Coordinating Outfits for Family Photos

Here are some tips to help you in your quest for the perfect outfit for family pictures.

  1. Coordinate Colors

When choosing your outfit, it’s not necessary to be matchy-matchy although classics always work in a pinch. Especially if you are coordinating a large group who live in different areas.  But if possible, choose different outfits with a combination of 2-4 colors that go well together for the best finished look.

Family Photo Outfits

  1. A Seasonal Color Combination is a real winner

Having a seasonal color combination can really add to your portraits. Choosing autumn colors for a fall portrait can really enhance the look.  Similarly, in spring having soft pastels or whites just add to the beautiful spring feel of the portrait.  To get ideas you can reference this fabulous blog post with some interesting color pallets. And I love that it has that one color of POP needed for a little person in almost every pallet.  is also this fun little palette generator you can try.  This might be great for finding the right combination to match your home décor.  of course Pinterest is always a great place for ideas. I know my best source for our family portraits is watching what my clients come up with the previous season. 

Family Photo Outfits

  1. Start with an Anchor Outfit

This is usually your favorite outfit which you will build the rest of the outfit selection around. It can be a solid color or a pattern.  Just remember plaids make it challenging to do head swaps and can create moiré patterns that can impact the end image.  See the link above to better explain moiré patterns.  So a simple pattern is better without lines if possible. Use this anchor outfit to pull colors from or build around.

Here are some clothing choice ideas that would be great to build and coordinate around:

  1. Coordinate Outfits Around Your Anchor Piece

Now that you have chosen the focal point outfit for your portrait, you can start building all of the other outfits around it, using colors that coordinate well together.  You can use complimentary colors or contrasting colors depending on your preference.  You may find you have many exiting outfits that will coordinate well with your anchor outfit.   Here’s another handy tool for finding complimentary colors.

  1. Fill in the Gaps

Once you have those outfits that work well together at hand. Lay them out to take a good look. Take an inventory of what is missing so you can start looking to fill in the gaps.  Once you have made a list a tip to Old Navy is in order. Old Navy is great for simple shirts or dresses of those colors in your palette to fill in the gaps.

Family Photo Outfits

  1. Help Little People Stand Out

If you have a small baby the can easily get lost in a portrait if there are all big people around him or her.  I recommend making a color choice that stands out so they don’t get lost in the portrait.  For little girl a good bow or headband can help as well.

Family Photo Outfits

  1. Don’t Forget the Shoes

I know it’s hard but shoes do matter and will definitely stand out in a portrait.  Those friends of mine whom I shoot their portraits’ with kids my girls age have often texted me to see if I have a certain pair of shoes that might match.  After all they aren’t playing football in them. They just have to wear them for 20-50 minutes tops.