with Courtney Slazinik
11 Tips to Choose the Perfect Family Photo Outfits for 2020
11 Tips to Choose the Perfect Family Photo Outfits for 2020

Deciding what family photo outfits to wear can be just as challenging as finding the perfect photographer. These are photos you are going to hang on your walls and cherish for years to come. It can seem overwhelming when considering what to wear but it doesn’t need to be.

Whether you are looking for fall family photo outfits or beach family picture outfits use these tips to help you pick out the perfect outfits for you and your family’s group photos.

Read more: 8 Lifestyle Photography Tips for Beautiful Family Photos
Above beach photo credit: Studio Sea Photography

How to Choose Family Photo Outfits

variety of photo examples of family photo outfits

Coordinating colors not matching

Long gone are the days of everyone wearing a white shirt and matching. You don’t have to have everyone buy a white shirt and jeans. Allow personalities to shine with colors and patterns. Pick a couple of colors and choose clothes that will fit in this color scheme.

Look at your home decor

This may seem odd. What does your home decor have to do with family picture outfits? A lot actually.

Do you like bright colors? Neutrals? Since you will be hanging these photos in your house you want to make sure the colors of your clothes go with the color scheme of your home.

Photo wall with 12x12 IKEA frame holding family photos. Looking at home decor helps pick family photo outfits

Walk around your home and think about where will you display these photos? If they are going in the living room look at the colors in there. Do you have bright decorative pillows or more of a neutral palette?

Don’t forget accessories to go with your family picture outfits

Accessories not only add to your outfit but they can be fun to use in photos. Have the man wear a tie for the woman to hold. Necklaces for the kids to play with or hats to hide behind.

Remember the idea is not to create these perfect photos. Family photos are a time to capture who your family is at that time. Most people take family photos in the fall which means there are plenty of accessories you can add. Consider a fun scarf, cute coat, or stylish hat. The possibilities are endless.

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Limit patterns

Personally, I enjoy having an outfit in the mix that has all the colors in it. However, not everyone in the photo should wear patterns as it may distract the final image.

Consider picking one outfit for your family photos that has a lot of colors or fun pattern. Choose that outfit first. This gives you plenty of colors to choose from to pick your coordinating colors.

what to wear in family photos

Look for clothing collections

When shopping for clothes for my kids, I head to stores that typically have color coordinating collections. You can then purchase clothes for all the children from one store.

In fact, just recently my sister and I had to pick beach family photo outfits for our family of 15. We headed to Target and within 30 minutes found coordinating clothes for everyone. Don’t be afraid to lay all the clothes on the floor of the store to see what they will look like together.

You can see below we started with the kids clothes and then moved on to the adult outfits.

picking out family picture outfits at target
Lay out family picture outfits on floor of store to see how all clothes look together

Photo credit: Studio Sea Photography

Plan ahead for your family photo outfits

Once you book your session, start thinking what to wear for family photos right away. You may think certain clothes will fit your kids or that one dress is clean. If you wait until the day of or day before you may run into an issue of clothes not fitting, being dirty or need to be dry cleaned.

what to wear in family photos

Photo credit the Aspen Burke Photography

Say no to characters

Yes, your little one may love their Toy Story shirt but you may want to skip it for the family photo session. Just like patterns, characters on shirts can be pretty distracting. Characters, like too many patterns, can make your photo look too busy.

Photo credit: Eloise Layla Nurse Photography

Avoid all white or all black clothing

As we mentioned earlier you would rather do coordinating colors than all white. Another reason to avoid white is because it is very easy to blow out parts of your shirt causing it to lose its detail. What I mean by blowing out is the shirt no longer has any of the details it is completely white as if the sun is shining brightly on it.

Same can be said with all black, it’s easy to have clipping on black clothing and the detail is lost. With clipping, this is where the black clothes loose the depth and details. Trust me you don’t want this and neither does your photographer.

Textures are your friend

I am a huge fan of a cotton fitted shirt. However, in photographs I like to add textures like scarves or belts 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.

what to wear in family 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 color and showed up wearing black shirts. Once we received the photos it looked as if floating heads were holding a baby.

Think classic for what to wear in family photos

These photos will be hanging on your walls and treasured for years to come. By choosing simple, classic clothes you will help give your images a timeless feel.

Fall Family Picture Outfits

The most popular time of year to get family photos is during the fall. The leaves are changing and the sun is softer. Plus, you need a new family photo for your holiday cards. Something to consider when choosing fall family picture outfits is the tones of the season.

Consider choosing outfits with warm earth tones.

Consider wearing warm earth tones for your fall family picture outfits

Photo credit: Eloise Layla Nurse Photography

Family Beach Picture Outfits

Another popular time to get family photos done is while on vacation, especially at the beach. Again, you may feel the need to wear matching family outfits like all white shirts but that isn’t ideal.

Instead, while at the beach consider wearing cooler tones like blues & greens and even adding in pops of coral.

Cooler tones of green and blue make perfect family beach picture outfits

Photo credit: Studio Sea Photography

Deciding what to wear is half the battle. Now the posing fun begins. Learn simple family poses to help your session be a success.

Frequently asked questions about family photo outfits.

What colors are best for family photos?

Although there’s no magic answer to this question, it’s best to consider a few different things. What colors do you look best in? What makes you feel confident? Those are the colors you should wear. Also, what are you going to do with the photos? Will you be hanging them in your living room? What are the colors in there? Consider coordinating with your home decor so it all works well together.

Where can I buy clothes for family pictures?

Any clothing store will have something for your family photos. However, I like to look at stores with clothing collections for the whole family. I would start with your favorite clothing store and see if you can find something for your whole family. I have purchased whole family outfits for Target all the way to Boden and have been happy with both choices.

What colors look best in photos?

That’s a hard one to decide but I will say all black and all white are hard to photograph so if possible I would avoid those.

Use these 11 tips to choose the perfect family picture outfits for your next session. Move away from matching outfits and go for coordinating instead.