Don't stress

One of the hardest parts about family pictures is picking outfits that not only look good together, but look good for the location you will be having them taken. Here are my top tips for choosing clothes that you will love for your family portraits!

#1. Consider The Location.

You may not have ever thought of this before. It actually took me several hours of studying family photos that I liked one day to notice that the backdrop totally makes or breaks the outfit! And this is step #1 because most of the time this is the first thing that is planned. We usually are picking the location before anything else because the blossoms are in full bloom or fall for the colorful leaves, or this specific grove of trees looks amazing right after it snows. My clients usually have a specific location in mind when they call so I know I’m not alone when I see a beautiful place and think, “that would be a great place for our family photos!”. “I need to set up a time to get our photos taken!”

When considering your backdrop when picking your outfits you will want to find colors, shades and tones that contrast the location. For example, light solid colors will really stand out against a forested mountain location. The clothing we wear can can compete with the backdrop if not considered. Bright and bold pattern clothing will look best in a neutral location like the Sand Dunes, Salt Flats, or a studio with solid neutral walls.

With busy locations such as the mountains, orchards, or colorful city backdrops you will want to stick with neutral colors and soft patterns to create some contrast between you and the background. 

When in doubt, solid or subtle patterns in neutral colors and tones are a safe choice if you just aren’t sure! I totally recommend looking at lots of family photos to see what you like and don’t like. Pinterest is a great resource for this!

This cute family below loves bright colors. They knew we would be taking these photos in an apple orchard where green and the bright sky would be the dominate colors. So they wore colors that would pop against the green and white. There was also a red shed in the orchard and even though red was worn it still worked for the look they were hoping for!

#2. Pick a color palette.

You will want to consider your location like step one, neutral / soft colors and tones for bold locations. Saving the bold color for neutral locations. Neutral locations are easy, really whatever works, but whatever you choose will determine the look and feel of your photos.

If you don’t know where to begin then go online to find what you like and don’t like. Pinterest is a great resource for this as well. You can even find color palette examples to find tones that look good together. 

#3. Pick moms first

A lot of moms dread picking their outfit because it’s the hardest! They pick something darling for their kids and then can’t find anything for themselves that coordinates. You can even choose your outfit before the location and color palette if needed! Go to your closet or shopping and find something that makes you feel confident and pretty. If you feel good in what you wear that will shine through your expressions in your photos and visa vera! Husbands and kids are usually more adaptable so make sure you focus on YOU first! Trust me, avoid the urge to start with the kids clothes that are always so cute! Start with mom. It will be worth it!

#4. Don’t force your family to wear something they hate.

Just like you, you want the whole family to feel confident, comfortable, and looking good in their outfit. When someone is uncomfortable in their clothes they are constantly tucking and adjusting which results in stiff smiles and poses. When one feels confident and comfortable they will not be focusing on their clothes, their attention will be turned to the family and genuine smiles and reactions will be captured. That’s what truly makes a beautiful photograph.