Does the task of finding outfits for everyone in the family seem daunting to you?

Not to worry! I’m here to help you every step along the way. This guide should help you feel more in control when it comes to styling your family for photos.

Mom goes first!

Choose your outfit first, it will make everything easier. And make it a dress. Dresses, in general, are way more flattering than any other type of clothing. It is important to select a dress with waist definition. Baggy and loose shift dresses with no fitted waist can make you look a lot larger than you are when you get to moving around and the wind starts blowing! An A-line skirt or some flowy pants are good alternatives if dresses aren’t your thing.

When choosing a dress, keep the material in mind. Something a little fancier like rayon, chiffon, or linen will fall nicely, and will look really good in your photos.

Beware of bold patterns and bright, neon colors.

The whole point of family photos is for us to see your beautiful faces, not to be distracted by patterns and bright colors. There’s still room for a pop of color here and there, just not neon, ha ha! While you’re at it, words and logos are good things to avoid. Also, black isn’t a great choice for photos, it can make things kind of disappear.

You can use patterned pieces for your outfits, but I suggest sparing use. For instance, Mom’s dress could have some subtle patterns (I like floral!), and dad and the kids could be dressed in colors that coordinate with the pattern on her dress. And that brings us to the next bit:

Coordinating colors is better than completely matching.

While it may seem simple to just buy everyone matching outfits, more or less, there’s a better way. First off, having everyone wearing the exact same colors or patterns will cause your bodies to blend together in the photos. Not ideal, am I right? Dressing in colors that coordinate, but don’t exactly match, will create much more visual interest in your photos, while still maintaining a sense of cohesiveness. For instance, you could pick blue as your family's color theme. Your dress would be blue, and your husband’s shirt would be blue, but a different shade. Dad’s pants don’t have to be blue, though. Khaki could be a great way to break up some of the blue. You could do something similar for the kids. Different shades of blue with some subtle patterning thrown in would make for a wonderful look. Also, creme or white goes with everything.

There are so many ways to do it! And as long as you steer clear from super bold or neon fabrics, it’s really hard to go wrong.

Texture is awesome!

Wearing appealing textures is a great way to add some visual interest to your photos. Think knit sweaters, scarves, or ruffling details on dresses, skirts, or shirts. Sequins or sparkles are not recommended, however.

Don’t forget about home decor.

Do you have a certain style or color scheme that you decorate your home by? If so, that is a wonderful thing to take into account. It will make your printed portraits blend seamlessly into your home and will create a very elevated look. If you don’t necessarily have a definite style, think of your favorite colors. These could be a great place to start, since chances are you have decor that matches.

Timeless over trendy.

Think of outfits that have less trendy elements to them. You will have your photos forever, and timeless clothing will serve you better in the long run. Again, dresses! This is another great reason to consider the patterns that you wear for your photos.

Make it practical.

This is especially relevant when it comes to dressing your kids. Making sure they are warm enough and decently comfortable will make everyone’s life easier. Happier kids make better photos. That said, don’t stress if kids have meltdowns or are unhappy during a photoshoot. There will still be a way to capture beautiful images.

Lay it out!

Laying out all of your family’s outfits is a great way to visualize what they will look like together. And if you have any trouble or want confirmation on your awesome style, send me a picture! I love getting outfit photos from you :)

You got this!!


For an Oregon City family photography experience that you will love, call or text me at 503-396-8513.