Tips for Family Photo Outfit Ideas
The most popular seasons for family photos are right around the corner. This is the prime time to take and prepare for family photos. Whether you have one kid, or multiple, it can be tricky deciding between family photo outfit ideas. My twin sister (who is a mom to twins & a 4-year-old girl) and I always plan our family photo sessions together. We take each other’s photos on our iPhone (thank you, portrait mode!) and have learned a few tips about outfit planning. Grab a cup of coffee and get ready to tackle your outfits with this post! First, try these top tips for choosing outfits for family pictures.
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1. Book a photographer for family photo session
If using a professional, call your photographer in advance. Having a date set on the calendar is the first step in planning your outfits for family photos. The date you pick will determine the season and weather, which plays a huge role in what you will wear for family pictures. This is especially true for outdoor photo sessions. Living in Ohio, there can be a big swing in weather from the beginning of October & the end. I like to have a date in mind before outfit planning.
2. Choose the location for family pictures
After the date is set, decide exactly where you want to take your pictures. You may have a general idea already, such as the beach, a park, or at home. We have several parks by us that are great for photo session, and they all have very different backdrops. That is why it is important to know the exact location so that you can plan your outfits to coordinate with the scenery.
3. Pick a color palette for your family photo outfit
After a location is set, it should be pretty easy to determine a color scheme. Pick something that will compliment your surroundings. Avoid choosing colors that will blend in with the scenery. This way, you will stand out in the pictures. If going to a lush green garden, avoid green. Instead go for soft pastels or ivory! Here are some other tips:
Avoid all white, black or red. Black is very difficult to photograph and sort of creates a blob in pictures. Limit to one black item for the entire family (dad’s shirt) or your sones shoes. Too much black can be tricky!
Reference your home decor for inspiration – the photos will be on the walls and should complement your existing decor.
- For the best pictures, choose a base color and then use variations of that color for each outfit. Do not go for exact matching colors, but instead try to choose cohesive colors. Scroll to the end for outfit ideas!
4. Choose YOUR family photo outfit
Now is the fun part – getting your outfit! Mom’s outfit can often be the most tricky to determine so start there then build out your family’s outfits for the photo session. Shop your closet first for something in your color palette that will fit the season. Look for:
- A dress! A midi dress with a defined waist will be your best option when looking for family photo outfit ideas. The midi length will provide coverage for ground level shots or sitting poses. A cinched waist is not only figure flattering, but will keep your body defined, unlike a shift dress that becomes a tent in the slightest breeze!
- Skirt and top combo! This is a great alternative to a dress.
- Something more elevated than your normal outfits. Don’t stray too far from your personal style, but know that everyday fabrics often don’t photograph as well as something like chiffon, rayon, linen, double knit, or silk.
- A color that is flattering on you! If the base color you chose is not the most flattering color on you, then look for something neutral (white, ivory, beige, etc.) that will complement the base color.
5. Pick your family’s outfits for photos
The biggest piece of advice I can give when choosing family picture outfits is to avoid busy pattern!
Minimize pattern to one article of clothing for the entire family (your hubby’s shirt or daughter’s dress. Opt for small and discreet pattern which will not be overpowering in the picture. Keep everyone in solid colors to maintain the focus on your faces.
Of course, always utilize items that fit your personal style!
Use the base color you chose above and look for a mix of this color variation as well as neutral compliments. Remember:
- Limit BOLD or busy patterns that are distracting to the eye.
- Wear texture. Cable knit, for example, is soft, inviting, cozy and really timeless. It adds dimension to the outfit in photographs.
- Layer up to add dimension and personality (avoid scarves as they can overpower the face in pictures)
6. Less is More for Family Photo Outfits
Avoid extra props and distractions. Props can be fun, but the best pictures are always the simple ones. Photos simply walking, laughing and looking at each other are some of my favorites. Adding too many extra things can be a distraction in the final product and often end up being a hassle during the family photo shoot.
7. Get Ready for Family Photos
Get your family outfits ready a few days before your session. Try everything on, fluff or iron whatever needs to be. Get your kids excited and set the expectation for the session! Tell them you’ll be taking quick photos and then having ice cream afterwards. Using a nice bribe like this can help make for an easier session. Don’t forget to take a few (mess free) snacks to the session to offer additional distraction during pictures. Even a quick 30-minute session can feel like an eternity for kids!
10 Family Photo Outfit Ideas
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