Choosing Outfits for Family Pictures

Do you get super excited when you book your family photo session, only to panic when you realize now you have to pick out outfits for your pictures?? No, that’s just me? Ok. Well, whether you love coordinating outfits or the thought of it stresses you out, here are some of my favorite tips to keep in mind when picking out what to wear for your pictures!

You can never be too dressed up!

This is a special occasion! I promise you won’t regret taking this opportunity to break out the fancy clothes. Wearing nicer outfits will help you stand out and take your photos to the next level. It’s also a perfect time to get your hair and makeup done by a professional. Getting dressed up helps you look and feel your best, which will show through in your pictures.

This one is from an engagement shoot, but it’s a perfect example of how a flowy dress and nice shirt can elevate your pictures! Check out more of Anna’s gorgeous dress here.

Choose a color palette of 1-2 main colors with neutral accents.

Try keeping your color palette limited so that you don’t have too many distracting colors competing for attention. You want your faces to be the first thing that draws your eye in pictures!

For our recent family pictures, we chose blush pink and chambray as our main colors, with accents of grey, tan and white. Here’s an example below of how everyone’s outfits came together.

Don’t feel like everyone has to match perfectly! Coordination is key.

Instead of doing everyone in a white shirt and khaki pants, mix things up within your color palette. Like in the example below, Jaimee chose a color palette of maroon as her main pop of color and then grey, tan and cream as her accent colors. She started with beautiful maroon dresses for her and her daughter. Then she gave her son a shirt that had a hint of the maroon, but also a hint of grey that matched her husband’s sweater. She chose khaki pants for her son to help tie in her older daughter’s light colored dress and vest. They all coordinate together without feeling too perfectly matchy-matchy!

Add subtle accents of textures and patterns.

Feel free to add a subtle striped shirt, patterned scarf, or a luxurious fur vest! The variety will help break up solid colors. Look at the example below. Keli (left) chose a fun patterned scarf for herself and then a subtle plaid shirt for her little guy. It helps keep the baby’s shirt from blending in with his dad’s without being so busy that your eye is immediately drawn to it. Then Hannah (right) gave her daughter an adorable fur vest to add a fun texture to her family group, and help break up the coordinating maroon shirts. Adding patterns or textures is good as long as it’s not too drastic!

Make sure you feel comfortable and confident!

If you are self-conscious about how your outfit makes you look it can show through in your pictures. You don’t want to be constantly adjusting your shirt or dress the whole time! Especially with small kids, comfy and easy to wear is best. Remember you’ll probably be holding smaller kids in most of the pictures, so you want something that will look nice while you’re holding them.

Most importantly, have fun!

While it may seem intimidating to plan for your family pictures, try to have fun! When my clients book with me I like to talk with them beforehand about what to expect from the session. We talk about their vision, specific shots they want to get, location options, and outfit color schemes to help make their vision come to life. I also like to give them ideas of fun things for the kids to do to keep them happy and engaged. Overall, I want your family session to be about more than just pretty pictures to share on social media. I want it to be a fun experience that you enjoy looking back on!

If you have more questions about putting together your outfits for pictures or ways to make your session more enjoyable, drop a comment below or shoot me an email! I’d love to help out. 🙂

Choosing Outfits for Family Pictures

  1. My husband and I want to take family pictures next month with our two kids and need to choose the best outfits for them. I love how you said that it is important to coordinate with everyone while still looking different. We will be sure to find a reputable children’s clothing store that provides cute clothes that match the color scheme of our pictures.

    • Emma Jana says:

      Yes, I LOVE when families coordinate instead of match perfectly. And that’s a perfect idea to find a store that carries coordinating outfits for kids instead of having to do the hard work yourself! 🙂 I’d love to see how your outfits turn out!

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