It’s that time of year- family photo time! Our family does family pics a little more often than most- but it’s actually been a while for us! We’ve not had them done since before Covid- which makes sense- but I am still ready for some new family photos on the wall! When it comes to family photos, I love choosing the outfits and getting the final photos back. I do not love the day of or the process of taking them. Even for as often as we take photos, we still deal with a lot of drama. One (or two!) kids always cry, someone gets hurt, we’re all sweating- it’s just a big to-do. But like I said, I love having the photos for our walls and for Christmas cards, so- it is what it is. This year’s photos really came together and the kids shined- especially in their portraits. The group photos are always chaos- especially if you add dogs! Today I’m sharing my most recent tips for how to put outfits together for your family photos this season!
A few years ago I wrote a post about choosing family photo outfits and I still stand by most of my tips. You can find them here. Most people do not enjoy choosing outfits for family photos, and I get it. It can be expensive and it’s a bit like a puzzle. There is a balance that is hard to strike when it comes to family pics. No one wants to be too matchy-matchy, but you do want to “go together”. I’ve jotted down a few tips that I have for choosing family photo outfits and hopefully they help you get your juices flowing.
10 TIPS FOR CHOOSING FAMILY PHOTO OUTFITS
- Consider how you’ll be using your photos. Are they going on the wall year round or just going in Christmas cards? If you take photos more than once a year then I feel like you can go very seasonal in your approach. If you only do it once a year, its better to be more neutral. This time we’re likely not taking family photos any time soon, so I tried not to be SO FALL or holiday. (It’s hard for me though because naturally I lean toward Fall styles!)
- Find a few outfit items that you love and build your color palette around them. I found these boots for Rush and Baker and fell head over heels. They are so on trend and actually set the tone for the rest of the outfits. I also bought this two-pack of shirts for Knox and Kesler and so we were decided on a brown/black/cream color scheme.
- No matter what- pick a neutral or two in your color palette. It makes is very easy to have family members wear basics that they already own- like black jeans, a chambray shirt, a white dress, etc. Mixing in basics you already own really can help save money!
- Make sure you have 2 patterns or interesting statement pieces in the outfit mix. This could look like print or a graphic tee or a lot of texture. Put 1, 2, or 3 others in basic tops.
- Whether you have a small family or a big family- consider having 20% of your outfits with a pattern, 50% basic tees or sweaters, and 25% something different like a textured dress, a blazer or some lace.
- Consider how you are pairing people in photos when you choose outfits. Soren and I always take a pic together, so the two of us need to look good together on our own. The boys always take a photo together so they need to have a good mix of colors, patterns and basics between them. Lay out your outfit with your signficant other’s oufit. Lay out just the kids’- see how it works in smaller chunks.
- Lay all of the outfits out before you make final decisions. Be sure to include pants, tops, shoes, hats and anything else so that you can see how it all mixes. You may decide to put Dad in black jeans instead of blue once you see the mix.
- When it come to picking your outfit, be sure to wear something that you feel fabulous in. If you love jeans, wear your jeans. If you love a dress, wear it. Try and elevate your look a little more with a great pair of statement earrings or a hat. A great pair of shoes works too. Maybe a lipstick. Just don’t blend in- you are the queen after all!
- Add in something fun to your photos to give it a little theme. This could be a setting like a pumpkin patch or a Christmas tree farm or an object like an old chair or a sofa outside. You can also add a cool vehicle, patterned blankets, pets, animals and more. We used a little Polaroid this time- and it just gave Baker a fun prop to hold.
- Choose mostly neutrals with just a little colors. Some of the color palettes we have used in the past are below-
- Brown, black, ivory + Western vibes
- Olive, white, black + a patterned blanket
- Rust, black, white, tan + an old Jeep
- Denim, tan, white + fur
- Black, red, white + a red lip
- Cream, tan, brown + animal print
- Holiday plaids, black, red + Christmas tree farm
- Sage green, white, blue + plus farm animals
I hope these tips help you create a look that you are going to love. There are so many ways to be successful with family photo outfits, and really just getting updated photos is the marker of winning! Now if only I can get them up on the wall this year….