1. Start with picking a color scheme.
There are limitless color schemes out there for family photos, but choose one that feels like you and incorporates colors that you already own. It is okay to go buy some new things for family photos, but makes sure you don’t have to buy EVERYTHING new. Stick to one or two main colors complimented by a neutral. Or go all neutral. These are our family photos from last year and I purposefully chose a neutral color scheme that focused more on texture and patterns, than a specific color.
I like to start by choosing what tops everyone will wear. Usually that is where there is the most variety to pick from. Depending on the size of your family, try to include at least patterned shirt (like plaid or polka dots) and at least one solid top. If you can vary between a basic tee, a button up and a sweater then do it. As long as you stick to the color scheme, varying the tops will add the most interest to the photos. For example give one child layers with a cardigan and a tee and stick another in a button up and a bow tie. As you can see below my layered vest balances my brother’s plaid top while adding diversity to the photo.
Next up are the bottoms. Decide how casual or dressy you want your photos to be and then choose accordingly. Stay within your color scheme and then mix it up a little. Because our scheme was neutral we did two members in denim, one in black pants and another in khaki. You can also do light and dark denim, a skirt and a dress, tall boots and short boots… you get the idea. The only thing to be wary of is brightly printed skirts or pants. If the bottoms are where the action in happening, then go back and tone down the tops.
The next two tips have the same concept, but you really want to make sure to do both steps! Because you will likely have a photo of just you and your hubby (or wife) on your own, be sure your outfits go well together. Do they coordinate enough to stand alone? Are you both in plain tees or should you throw on a vest or a cardigan to mix it up? Do your pants match perfectly or should you add tall boots or a skirt to change up the bottoms?
The same thing applies to the siblings. You will likely want a photo of just the kids so how do their outfits work together? For my boys last year I decided to put them both in the same Target button up so that they coordinated- but then had them wear the shirts differently. Easton wore a button up sweater over his with khakis. Kesler wore his with tie and jeans. Neither was more dressy than the other and they weren’t matchy-matchy.
You really want to think about the family’s clothing as one BIG outfit. Like when you dress yourself, you want an outfit to be balanced and coordinate, but not be all the same or monochromatic or plain. So vary the styles, prints, and textures while sticking with a purposeful color scheme and you will be on your way to some great family style!