How to Choose Outfits for your Family Photos

Also known as an excuse to go shopping
Deciding what to wear for your family photos can be just as challenging as finding the right photographer. Considering these are photos that will hang on your walls and cherish for years to come, you want to find the right ‘fit.’ It can seem overwhelming when considering what to wear -but the good news is it really doesn’t have to be.
These tips will help you to pick out the ideal outfits for you and your family.
Think about coordinating colours rather than matching
Long gone are the days of everyone wearing a white shirt and jeans. These photos are an opportunity to allow personalities to shine through with colours. However, start with a base – a dress for mum and then select complementary outfits for everyone.
Choose outfits that are comfortable.
Chances are that you will be running around, tickling and having a ball at your shoot. So select outfits that you are ok getting messy in. I love a neutral palate for this reason because even if you get grubby knees or go into the water, it just works.
Look at your home decor
This may seem odd. What does your home decor have to do with family picture outfits? Actually a lot.
Consider the colours you have in your house, because these photos will end up on your. walls. IT would be nice to match the colours of your clothes with the colour scheme of your home. Use your home for inspiration.
Don’t forget accessories
Accessories not only add to your outfit but they can be fun to use in photos. Hats are always a winner and fun to hide behind. Blankets work wonders in winter to provide an extra layer of warmth. Keep it simple but the possibilities are endless.
Limit patterns
Personally, I enjoy having an outfit in the mix that has all the colours in it. However, not everyone in the photo should wear patterns as it may distract the final image.
Select one outfit for your family photos that has a lot of colours or a fun pattern. Choose that outfit first. This gives you plenty of colours to choose from to pick your coordinating colours.
Look for clothing collections
Look at shop displays, as they can often provide much needed inspiration for a family shoot.
Plan ahead for your family photo outfits
Once you book your session, start thinking about what to wear for family photos. If you wait until the day of or the day before you may run into an issue of clothes not fitting, being dirty or need to be dry cleaned.
Say no to:
  1. Characters. I know your child might like Bluey (i know mine do) but family photos are not the place for characters.
  2. All black or all white. – just no! It’s not a Michael Jackson song. Mix it up a little.
Textures and layers are your best friend
I am a huge fan of a cotton fitted shirt. However, in photographs, I like to add textures like knitts or hats or tulle skirts to add a little more to the image. Don’t shy away from different textures.
By adding different textures through the material of your family outfits or your accessories, you are adding depth and interest to your photos.
Consider your background
If you are taking photos in front of a backdrop, consider what you are wearing. I remember an image of my husband, myself and baby daughter which was taken in front of a black backdrop. We didn’t realize the background colour and showed up wearing black shirts. Once we received the photos, we looked alike floating heads were holding a baby. Not exactly the aesthetic we were going for.
Dress and Choose colours for the season:
Autumn – Consider choosing outfits with warm earth tones.
Spring – Consider spring, muted tones of the season
Winter – it’s all about the layers and the texture.
Summer – for beach shorts think about outfits with cooler tones like blues & greens and even adding in pops of coral.

Frequently Asked Questions about family photo outfits.

What colours are best for family photos?
This can vary from person to person because there is no magic answer. There are a few things you can consider though. What colours do you look best in? What makes you feel confident?
Those are the colours you should wear. Also, think about what you are going to do with your photos. Will you be hanging them in your living room? What are the colours in there? Consider coordinating with your home decor so it all works well together. Personally, I love deep earthy tones in photos rather than that fluorescent pink because something like a deep dusty pink or a natural/caramel knit will be timeless.
Where can I buy clothes for family pictures?
I have purchased whole family outfits for Kmart all the way to Myer and have been happy with both choices. Honestly, you can go to any Westfields and find options for your whole family. Maybe, start with your favourite shop and work from there! And if you are a mum, start with your outfit first because I know I always find it hard to dress myself for a shoot. SO I make sure I will be comfortable first and work back from there.
What colours look best in photos?
I love neutrals, rust colours, olives and texture-based clothes. All black and all white are hard to photograph and then edit, so if possible I would avoid those.
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