or pastels. Just as long as the colors blend well together. For example, for our fist family photo session I wore a solid burgundy colored blouse with dark jeans and taupe booties. Bill wore a chambray button up shirt and dark jeans. Camden wore a burgundy and white buffalo check shirt and jeans. I wanted to plan our outfits around Camden's shirt because I was most excited for his cute little outfit! So, my top and his shirt didn't clash because they were similar in color. We all had similar dark colored jeans and I feel as though denim is pretty neutral.

We had a similar color grouping for our second year of family photos. I included navy, grey, denim and some neutral tones. I knew I wanted to wear my pink, navy and white plaid blanket scarf with my navy swing dress, so I dressed the boys complimentary of my outfit.

2. Patterns : I think one difficult factor of dressing a family is making sure there aren't too many competing patterns or textures. I'm sure if I had a daughter, I'd want to dress her in all sorts of pretty patterns, lace and ruffles! If you have a certain outfit that you know you want one person to wear for photos, then I would dress everyone else around that particular outfit. So if your daughter is wearing a pretty floral patterned dress, maybe have everyone else in solid colors that compliment or neutral tones. If you have one person in a big bold print and someone else in a pattern, it may not look complimentary to have them together in a photo.

For our family photos last year, I wore a plaid blanket scarf and Bennett wore a gingham button up shirt. I felt like these two prints didn't clash because the colors of Bennett's shirt complimented my scarf and the gingham print was small and more muted.

Here is another example of pattern mixing, but staying relatively in the same color palette. we took some family photos during our family trip to the Outer Banks in July and I chose the color palette of light blues, grey, tan, etc. Bennett was wearing plaid shorts and I was wearing a blue and white pinstripe dress. I don't think the two patterns clashed because my pinstripe dress was a more muted, two toned pattern.

last two photos by me!

I think you can still mix some texture and prints as long as the texture (say, lace for example) is a solid color that compliments one color of the patterned outfit. Neutrals (cream/white, denim, tan/khaki, grey, etc) can be thrown in to help fill in some color gaps.

3. Dress for the season : This tip is pretty obvious and doesn't need a whole lot of explaining. If you are planning to use your family photos for holiday cards, you should want to make sure everyone is dressed in fall/winter clothes (ie. long sleeves, sweaters, pants, etc). The main point being is to make sure the family is all dressed for the same season.

Here's an example I put together of a family of 4 with a son and a daughter:

Shop the collage below:

What are your tips when it comes to dressing for family photos? 
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1 comment

  1. You guys nail the family picture outfits so well. I love how coordinating but not overly matchy they are, plus those cute smiles add to it!


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