How to Choose Outfits for Family Pictures

February 11, 2021

A while back, I made this reel to quickly communicate my tips for choosing outfits for family photos.

I made it back in November when I was pulling together outfits for my own family pictures, and was pretty proud of what I was able to put together!

But there are a few extra tips that I wasn't able to include in the reel. Look, I know choosing outfits can be frustrating, but over the years, I've learned a few tips that can help. Here come the bullet points!

  • Find a color palette you like - this can usually be accomplished by searching "family photos" or even "color palettes" on Pinterest.
  • From that color palette, choose 2-3 colors that you like other than neutrals (whites, grays, black, tan, etc.)
  • You can use multiple shades of those colors, and supplement with 1 or 2 neutral colors. Try to avoid colors that are too similar.
  • Use what you have - Look through your, and your kid's closets and see if you already have those colors in there. You don't HAVE to buy everyone new outfits... unless you want to. ;)
  • Make sure you've chosen an outfit FOR YOURSELF that YOU LIKE, then style around yourself.
  • Lay out your outfits on the floor or the bed layered like you guys are posed in a family photo. Switch items of clothing around to try different looks.
  • Make sure you get a good balance of light and dark on shirts and pants (not all dark pants, not all light shirts).
  • Don't be afraid to play with layering (jackets, vests, cardigans, etc.) and textures (knits, leather, corduroy, etc.).
  • Ask a friend (or your photographer) for help! Sometimes, all you need is another pair of eyes. I ALWAYS call up my friend Mariasha to help me decide on my outfits and it really helps!
  • Remember that the most important part of your family pictures are YOU. The outfits are fun and help create a beautiful, artistic image, but if you have to rearrange people because their outfit colors are not quite the same, it's okay.
**extra tip: if you're going to be outdoors, bring extra shoes to walk in if yours aren't suited for terrain, and if it's cooler weather, bring warm coats/jackets/blankets for in-between shots.

After that, it's all about enjoying yourselves. The best family photos are the ones where families are playing together and just having fun.

Good luck, my friends, and if you happen to live in Arizona, visit my website and let's set up a session!


Susan is a birth photographer and videographer serving Mesa, Arizona and surrounding cities in the East Valley including Chandler, Gilbert, Queen Creek, Scottsdale, and Tempe. Considering a photographer for your birth? Contact Susan for EDD availability.

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