What to Wear for Family Photos
As we reflect on all our memories, it’s hard to recall ones that don’t include our families. There’s something special about looking back on family portraits over the years past. Family photos are a moment saved in time that will be cherished forever. So when it comes to what to wear for family picture day make sure you plan ahead. Whether you are taking family photos for your annual photo Christmas card or looking to get an updated shot to hang above the mantle, you’ll want you and your family to look your best doing so.
There are many aspects to keep in mind when deciding what to wear for your family photos. Coordinating outfits for family photos doesn’t need to be difficult. You can never go wrong with selecting a few focal colors and textured clothing items, as well as considering the season. Focus on accomplishing a cohesive look and dressing in outfits that will allow your photos to take on a timeless feel. Of course, the most important part of your family portrait is to document the love that your family shares. We’re here to help you with the rest. These family photo outfit ideas below will allow you get a one-of-a-kind portrait that has a close-knit family feel.
Family Photo Outfit Ideas
Allow your family to be the captivating focal point of your shots during any season with these family photo outfit do’s and don’ts. Consider these coordinating outfit ideas when choosing family photo outfit ideas:
- Plan your outfits in advance. The more time you allow yourself to plan your outfits, the less stressed you’ll be. Plus, it never hurts to have options especially when you’re dressing your kids.
- Choose coordinating colors, not matching. Knowing what colors to wear for family photos can be tricky. Start off with colors that coordinate well. You can accomplish a cohesive look without every family member wearing the exact same outfit. In fact, that can seem overly-matching. By selecting a color scheme and using hues that complement each other, you can achieve a more natural look across the board. Pick two main colors and then add softer tones to accent and complete your color scheme.
- Consider your home decor. You’ll want to consider your home decor style when picking out what to wear in family photos. Since a few of these photos will most likely be hanging in your home and on display for a long time, make sure that the clothing you select blends in seamlessly with the color scheme of your home.
- Keep location in mind. Another helpful item to consider when trying to decide what to wear in your family photos is the location of your photoshoot. Are you going to be on the beach where there are plenty of neutral tones or under a tree surrounded by bright fall foliage? Select a color palette for your outfits that will complement the setting. Pick out items of clothing in colors that will complement your background and not compete with it.
- Use the season to help select color schemes for your outfits. Each season is associated with different colors, weather, and landscapes which will be an important item to consider when picking out what everyone will be wearing.
- Choose practical clothing items. This is an important item to keep in mind for every family member but, especially when you are thinking about what to dress your little ones in. If your kids are not comfortable then you’re going to be in for a long photoshoot. Don’t make it more difficult on yourself or your photographer to get the perfect shot. Make sure that everyone is comfortable with their clothing to ensure all smiles.
- Pick out accessories to add texture to your photos. Accessories are great style pieces that add to your individual outfits and can even tie family members’ outfits together. For example, if Dad is wearing a red and black plaid coat then adding a plaid hat to your daughter’s outfit will tie the pattern in for a more cohesive feel. Accessories will also give your photos variation. Think scarves, hats, gloves, and belts.
- Select an outfit that is appropriate year-round. One of the more popular times for families to take their portraits seems to be around the holidays (when the kids are home from school and everyone is in the same place). The holidays may seem like the perfect excuse to bring out the Santa hats and incorporate props into your family portraits. However, you’ll want these photos to be displayed all year round. Try to avoid purely seasonal accessories and items.
- Limit distracting patterns and large logos. Including articles of clothing with multiple patterns or large logos can become a distraction. Strong prints and abstract patterns can overpower your photo. Avoid items that clash and stick to one pattern or textural element for your portrait session.
- Lay each family member’s outfit together while planning. This way you’ll have a good idea about how the pieces will look next to each other. This will allow you a better idea of what works and what doesn’t. Plus, this way, you can make sure that you’re not missing any essential clothing items.
- Select outfits that will make for a timeless portrait. If all else fails, when you look in your closet to find the perfect family portrait outfits think about staying classic. You’ll want your photos to be timeless. Styles come and go but, your photos are forever.
- Have fun playing stylist and let your family’s personality shine.
Fall Family Picture Outfit Ideas
There are recognizable markers that trigger the “fall feeling” in each of us. With the weather cooling down, the leaves changing, and a trip to the pumpkin patch in the near future, fall is full of inspiration you can use for your outfit choices. If you are taking your family photos during the fall season, incorporate seasonal earth tones, rich maroons or burnt oranges. Wear layers and have fun playing in the leaves. Use the following Fall styling tips to guide your clothing selections.
