Family Photo Outfits Ideas – How to Dress for a Family Portrait?

Family Photo Outfits Ideas – How to Dress for a Family Portrait

Have your booked a family photo session but the question of what to put on drives you crazy? Frankly speaking, choosing appropriate clothes may be a real challenge and if your family is big, you can face even more difficulties.

25 Family Photo Outfits Ideas

For you to pass the “choosing clothes” test faster and concentrate on the pleasant part, I have prepared cool family photo outfits tips with photo samples that can inspire you to think out of the box and come up with really amazing attire.

All these ideas are simple yet helpful instructions that will help you choose the perfect outfit for your upcoming family photography session.

1. Find a Starting Point

family photo outfits beach

The rule of thumb is to decide on one outfit and then choose clothes for all family members based on this idea. It is similar to drafting a project of a future house, when you know how big you want it and then start working out the details.

It is better to start with a mom or a daughter, since women’s clothing is more diverse concerning both colors and tailoring.

2. Coordinate, but Don’t Match

family photo color schemes

When models wear clothes of identical color, they may merge into one visually off-putting spot.

Instead, I advise selecting 2-3 key colors and choosing clothing that fit this color scheme. Mind the number of family members, because 3 people in blue and one person in white doesn’t really look good.

Your photos should be balanced, and coordinating girls and boys is one of the easiest ways to achieve this effect. The charm of family portraits is rooted in colors bouncing off each person with harmony.

3. Use the Color Wheel

family photo outfits ideas

Complementary colors photography is of immense help when you are choosing family portrait outfits. Using a color wheel, you can easily decide on the colors of clothes for each family member, so that you look united and personalized at the same time.

For instance, blue and orange are placed opposite each other, which means they are complementary. This way, you can select nice pairs of colors and rest assured that you all will look great.

family photo outfits

4. Plan for the Weather

family photo outfits winter

An important thing you need to keep in mind while pondering on family picture clothes ideas is the weather forecast. Check it several days before the shooting and choose attire accordingly.

If it is an outdoor shooting in cold weather, make sure you are warm and comfortable enough in your clothes. For summer beach photo session, there is no need to put on layers of clothes.

5. Plan for the Season

summer spring winter fall family photo outfits schemes

Each season requires different clothes and you need to take this factor into account, while choosing an outfit for each family member. In fact, there are winning color combinations that are suitable for each season.

For example, fall family photo outfits are associated with earthy tones, burgundy and rich oranges. If you have a photo session in spring, when everything begins to bloom, you’d better go for floral patterns and pastel colors.

Use the cheat-sheet above, to always be on the safe side.

6. Plan for Location

family photo outfits summer

If you want to take images in a forest, wearing a cocktail dress and a tux will be strange. If you are going to pose at a beach, bright swimsuits will look perfect.

If it is a kind of holiday-related shooting, and you are thinking about family photo outfits Christmas ideas, you can put on sweaters and plaids. Just note that the colors of the backdrop and clothing shouldn’t be similar.

7. Use Neutral Colors

family photo outfits beach

If you experience difficulties trying to decide what to wear for a family photo shoot outside, you can choose neutral or natural colors, which always look fitting.

They are eye-pleasing, suit everybody and any location, as well as don’t distract attention from a person. So, pick matching pieces of white and tan while rifling through your wardrobe.

8. Make Sure Your Clothes Have Variety

family photo outfits summer

This recommendation is especially relevant if the family consists of many people. You need to make sure that every person looks personified in the type of closes he/she wears.

For example, if there are 3 girls in a shot, one of them can wear a white beach dress, the second – a jumpsuit, and the last one – a skirt and a blouse. The variations are numerous.

9. Add a Pop of Color

family photo outfits summer

Professional photographers often resort to this trick when they want to draw attention to a certain person in the frame or add a pop of color. For example, you can ask a birthday girl to put on a colorful dress that looks catchy among other family members, who wear clothes of muted tones.

You can focus on a pregnant woman, who is posing with her husband and a child, by recommending her to wear bright or even bold accessories.

10. Add Texture

family photo outfits winter

A simple method to add visual appeal to your family pictures is to play with different fabrics. There is a huge variety of materials you can mix in one photo – lace, cotton, tweed, wool, satin, knitted and more. A patterned scarf combined with a dress can change the entire image.

11. Add Accessories

family photo outfits summer

Sometimes a single watch or a bracelet can add completeness to the image. However, this isn’t relevant for babies, whose delicate bodies and facial features look their best being non-embellished.

Adults can pick different accessories based on their preferences and the story they want “to tell”. Necklaces, earrings, bow ties, rings, hats – anything goes.

12. Say “Yes” to Layers

fall family photo outfits

Don’t be afraid to wear several layers of clothes. This approach allows adding dimension and interest to your indoor and outdoor family photos. Men can put on jackets, belts, hats, vests, while women look amazing in cardigans, jackets, scarves, etc.

