12 Tops to Help You Choose What to Wear in Family Photo

May 3, 2019

Deciding what to wear in family photos can be just as daunting as finding the perfect photographer to tell your story. Your professional family photos you are going to hang on your walls and cherish for years to come. We’re here to help. Use these tips to help you pick out the perfect wardrobe for you and your family.

What to wear in family photos

1. Coordinating colors not matching.

Long gone are the days of everyone wearing a white shirt and matching. A more modern approach is to pick a couple of colors and choose clothes that will fit in this color scheme. You can still accomplish a cohesive look without every family member wearing the exact same outfit. By selecting a color scheme and using hues that complement each other, you can achieve a more natural look across the board. Pick a main color or two and then add softer tones to accent and complete your color scheme.

Here are some starters:

Denim, Yellow, Crimson /// Light Blue, Tan, White

Denim and Tan /// Navy, Yellow, White /// Brown and Maroon

Denim, Yellow, Crimson /// Navy, Tan, Cream /// Crimson, Tan, Denim

Blush and Teal /// Blush and White /// Navy and Crimson

Tan and White /// Blue, Green, Yellow /// Orange and Teal

2. Look at the decor in your home.

Do you like bright colors? Neutrals? Since you will be hanging these photos in your house you want to make sure the colors of your clothes go with the color scheme of your home. The right clothing will blend in seamlessly with the color scheme of your home.

3. Don’t forget accessories.

Accessories not only add to your outfit but they can be fun to use in photos. Have the man wear a tie for the woman to hold. Necklaces for the kids to play with or hats to hide behind.

4. Limit patterns.

Personally, we love having an outfit in the mix that has all the colors in it. However, not everyone in the photo should wear patterns as it may distract the final image. It’s alright if a family member or two has a floral or striped pattern – you can simply plan the rest of the outfits around that.

5. Look for clothing collections.

When shopping for clothes for the family, visit stores that typically have color coordinating collections. A good standby is Old Navy, but you can also find great options at Boden, Macy’s, and Uniqlo.

6. Plan ahead.

Once you book your session, start thinking of the clothes right away. You may think certain clothes will fit your kids or that one dress is clean. If you wait until the day of or day before you may run into an issue of clothes not fitting, being dirty or need to be dry cleaned. When you allow yourself more time to plan your outfits, you will be less stressed. By laying each family member’s outfit together while planning, you’ll have a better idea about how the pieces will look next to each other and be clear about what works and what doesn’t.

7. Say no to characters and logos.

Yes, your little one may love their Disney shirt but you may want to skip it for the family photo session. Just like patterns, characters on shirts can be pretty distracting. The same holds true for that designer logo. The faces of your family and the connection you hold together should be the main point of your photo session. As much as you love a boutique brand splurge, keep the logos in your closet for another day.

8. Avoid all white or all black clothing.

If you are wearing an all white shirt then it is very easy to blow out parts of your shirt causing it to lose its detail. Same can be said with all black, it’s easy to have clipping on black clothing and the detail is lost.

9. Texture is our best friend.

Who isn’t a fan of a cotton fitted shirt? In photos however, we like to add textures like scarves or belts to add a little more to the image. Don’t shy away from different textures.

10. Think classic.

These photos will be hanging on your walls and treasured for years to come. By choosing simple, classic clothes you will help give your images a timeless feel. Pieces like a cold-shoulder top

11. Choose practical.

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. When it’s warm out, you can’t expect little ones to cooperate in sweaters even if its the look you had hoped for. If your kids are not comfortable then you’re going to be in for a long photo shoot. 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.

12. Think year-round.

One of the more popular times for families to take their portraits seems to be around the holidays. The holidays may seem like the perfect excuse to bring out the red velvet dresses, Santa hats and incorporate props into your family portraits. However, you’ll want these photos to be displayed all year round, especially if they are a gift. We recommend avoiding purely seasonal accessories and items.

Now that you’ve got these styling tips and tricks up your sleeve, choosing outfits for your family photo shoot should be a breeze. If you still feel stumped, we would be happy to connect you with a team of professional stylists that can take the guesswork out of picking out clothes for your family photo session.