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A step by step guide for choosing what to wear for family photos!

Family photos are a wonderful way to capture memories and milestones, and choosing the right outfits can play a huge role in the success of your photoshoot. But with so many options and considerations, it can be overwhelming to choose what to wear for family photos.

If you’re feeling stuck or unsure of where to start when it comes to coordinating outfits for your family photo shoot, you’re not alone. That’s why we’ve put together this guide with 10 tips to help you create a cohesive and visually appealing look for your family photos.

By following these tips, you’ll not only save time and reduce stress in the planning process, but you’ll also ensure that you have beautiful photos that you’ll be proud to display for years to come. From choosing a color scheme to considering the location and season, we’ve got you covered.

Choose a colour scheme

Start by selecting a colour scheme that complements each other and the location. You can choose complementary colours or shades of a single colour.

Choosing a color scheme for your family photo shoot may seem like a small detail, but it can make a big difference in the final result of your photos. A well-coordinated color scheme can create a cohesive look and make your family photos look more polished and put together.

Think about it – if everyone in the photo is wearing a different color or pattern, it can be distracting and take away from the focus of the photo, which is your family. A color scheme can help tie everything together and make the photo look more harmonious. This is a really important consideration when choosing what to wear for family photos.

A color scheme can help set the tone and mood of your photo. For example, if you’re going for a soft, romantic feel, you might choose pastel colors like pink, lavender, and light blue. If you want a bold, energetic feel, you might choose bright, bold colors like red, yellow, and blue.

Mix and match patterns

Mixing and matching patterns in family photography can add interest, texture, and personality to your photos. It can also help each family member showcase their individual style while still maintaining a cohesive look.

However, it’s important to balance out the patterns so that they don’t clash or become overwhelming. This is where the importance of choosing a solid color comes in. If one family member is wearing a pattern, another family member can wear a solid color that complements the pattern.

For example, if one person is wearing a striped shirt, someone else in the family can wear a solid-colored shirt that matches one of the colors in the stripes. This helps tie everything together and creates a harmonious look.

Mixing and matching patterns can be a fun way to add personality to your family photos, but it’s important to strike a balance and not overdo it. Remember to keep the overall look cohesive and choose patterns that complement each other.

Consider the location

If doing an outdoor photoshoot – this is an important step!
The location can help set the tone for your photo shoot and impact the style of clothing you should choose.

For example, if you’re taking photos at the beach, you may want to consider wearing light, airy fabrics and soft, neutral colors to complement the natural surroundings. On the other hand, if you’re taking photos in the city, you may want to opt for more modern, sophisticated clothing.

Additionally, the location can impact the practicality of your outfit. If you’re taking photos in a park or forest, you’ll want to avoid wearing clothing that’s too long or flowy, as it can get caught on branches or grass. If you’re taking photos in a colder climate, you’ll want to dress warmly and wear layers.

Keep it simple: Simplicity is key when selecting what to wear for family photos. Avoid outfits with too many embellishments or designs that can be distracting.

Dress for the season

The weather can impact the type of clothing you choose and how comfortable your family is during the shoot.

If it’s a hot summer day, you’ll want to choose lightweight fabrics that breathe and keep everyone cool. If it’s cold outside, you’ll want to choose warm, cozy clothing that will keep everyone comfortable. Layering is also a great option for unpredictable weather, as it allows you to adjust for temperature changes.

The season can also influence your color choices and style. In Autumn, you might opt for warm, earthy tones and incorporate cozy textures like flannel or knitwear. In the spring, you might choose light, airy fabrics and pastel colors.


Accessories can be a great way to add interest and personality to your family photography. They can also help tie together your outfits and create a cohesive look.

When considering accessories, think about what will complement your outfits and enhance the overall look of your photos. This might include items like hats, scarves, jewelry, or even props like flowers or balloons.

Accessories can also be a great way to add pops of color or pattern to your outfits. For example, a bright statement necklace can add a fun pop of color to a neutral outfit.

It’s important to keep in mind that accessories should enhance your outfits, not overpower them. Avoid wearing too many accessories or ones that clash with your clothing. Instead, choose a few key pieces that work well with your outfits and help tie everything together.

sibling newborn photo on white

Coordinate but don’t match

Coordinating but not matching is an important principle to keep in mind when choosing outfits for family photography. While matching outfits might seem like a good idea, they can actually make your photos look forced and unnatural.

When coordinating outfits, you want to choose pieces that complement each other without being too matchy-matchy. This can involve choosing a color scheme or incorporating similar patterns or textures.

By coordinating but not matching, you can create a more visually interesting and dynamic look. Each family member can express their own individual style while still fitting in with the overall theme of the photos.

Coordinating but not matching can make it easier to find clothing that fits well and looks good on everyone. It can be challenging to find matching outfits in the right sizes and styles for every family member. This step can really help narrow down the choices of what to wear for family photos.

Consider the whole family: Think about how the outfits will look as a group.

When planning outfits for a family photoshoot, it’s important to consider the whole family. This means thinking about how the outfits will look as a group and making sure that they work well together.

One way to approach this is to choose a color scheme or theme that can be incorporated into everyone’s outfits. For example, you might choose a palette of soft pastels or earth tones, or a theme like nautical or bohemian.

It’s also important to consider each family member’s individual style and preferences. While you want everyone to look coordinated, you also want them to feel comfortable and confident in their clothing choices.

By considering the whole family, you can create a cohesive and visually pleasing look that showcases your family’s unique personalities and style. This can help to make your photoshoot a fun and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

Ultimately, the goal of family photography is to capture the essence of your family and create lasting memories. By considering the whole family when planning outfits, you can ensure that your photos reflect your family’s unique spirit and personality.

family holding baby photography

Start with one outfit (I always suggest Mum’s outfit!)

Planning outfits for a family photoshoot can be a daunting task, especially if you’re struggling to come up with ideas. One strategy that can be helpful in these situations is to start with just one outfit.

Choose one family member’s outfit that you love and build the rest of the outfits around that piece. This can help to provide a starting point and guide your choices for the rest of the family.

Starting with one outfit can also make it easier to coordinate colors and styles. By choosing a piece that has a strong color or pattern, you can incorporate those elements into the other outfits in subtle ways.

Once you have one outfit in place, you can then start to build on it by choosing complementary pieces for the rest of the family. This can make the planning process feel less overwhelming and help you to create a cohesive and visually appealing look for your family photoshoot.

Don’t forget about shoes: (Mainly important for outdoor photography!)

When it comes to planning outfits for a family photoshoot, many people focus solely on clothing and overlook the importance of footwear. However, planning footwear can be just as important as choosing the right outfits.

The right footwear can complete an outfit and add a polished and coordinated look to your family photos. It’s important to consider the location and type of shoot you’ll be having when choosing footwear. For example, if you’re planning to take photos in a park or other outdoor setting, you may want to choose comfortable shoes that can handle uneven terrain.

You’ll also want to consider the style and color of the footwear. It’s often best to stick to neutral or coordinating colors that complement the rest of the outfits, rather than choosing something that stands out too much.

We hope these 10 tips for coordinating outfits for a family photo shoot have been helpful in easing the stress and confusion that often come with planning a family photoshoot. Remember, the most important thing is to have fun and enjoy the experience of capturing memories with your loved ones.

fun sibling photo

If you’re feeling inspired to put these tips into action, we invite you to book a family session at Kristy’s Studio. We will work with you to create a memorable and visually stunning family photo that you’ll treasure for years to come.