Actually, layers can also diversify the range of pictures. At the beginning of the shooting, you can pose with jackets on, and later take them off. Thus, you can easily modify your outfit, without changing the clothing completely.

13. Prioritize Comfort

fall family photo outfits

The photo session typically lasts for several hours and you need to take numerous poses with easy. Wearing the clothing that requires constant tweaking is also a bad idea.

You need to try on the clothes you’ve chosen prior to the photo session and practice basic family portrait poses. If you feel comfortable standing, sitting, and jumping, you can be sure that you’ve made the right choice.

14. Stick to Classic Shoes or Go Barefoot

family photo outfits summer

The footwear is also of great importance, because if you choose it negligently, your feet will get tired quickly and you won’t be able to achieve the result you want.

Give up the idea of wearing themed shoes, those with bulky soles or models designed specifically for sports activities. If you can’t find something that perfectly matches the idea of the photo session, you can go barefoot.

15. Choose Flowing Dresses for Flattering Shots

family photo outfits summer

If you want a maternity family photo session, you need to prepare the clothes that emphasize the bump in a flattering, delicate way. The best choice is airy dresses of pastel colors.

16. Match Outfits on Christmas

family photo outfits winter

There are numerous Christmas outfit ideas, but I believe that the most advantageous one is choosing the matching clothes for all family members. You can select matching onesies, suits and costumes that reflect your family union.

One of the sweetest family photo ideas is to organize photoshoot each Christmas and select new matching clothing each time. Then bundle these images in a photo album.

17. Dress According to Personality

fall family photo outfits

If your daughter likes wearing jumpsuits and can’t stand pink dresses, don’t force her to put one on. In case your son feels uncomfortable in a suit, what’s the point of compelling him to wear such clothes?

When everyone is satisfied with the outfit, you can get cool photos with sincere emotions and broad smiles.

18. Don’t Wear Clothes with Logos/Graphics

family photo outfits summer

Forget about shirts with any type of branding, text, logos or characters. Chances are high that your kids have a favorite T-shirt with a Disney character or any popular actor/singer. Anyway, persuade them to choose another uniform-color one.

Actually, there are 2 reasons, why you should follow this tip: any kind of graphics steals a portion of attention from what really matters, and, secondly, different logos get their relevance quickly and will look out-of-place in a couple of months.

19. Avoid Baggy and Ill-Fitting Clothes

family photo outfits winter

Both baggy and tight clothes look bad in images. That’s why, I highly recommend leaving the oversized garment for everyday use and choose the clothes that fit you perfectly for a photo session.

Such clothing will nicely highlight your shapes and you will feel completely comfortable wearing it. Gals should choose items that make their upper and lower half balanced. For instance, skinny pants and blouse shirt make a good combination.

20. Use Vertical Stripes Instead of Horizontal

family photo outfits summer

If you are after slimming outfits for family photos, pay attention to clothes with vertical stripes that follow the curves of a body. Horizontal stripes make models look wider, so avoid such pieces.

21. Avoid Solid White or Black Colors

family photo outfits beach

Though white and black colors seem classics, you should avoid them in your family portrait outfits as they tend to make your images look flat. You’d better prefer off-white or ivory to solid white.

Besides, if you wear completely white clothes, you may give your photographer a hard time during image editing, because he/she will have to deal with severe overexposure. Black and too dark shades affect the general mood of your images, depriving them of airy and bright feel.

22. Use Patterns in Moderation

family photo outfits summer

Patterns look nice in photos, but only if used in moderation. A good rule of thumb is to only have a couple of patterned pieces.

For example, if there are 5 of you getting ready for the shooting, you can choose checkered shirts for a dad and a son, while the rest of the family will wear clothes of block colors.

23. Choose Subtle Patterns

family photo outfits summer

If you plan to wear clothes with loud patterns, get ready that finished images will look a bit obtrusive and you will be the main person in a photo. If that isn’t the goal you want to achieve, you’d better choose the garment with subtle patterns.

24. Avoid Ultra-Saturated and Neon Colors

family photo outfits summer

Coordinate the chosen outfit with recommended family photo color schemes available on the net. The general rule is to avoid highly-saturated and neon colors, which usually distort the way your skin looks in pictures. Besides, they are very distracting.

If you like a particular color, choose its more muted version – for example, you can replace bright yellow with mustard.

25. Avoid Trendy Items

family photo outfits summer

Trends are flowing and it is better to opt for something timeless and classic. You’ll look at these family photos in the future and you probably want to feel happy and satisfied instead of cringing at the outfit you chose.

Tata Rossi

Hi there, I'm Tata Rossi - a professional blogger, read more