5 Easy Steps to Plan Cohesive Family Photo Outfits + Summer Outfit Inspo
It can be hard to know where to start when putting together cohesive family photo outfits. These are my best tips to confidently put together outfits that makes everyone not only look good together, but feel great, too!
Ok, so you have your photo shoot scheduled and it’s time to plan out your family photo outfits. You don’t want to be too matchy-matchy (you know you’re more creative than jeans and white shirts). You want everyone to look like they coordinate well, while still being individual.
Feeling great about your outfits is a crucial part of your session being fun and relaxed! As a photographer, I can tell you that clients who feel great about how they look are visibly more comfortable and relax during their session. That confidence translates to happier faces and a more energetic, loving dynamic between family members. I’m serious! It makes a huge difference. No one is smiling genuinely when their pants are squeezing them just a little too tightly or they rushed to pick an outfit and day-of wish they’d found something different…
These are my best tips for planning cohesive looks for every member of your family so you can show up to your shoot feeling confident, enjoy your time in front of the camera, know that the images will be a perfect representation of your family, and look back on the whole experience (and the photos on your wall!) fondly.
5 EASY FAMILY PHOTO OUTFIT PLANNING TIPS
- 1. Think about colors. As a photographer that leans towards bright and airy images, I’ll come out and say it- you can’t go wrong with light colors and neutrals. Bright colors and bold prints can distract from the focus of the photos- your beautiful faces and happy expressions! When considering the color scheme for your whole family, consider what you look best in and what fits the time of year. You might want to consider a warmer toned palette during the fall and spring and cooler toned color palette during the summer and winter.
- 2. Start with Mom. You should choose your outfit first! I always recommend women wear the style of clothing that they feel most confident in. Being true to you is the most important thing! That said, I have found that the most flattering silhouette for a feminine shape on camera is a dress or skirt that accentuates the waist and is flowy on the bottom. Not only does it allow for beautiful movement in photos, your waist is a great area to accentuate to highlight your shape and make your legs look longer. Hemlines that hit at lower-thigh, right below the knee, below the calf, or floor length are always a great bet. Also consider areas you want to highlight and those you’d rather not and choose pieces accordingly. Adding a belt at the waist, jacket with a little structure like denim or a blazer, and elongating your legs with a heel are all great options. This is the perfect excuse to buy something new! Your outfit should be a style you feel great in and in the family of colors you’re aiming for. (Bonus tip: Use this time to also find a lipstick or gloss that coordinates with your outfit and looks great on your face. Lipstick seriously does wonders in photos to brighten your face. The camera can wash you out, especially your natural lip color. Applying makeup a little heavier than usual and adding lipstick are the most underrated things you can do to look amazing in photos!)
- 3. Choose a Dominant Color + Accent Colors. Once you have chosen your main clothing pieces, it’s time to brainstorm some other colors that will coordinate with it well as accents. For example, if you are doing a warm-weather shoot and choose a light blush dress with a subtle floral print, you can pull out any smaller colors for elements of your other family members’ outfits. Perhaps light blue and sage green. Keep in mind, you can never go wrong with neutrals like chambray, denim, light gray, ivory, khaki, and navy. This bank of colors is what you will go hunting for in your family members’ closets.
- 4. Pick your Partner’s Outfit. If you’re hoping to use pieces your family already has in their closets, choose your partner’s outfit next. Children’s clothing is usually less expensive than adults, so if you have to get a few new items, it will be less expensive to get kids clothes. If your partner is a man, you can’t go wrong with well-fitting pants, a button down, and a blazer or jacket. Layers flatter men! Men’s clothing can be fairly neutral (like light gray pants, a white button down, and a navy jacket) and always look great.
- 5. Mix it up for Kids. Once the adults are set, head to your kids’ closets. Matching outfits for kids can be cute, but consider showing a bit more personality by mixing the colors and styles! Going with the outfits I outlined above, integrate the accent colors by maybe putting your oldest daughter in a white sundress with leather sandals and a pink bow or headband, your toddler son in khakis and a light blue or green shirt and little navy shoes, and your baby girl in a blush bubble a shade or two darker than your dress (you’ll probably be holding her in most photos so you don’t want your outfits to be the exact same color). If you have more than one girl, one could be in a dress, one in a skirt, and one in pants! Whatever is truest to them. In the fall, mix it up with different styles of shoes (boots, tennis shoes, moccasins) and jackets (vests, knit quarter-zips, denim, etc.). The more variety, the more the personality of each person will shine.
6. BONUS TIP. This is extremely important! Once you’ve chosen everyone’s outfit and looked at them all together to make sure they coordinate, you must have everyone try it on! Nothing kills the enjoyment of a photoshoot like one person being uncomfortable because they’re squeezed into a pair of pants from the back of their closet that they didn’t put on until 5 minutes before they left the house. At least two weeks before your shoot, have everyone put on his or her outfit (including you!). Make sure everyone looks, and most importantly, feels awesome! If you have to order or go shopping for something, you still have time.