10 Tips for Choosing Outfits for Family Photos

Alamo Family of 4 outdoor session

There are so many ways to create beautiful photos that capture your family at this time in life. Having your family members in the right outfits can really impact how well your photos turn out. But, don’t panic and think that your photos might be ruined if you don’t pick the perfect outfits. With a few simple ideas, you’ll be able to choose great outfits that your family looks good in and that photograph well. 

1. Coordinate colors in the clothing without being an exact match. Bridal parties are the one time that having people all in the same color works well. For family photos, choose one or two main colors and coordinate items that work well together.

2. Have everyone wear a version of the same color and mix solids and patterns. For example, one person can wear a pattern, such as stripes, and another person would wear a solid that is the color of the stripes. Another family member could wear another pattern, for example, subtle polka dots with those colors, and perhaps another main color that is the main color of the 4th family members outfit.

3. Textures are your friend and look amazing in photos. For example, I love cotton fitted shirts, which you can enhance by adding textures like scarves or belts. Don’t shy away from different textures; you can always bring a few texture options and let your photographer guide you.

4. Think about buying from a company that sells clothing for kids and adults, like Old Navy. Not only will this make your buying easier, because you can see everything together and only need one stop, all of the colors will be from the same dye-lot. Typically, you’ll be able to find several great options that coordinate well (remember, don’t match!) for all of the members of your family.

5. Avoid logos or loud patterns. Though these work well in your day-to-day, for photos, not so much. We don’t want your family photos looking like you’re selling something or have people’s eyes drawn to a distracting shirt rather than your beautiful faces. 

6. Not sure what colors to wear? Look at your home decor. Do you like bright colors? Neutrals? If you will be hanging these photos in your home, you want to make sure the colors of your clothes go with the feel and color scheme of your home. Be inspired by where you live.

7. Keep your location in mind. Are you going to be on the beach? Surrounded by beautiful foliage? Use that location to inspire what you’re wearing and to add accent to the locale. If you’re surrounded by greenery, think about dressing in Fall colors – deep reds, oranges, and greens, whereas if you’ll be on the coast, a softer palette will work well.

8. Avoid being too seasonal. Even though your photos may be for your holiday cards, you might not want to see yourselves in red and green all year long. Consider that you’ll likely have these images hanging in your home, so it’s best to be timeless rather than seasonal when you choose your outfits. You can use hints of color to suggest the season rather than be obvious.

9. Choose clothing that your family members feel comfortable in. Sure, you can be more formal than your daily life, but don’t forget about comfort. If your family tends to be casual and you choose formal or structured clothes, or if you choose itchy items for your kids, you might have unhappy faces or unnatural looking photos.

10. Go shopping. Yes, photos are an investment. And going shopping adds more to that investment, but fresh clothes that haven’t been washed and worn over time photograph so much better than clothes that have been lived in and washed many times. 

There you have it, 10 tips to help you choose outfits you look great in for family photos. If you follow these suggestions, you’ll likely end up with beautifully coordinated outfits that photograph well and create lasting memories you love. 


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