September 15, 2022
Fall is here, and for many families, that means updating family photos just in time for Christmas cards! But before you get to your session, you’ve got a job to do: picking out what to wear! You may have experienced it in the past – standing in front of your closet (or other family members’ closets), staring blankly, hoping the right outfit will magically reveal itself to you. Don’t we wish choosing family photo outfits was that easy!?
With endless possibilities at your fingertips, it can be difficult to make a final decision about what to wear. You want your family to look good together AND feel good in what you’re wearing. You want to coordinate, but you don’t want to be *too* matchy, and you want to make sure what you’ve chosen will actually photograph well.
It can certainly lead to a bit of decision paralysis. Luckily, I’ve got a few suggestions for you based on years of photographing families and hearing what they have to say about choosing their outfits. This post is full of tips for how to choose outfits for family photos that clients have found to be helpful over the years. I’m also sharing a few inspiration photos to get the ideas flowing!
When mom is happy, we’re all happy, right? Moms, if you have a dress or a top you love that makes you feel beautiful, confident, and 100% your best self – wear it, and choose the rest of your family’s outfits around it. In general, it’s helpful to choose one outfit as the “central” piece to coordinate all other family members’ outfits with. Why not let that central piece be mom’s?
Have you ever had an outfit you loved, but every time you wore it, it needed constant adjusting? Whether it’s adjusting the straps, tugging at the hemline, making sure a belt looks just right – these are things you don’t want to constantly be thinking about as you take photos. When your mind is on making sure you look just right, it’s not on enjoying time with your family. Your photos will look the most full of joy and love when you’re 100% present for them, rather than focusing on whether or not the neckline on your blouse is dipping too low for comfort!
When two people wearing different patterns are standing right next to each other, they usually clash. If you have a smaller family (3 people or less), and want to incorporate a pattern, it’s best for only one person to wear one. If you have a family of four people or more, two people can wear a pattern, as long as they won’t be standing next to each other in photos!
If everyone is wearing black (or any color, for that matter), you won’t be able to tell where one person starts and the other begins! Aim for contrasting colors that pop when they’re next to each other, or colors in the same “family” that coordinate well.
It’s often easiest to make decisions when you *see* all of your options laid out, instead
of thinking through what might look good together in your head. Try laying out different clothing combinations on your bed to see what speaks to you the most!
If I’m your photographer, you are *always* welcome to email or text me with options you’re considering. (This happens more than you think – don’t be shy!) I’m happy to give a photographer’s perspective! If you’ve booked another photographer for photos, I’m sure they would be honored if you’d ask them their thoughts.
There’s no perfect formula for choosing family photo outfits, but the tips in this post are a wonderful starting point. I hope as you’ve read and browsed the inspiration photos, your creativity began to flow with ideas for your own family!
P.S. If you’d like to schedule a family photo session, reach out to me here!