What to Wear: Family Photos

Hey there friends!

I am no fashionista, but today I wanted to talk a bit about outfits ... specifically outfits for family and group photos. There are so many possibilities and so many directions to go in. Choosing clothes for photo shoots can be daunting. No matter if you are picking for one or for a whole family it can be challenging.  I am not a fashion expert, but here are 5 tips to help in deciding on photo shoot clothing and a few things to avoid!

{Before you start considering outfits and colors ... think of each individual outfit as a piece that will make up one large outfit instead of focusing on each outfit individually. This will aid in the decision making process. Not everyone has to match, but everyone must flow together.}

1. Find Your Style--
Finding your style can be hard in itself. Think of the finished images and what they will be used for. Dressy? Casual? Country? Urban? Professional? The possibilities are endless. Incorporating your personality into the photos will help make you more satisfied with the outcome. Personally, I believe it is good to feel comfortable in your outfits. If you feel uncomfortable, this will come through in your photos.

Also, it is all a good idea to talk with your photographer to see what locations you will be using. You will want to make sure your outfits match the locations chosen. This can be subjective, but can be important to the desired outcome.

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2. Pick a Color Scheme--
In my opinion, color scheme is the most important part of making group outfits match. Think of colors that you already own. Neutral colors are always good with one or two accent colors. Not all members of the photo has to wear the accent color, but incorporating it in a couple outfits will make the colors pop and add interest. Think patterns and texture if you are not into the accent color idea.

It is important to make each individual outfit match, but it is also important to not look overly "matchy matchy."  White and black are always popular, but not always the best options. Black shirts and blouses tends to make people look boxy and white tends to look washed out.

If you notice here, Sallie's dress has just a hint of pink in it which ties in nicely with her husbands shirt, as well as, pink nails. Everything doesn't have to be exact or a whole lot of similar colors, but just enough will make your overall session much more eye appealing. photo by b.davis photography

If you notice here, Sallie's dress has just a hint of pink in it which ties in nicely with her husbands shirt, as well as, pink nails. Everything doesn't have to be exact or a whole lot of similar colors, but just enough will make your overall session much more eye appealing. photo by b.davis photography

 3. Vary the Tops and Vary the Bottoms--
Start with the tops. Find those neutral colors that compliment each other. They don't have to match perfectly, but definitely should work together. Find textures and patterns that will add dimension to the photo like cable sweaters, corduroy, denim, etc. Plaids incorporating accent colors always photograph well. However, one (or two depending on group size) is probably plenty to be wearing a busy pattern. Solid shirts are your friends. Don't forget the simplicity of a solid polo or sweater. Solids can break up the texture and patterns of your accent colors.

Next, move to the bottoms. Not everyone has to be wearing jeans. I feel that is the most common misconception about family photos. Throw in some black pants, khakis, dark denim, light denim, skirts and tights, tall boots, etc. ... anything that compliments your neutral colors. Don't be afraid to mix it up. However, if your bottoms are patterned then you may need to go back to your top selections and tone those down a bit.

photo by b.davis photography

photo by b.davis photography

4. Accessories. Yes? No? Maybe?--
Accessories are great. However, it is a good idea to keep it simple. Excessive accessories will distract viewers from the actual photo itself. Your photos will be beautiful enough, no need to add extra bling, etc.

In this family pictures of the Bodley family, Ms. Bodley's scarf is a nice addition to bring in another color and tie it to Kelln's top without it being too much or distracting from the image. photo by b.davis photography

In this family pictures of the Bodley family, Ms. Bodley's scarf is a nice addition to bring in another color and tie it to Kelln's top without it being too much or distracting from the image. photo by b.davis photography

5. Timeliness--
Have you ever looked at old photos and thought... "Wow, why did I ever wear this?" I know I certainly have. Therefore, it is smart to keep in mind classic looks. While printed leggings are in style at the moment (depending on who you ask), that doesn't mean they are going to be in style in 2034. Photos are memories that will be remembered forever ... whether you are choosing outfits for senior photos, engagement or family photos, you can never go wrong with classic looks and styles.

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Now, go and have fun planning your outfits for family photos! Don't stress, just have fun with it, And, as always... Pinterest and Polyvore are your friend. Find example of family photos you like and try to recreate with your own spin and blending your family personality and style.

Need more inspiration? Check out my gallery page for real life sessions.