How to Pick Outfits for Family Pictures

I’m right there with you friends!  It’s that time of year where we spend an unnatural amount of time looking for clothing that make our families look and feel completely natural.  All with the intent of coming across complimented and well put together for the friends we only catch up with once a year…in the dreaded SUPER FUN Christmas Card!  It’s simple, right!

Here’s my little ‘How to Pick Outfits for Family Pictures’ brainstorm!  Hopefully this will help a few of you on the hunt, too!

Katie Hice Photography

1.  Let’s talk colors.  Select a foundation color first and then accent with a few pops of color.  For example in the picture below, gray with a few touches of yellow and turquoise.  Not everyone is screaming yellow and turquoise, but there’s enough available to add interest.  Solid colored shirts work best (no logos or distracting pictures).

Leah Hoskins

2.  Want to look and feel slim?  Dress in what makes you feel comfortable.  If your arms are your tension point, cover them up with long sleeves or 3/4 sleeves.  If you don’t want to draw attention to your bottom, wear a long jacket.  If you’re uncomfortable, it will show in your portraits.

Givorgy Kraskoff Photography

3.  Layer and add accessories.  Bring in your own style by adding scarves, belts, jewelry, and fun shoes.  These little touches will help you show off your personality and style in the midst of a large family picture.

Jaiden Photography

4.  Patterns, tones, and textures.  Another skinny tip, darker jeans and darker shirts will always be most slimming.  When selecting a muted color base, choose to incorporate as much texture and as many tones as possible.  I would love to see some touches of herringbone, houndstooth, wools, and tweed incorporated in this mix of subtle clothing.  Basic is great, but be sure to make it special, too!

Photographic Designs

5.  Details, Details, Details.  Don’t wait until the last minute to find your perfect earrings and a bow that blends great for your little girl.  In case your hands show up in the pictures, take time to polish the nails of all the girls in the pictures.

What to Wear

6.  Watch the weather.  In the Fall and Winter months, the weather has a mind of it’s own!  Plan ahead and have options if you wake up on picture day and it’s bitter cold!  This time of year, as you look for picture outfits, think layers.  Layers always add interest!

Kristin Rachelle Photography

For even more picture outfit ideas check out these and for some great family picture tips you’ll enjoy this helpful guide and inspiration!


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  1. christy says:

    What about a family of six (3 boys 17,8,9 and a baby girl 11 months and mom and dad).
    All blond hair blue eyed. we are taking our photo on the beach. I want to do the baby in pink and do different shades of blues the rest of us with be in jeans. I feel like We need another color do I do pink too or will it clash? Can I do some patter?? Help 🙂

  2. Darlene says:

    What about when you are having a 4 generation, several family picture, should each family be dressed in their own color scheme, (but not clashing with the group) to be able to identify each family in the photo later?

    • Aimee says:

      That’s a great idea! XO, Aimee

  3. Cheryl says:

    I love all of the outfits you’ve featured. We will be taking our photo next weekend, so this advice comes just in time for us. Fingers crossed that we will get at least one good shot!

  4. This is great info…my kids are so big, I hope to get them to participate at Thanksgiving for a shot or two!

  5. Emily says:

    Very helpful. We’re getting our pictures taken tomorrow, and I haven’t decided what we’re wearing yet. These tips are super helpful!

  6. Sarah says:

    Brilliant! We will be doing our family portrait in the next week so i found this really interesting, thanks. 🙂

  7. Jen says:

    Awesome post, super helpful!

  8. LUCY says:

    Love love love this….so helpful !

  9. Rebeccaa says:

    Love it! I always have such a hard time figuring out what to put together for the 5 of us. Pinning this one.

  10. Moni ~ Zu Haus at Home says:

    Very fun ideas….thanks for sharing!

  11. Angie says:

    Beautiful and fun. I always stress for months over what we will wear! Literally. Every year in June I start planning for our fall photography session. It’s almost an obsession!

  12. I’m loving the different colors you put together!! Each collection looks so chic and compliments so well!

  13. Shauna @Satori Design for Living says:

    This always stumps me. Sometimes I think an outfit is perfect for photos and then I look at them and it’s horrible. That’s why I think it’s good to change into at least one other top during a photo session. Love all the suggestions!

  14. Megan says:

    They are fantastic ideas! I love the October set of ideas. Such beautiful colors. Megan