Styling Tips for Fall:
- Fall outfits are all about the layers! Plus, wearing layers makes for a quick outfit change too.
- Take advantage of the colorful fall leaves and let them inspire your outfit choices.
- Use fall accessories to add texture to your photos. Think big scarves and stylish boots.
- Plaid shirts are a popular clothing selection for fall family photos. Think about dressing a few of your members in this season appropriate pattern.
Fall Color Schemes:
- Brown and Maroon
- Denim, Yellow, Crimson
- Navy, Tan, Cream
- Denim and Tan
Winter Family Photo Outfit Ideas
With everyone home for the holidays, the winter season is one of the most popular times of the year for family photos. There are many aspects of the winter season that are sure to spark outfit ideas. Classic red and green holiday colors and plaid patterns are a few of these style trends that are perfect for your photos. The holiday season is all about the flannels, the furry scarves, and the cable-knit sweaters. Get ready to bundle up.
Styling Tips for The Holidays:
- The cooler weather of the winter season allows for some great accessories for your family photos. Think scarves, beanies and coats!
- Sweaters are very appealing clothing options for holiday family photos. Have the boys wear collared shirts with a sweater over while the girls wear matching cable knits.
- For a cute holiday twist wear matching pajamas in some of the shots.
- Add a pop of color to your outfit with a bright red lipstick perfect for the holidays.
Holiday Color Schemes:
- Navy and Crimson
- Glitter and White
- Crimson, Tan, Denim
- Red, Grey, Black
Spring Family Photo Outfit Ideas
Spring is the perfect time to take your photo idea outdoors. Choose from beautiful pastel colors are more prominent in the springtime, along with white and blue hues. Other trendy springtime outfit ideas include floral patterns, which can be incorporated throughout accessories or clothing items. Dresses and skirts are also popular for spring family photos. These springtime trends paired with simple basics will give your family photos a polished and fresh look.
Styling Tips for Spring:
- A great pattern for springtime is floral. Select statement pieces featuring your favorite florals.
- Cheerful hues will really make your springtime family portraits pop.
- Bows in the little ones hair are the perfect springtime accessory and a great way to get their hair out of their eyes.
- If youre taking family portraits in the warmer months take advantage of the weather and pick out skirts as well as dresses.
Spring Color Schemes:
- Blush and Teal
- Blush and White
- Light Blue, Tan, White
- Navy, Yellow, White
Summer Family Photo Shoot Outfit Ideas
A summertime family photoshoot offers beautiful landscapes for your photos and warmer weather. The season reflects a laid back vibe that can be mirrored throughout your family’s outfit selections. Take advantage of light cottons, pretty sheers, denim and slip into your sandals for a casual look. If your family is taking a summer vacation, use this time to take your family portraits. No matter where you may be during summertime, you can take advantage of the following summer color arrangements and styling tips to guide your selections.
Styling Tips for Summer:
- Select more cheerful colors for your summertime portraits.
- Take advantage of light cotton, pretty sheers and lace. Light and breezy outfits are also great for the summer heat.
- Gingham patterns for the boys and summer dresses for the girls.
- Dont feel the need to be too formal during your summer photo session. Try slipping on your sandals and frolicking on the beach. Youre sure to get some candid shots!
Summer Color Schemes:
- Tan and White
- Orange and Teal
- Light Blue, Tan, White
- Blue, Green, Yellow
Resources to What to Wear for Family Photos
Now that you’ve got plenty of styling tips and tricks up your sleeve, choosing outfits for your family photoshoot should be a breeze. Each time you glance at your family portraits, you’ll be happy to relive that moment in time for years to come.
If you need more inspiration for poses or styling tips, these family photo ideas should help. Once you get your portraits, share these memories with the ones you love and create a family photo album or a custom home decor piece everyone will adore.
Best Colors for Family Pictures Outside
As a family photographer, the most common question I get from families is What should we wear? And as a mom myself, I get it! The idea of selecting color schemes for family photos and finding coordinating outfits can make my head spin too! Thats why Ive put together a blog series with information from general tips for what to wear to the best colors for outside family pictures.
NAVY, CREAM AND TAN
Navy, cream and tan is a classic color scheme for family photos that works well for any season. The navy and cream pair beautifully with the pastel florals and bright greens of spring. They also look perfect among green grass and leaves at a park for summer family pictures. And these neutral tones compliment the bright yellows and oranges of fall foliage.
GRAY, PINK AND GOLD
AQUA AND NAVY
CORAL AND NAVY
You will find most color schemes have one or two bright or vibrant colors paired with one or two neutral tones. In this outfit the coral is a bold focal color. Navy, gray and white all act as neutral tones that help balance out the vibrant coral and ground the outfit.
