Monday, November 04, 2013

What to Wear to a Family Photo Shoot

This borderlines on being too-matchy-matchy but their saving grace is the different style of jeans and shoes.
This adorable photo was taken by my sister-in-law of 2 Sis Photos in Chicago, Illinois

One of my most popular posts is: What to Wear to a Photoshoot from May 2010 and I wanted to update it for family shoots. So, here are a few guidelines:

Matchy-Matchy: There might be a perfectionist lurking inside you (or someone you love) that insists on everyone in your family wearing the same outfit in your family photos. All denim? Khaki pants and a black shirt? You've seen it, maybe you've done it. The only reason why everyone should be wearing the exact same thing is if there’s a wedding. It may be easier to get everyone in white tops and jeans but you're robbing everyone of their personal style and creating an unflattering photo. Instead of matching everyone identically, think of your family as a wardrobe ensemble. 

Choose a style: When choosing a style for your shoot, consider two things: the time of year (weather) and the location. Wear summer clothes in the summer and winter clothes in the winter. If you're on the beach in the summer, wear something appropriate (not bathing suits, please). If you're in a city in the winter, wear sweaters! Simple as that. The next thing to consider would be you family's personal style. Are you dresses and slacks type or the jeans type? 

I like how this family contrasts their yellow background.
Colors: Don't be afraid of colors - yes, plural colors. Pick out 3 to 4 colors that work together. Use complimenting or contrasting colors. Complementing colors would be colors of the same tone (cool or warm) and contrasting colors would be on the opposite sides of the color wheel (orange and purple or yellow and green, for example). If you need more help, I like this post about color-blocking

Patterns: Patterns are great in photos as long as they're used sparingly and with plenty of solids, too! If you're having trouble choosing which 3 - 4 colors, choose a patterned (striped or plaid) shirt as your main piece. Then find other articles of clothing with those same colors. This is what I did for our family photoshoot with Jade Ehlers Photography last year. I liked Dan's tan and black plaid so I started with that and added all of the other elements.

We went with a muted palette and a pop of red for our shoot! Photo by Jade Ehlers Photography.


  1. I love this! Super helpful...I always have a hard time figuring this out! Thank you!!

  2. I love this! Super helpful...I always have a hard time figuring this out! Thank you!!


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