So I know we are a bit late to the game in Fall family photos, but I personally wanted to wait for Utah Fall colors to get here before taking our photos. We took 2 sets of photos at Butterfield Canyon and I love the background colors so much!! I don’t consider myself a pro by any means, but over the years of fashion blogging, taking our own family photos and Mommy and me coordinated outfits with Vivian, I feel like we take a lot of pictures. 😉 So I just wanted to share some tips and tricks for how I choose my family photo outfits, in the hopes that maybe it can help you too!!
Tips For Choosing Family Photo Outfits
- Location sets the tone – casual or dressy? – Family photos can be casual or dressy and this is one important thing to figure out first. The backdrop or location can be that deciding factor, whether you take photos in the mountains, on a street with a nice background, in the city, etc., that can help decide if you want to go all out dressy or just keep it casual. I find that many times people will do a more casual Fall family photo, but then maybe a dressier holiday family photo. Personally though, my style is “dressy casual” so that’s what I tend to do most. I always love for my daughter to wear dresses in photos and my son or husband to wear button downs, but for either of those things, they can be “dressed up” or “dressed down” too.
- Choose a color palette – think coordinating, not matching! – This is probably the thing that people stress about the most. It really sets the tone for the photos. You can start with an item you REALLY want one of your family members to wear. I tend to usually start with either a women’s dress or girls outfit first and then do the boys ones to coordinate with it. Why? Honestly, my boys tend to have more neutral closets and the girls in our family have a lot more clothes to choose from. Or if you really love a boy’s plaid top, then you can also build off the colors in it. I say pick 3-4 colors that coordinate together and work from there. The pieces can be different shades of the same color in your palette and just make sure you see each of the colors pop up a few places in the different outfits to tie everything together. For Fall photos, I tend to do more brown tones and/or jewel tones! I personally love those colors to go with the beautiful foliage. For Holiday photos, I love neutral cream palettes or green/jewel tones. Traditional red/green plaids always work, but you have to be careful to not have too many clashing plaids. And then for Spring/Summer photos, I love to stick with neutral/lighter color palettes like creams, pinks and light blues.
- Stay away from distracting graphics or words on clothing. – Definitely don’t wear anything with WORDS on your shirt, like graphic tees. And sometimes small check prints don’t show up on camera super well. So I say stick with bigger check/plaid prints. Florals, plaid, stripes are great… but I tend to stay away from horizontal stripes or too much pattern mixing. Plaid + floral or buffalo check + floral are my personal picks (for Fall photos)!
- Don’t forget accessories! – Scarves, headbands, beanies, jewelry, socks… these can always add color, pattern and texture to the outfits and make them look more “styled”.
- Use what you have. – I wanted to go out and buy some new pieces for the boys, but I resisted! For this first outfit here, I originally had a different shirt in mind for Marvin, but he told me he didn’t like the fit of that top, so we had to swap it to something else he had. When all else fails, see if you can find neutrals! A lot of times I will get it so 3/4 outfits all work together, but then the 4th one is hard. But again, sticking with neutrals is the easiest way to go for that hard 4th (or 5th and beyond) look!
- Lay out outfits beforehand! – What I do is have piles for each family member and I start pulling pieces from everyone’s closet that fit the color palette I have selected. Then I start with my “star” piece or a piece or two I KNOW I absolutely want in the photos and then start a new pile for the actual outfits! Then I start building upon it and creating everyone’s outfits. It’s a lot of trial and error and I always make sure to grab all the shoes too to make sure they will coordinate.
- Have fun with it! – I know, I know, this one is so cliche, because it can be stressful picking outfits, I totally get it!!! Honestly though, with family photos, the outfit is the easy part! Getting your kids to behave, stand well for photos, “act natural” and look at the camera when needed is the hard part! But just make sure to make it fun! Our photographer played a game of “green light, red light” to get that first shot of the kiddos, and I LOVED IT! The kids had so much fun doing that! One last tip, I know we are getting away from choosing family photo outfits, but we usually give the kids or make sure they are well fed before photos. If you have a baby, you may need to time your photo session with their “wake” times and not nap time! Also, use candy/toy/whatever you use bribes as a last resort, but make sure to bring them in case!!
Color Palette: Burgundy, Blues, Browns (small pops of Mustard)
Mood: Dressy Casual
Color Palette: Brown, Green, Blues
Photos by the talented Brittany Nikole Photo (SLC based photographer)!