NAVY AND YELLOW
Another example of a color scheme for family pictures that uses a bright color (yellow) in small amounts. And then balances it with neutrals (gray and navy).
AQUA, GRAY AND YELLOW
Aqua, gray and yellow are a perfect color scheme for spring or summer family photos.
TURQUOISE AND TAN
BURNT ORANGE, TAN AND NAVY
Fall is such a popular time for family pictures. In Northeast Ohio, we tend to have parks full of beautiful golden yellow fall foliage. This family outfit has the perfect color scheme for golden fall leaves.
PINK, WINE AND GRAY
WINE, CREAM AND GOLD
I love this color scheme for holiday family photos. So often we think red and green for Christmas pictures. But using a color scheme of wine, cream and gold still gives a festive feel if you plan to use them for Christmas cards. But it is also classic and traditional enough to hang in your home year round.
PINK, TAN AND CREAM
Tan, cream and pink are one of the best set of colors for family pictures outside at the beach. This would be a perfect family outfit if you were looking for a very understated and monochromatic look. The pink used in this family outfit is so soft and pale that it almost acts as a neutral itself. And the tans and creams echo the tones of the sand on the beach.
* Just be sure to skip the shoes if you use an outfit like this for a beach photo session. Barefoot on the beach always looks best *
PEACH, BLUE AND DENIM
Peach, blue and denim is a favorite color scheme for spring family pictures. The peach blends perfectly with pastel toned spring flowers of Northeast Ohio. While the denim help act as a neutral to keep the outfit from competing with all the amazing colors nature has to offer in the spring.
RED, MUSTARD AND GRAY
RED, WHITE AND BLUE
This red, white and blue color scheme just feels right for a 4th of July family photos. Red can be a tricky color to use in pictures because it can really demand attention. But, it can also help create a striking family portrait. If you plan to use red as part of your color scheme be sure to consider your session location. The neutral tones of a beach or urban downtown session would be a perfect backdrop for this color scheme. While a grassy park with lots of green, may leave your picture feeling a little more Christmassy than you expected.
GRAY, BLUE AND TAN
HOW TO PICK YOUR PERFECT COLOR SCHEME
Maybe you found a color scheme above that you fell in love with. Great! Before you raid your closet or hit the store, lets look a few tips to help you make sure that color scheme is a perfect fit. Or help you narrow your favorites down to the best one for your family.
When selecting color schemes for your family photos, be sure to keep the location of your session in mind. While bright and vibrant colors my look perfect for a downtown urban style session, they may feel a tad out of place nestled in a field of tall wispy grasses. Or, if your setting is full of lush green foliage, wearing lots of red could accidentally leave your portrait looking Christmassy.
2. YOUR HOME
When you are selecting the best colors for your outside family pictures, start by looking inside your home. Where do you plan to hang your final portraits? You may want to pull colors from your decor so that your final artwork looks like it was made for your walls. If your style is soft and muted tones, outfits in the same soft and muted style would be a perfect choice. Decorate in cooler tones? Be sure to dress in cooler tones as well.
3. SKIN TONES
We all have that favorite color. You know. The one that everyone compliments you in when you wear it. We usually gravitate toward colors that work well with our skin tone without even realizing it. For example, if you have a warm skin tone, you will tend to gravitate towards and look best in warm colors like brown, gold, oranges and reds.
And if you look best in and find yourself always wearing cool colors such as grays, purple, and blues, then you most likely have a cool skin tone.
But when you have a family, there can be multiple skin tones. And you still want to make sure the colors you choose compliment everyone. While that may sound impossible if you have some members of your family that are cool tones and some that are warm, there is an easy solution.
4.MAKING SURE YOUR COLOR SCHEME LOOKS GREAT ON EVERYONE
Maybe you love the aqua and blue color scheme above. But aqua doesnt look great on your daughter. You could dress her more dominantly in the neutral anchor color. In this case navy blue. Then add an aqua belt to tie her outfit in. That way the aqua in her belt is resting on the navy dress and not up against the skin tone of her face.
5. TAKE YOUR FREE WHAT TO WEAR GUIDE WITH YOU WHEN YOU SHOP
Download your free what to wear guide below. Full of outfit examples and inspiration as well as my 5 favorite tips for coordinating your family outfits, it is perfect to keep on your phone when you go shopping. Or reference when you are combing through your closet at home. Enjoy!
And now its time to go raid your closet and hit the stores!
Id love to hear what color scheme you wore for your family photo session. Drop me a comment below.
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