7 Styling Tips For your Family Photo Session

You are ready to book a session and you are worried about what to wear. My clients lean on me for good styling tips to allow them to have their perfect images. That is why I made this simple list to help you find your perfect outfits for the family. By the end, you will be confident in what to pick out for your family pictures.

1. Stick to three colors.

Having too many colors can really lose the focus on your beautiful faces. I highly recommend sticking to two neutrals and a pop of color. Neutrals include your typically gray, whites, tans, black, but it also includes blues! Blue goes with almost everything which is why I include it into the neutral category.

Your pop of color does NOT mean something bright, although it can! Now, the fun part about art is that the rules are made to be broken which means you may have to pops and one neutral. For example, Olive, blush pink, and tan make a beautiful pallet for spring. While Burnt orange, navy, and cream are beautiful in the fall.

2. Ditch too many patterns.

Try to limit how many patterns there are throughout your family as they get distracting. try to keep it to one, maybe two patterns. Perhaps mom is in a beautiful flowery gown, while one of her sons is wearing a stripe shirt, then the rest of the family keeps to solids.

Also, beware of very thin stripes. Have you ever watched the news and the anchorman comes on with a thin strip tie and it starts to make your eyes dizzy? Yeah, that same thing can happen in photos too. We do our best to prevent it, but its best to stay clear of it.

3. Find colors that compliment your skin tones.

Most people know what colors look best on them which is why their closet is probably made up of 90% that color. Finding colors that look good on you is important! Personally, I know I do not look good in reds which ultimately doesn’t make me feel good if I have to wear it.

If you are very fair skin, try to find warmer colors to balance it out and stay away from white. If you are darker skinned, find something lighter to compliment. If you find your skin tones lean closer to red, your compliment color would be green tones and if your skin tones lean closer to yellow, purples and blues would complement you nicely.

4. Coordinate with the colors in your home.

I know most people don’t think about this, but as a photographer who highly values printing your photos this is a big deal. Before getting family pictures, imagine what you want to do with them. Did you want a large wall art in your dining room? Do you plan to have a family album or folio box sitting on your coffee table in your living room? Begin to envision where you might want your product in your house. Now think about the surrounding colors. When you coordinate with your space, you are allowing your portrait to be a framed piece of art rather than just some family photos.

5. Location has a play.

Ever here the saying “Location. Location. Location”? Well, that is really more for real estate, but it works here too! Think about your location you are having your pictures done at and what colors are there. If you are planning fall family photos where the trees have red, yellow, orange, and green you probably shouldn’t be adding in hot pink and neon yellow like you came from the 80’s. Instead look for tans, creams, and maybe add in some burnt orange or burgundy so you are fighting the beautiful background. On the other end of the spectrum, if you are doing summer photos in a lot of foliage, you probably don’t want to wear green to blend in, but instead opt for whites and soft colors to stand out.

6. Clothing with movement.

This might be controversial especially if you do not love wearing dresses or skirts, but some of my favorite images are made when the fabric of the dress is flowing in the air and giving this romantic movement to the images. If you don’t like dresses, maybe look for a scarf or other layers that can bring movement into your images as you dance around with your kids or loved one.

7. You MUST feel beautiful.

Ultimately, you must feel beautiful in what you wear because it will show in your pictures! If you wear something too tight, too short, or a color you don’t love you will look uncomfortable in the images. When I take pictures of my families, there are a lot of prompts and posing we do. Sometimes we sit, sometimes we dance and run around, sometimes we walk through tall weeds, keep all of that in mind when choosing your outfits. Will you be constantly adjusting your clothing? I want you to feel stunning in your images and I want your personality to shine through!


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