Thinking of booking a family photoshoot? Whether you’re bringing energetic toddlers, angsty teens, or anyone in between, we want to make sure everyone in your family has a great time in order to capture the perfect photo – and this task starts with choosing the right outfits!

We all know that the job of dressing everyone in your family (and keeping them happy with their outfits) can seem impossible at times. Luckily, I’m here with a few tips to help you coordinate your family’s clothing properly, ensuring smiles all around, and consequently, a perfect family portrait.

  1. Let’s match! …or not?

While dressing your entire family in a matching pattern or ensemble sounds like a great idea, this style of clothing for family photos is outdated and frankly a little boring. It’s better to have everyone dress in complementing colors, which are mostly solids with maybe one or two patterns that you can pull accent colors out of. This creates balance and harmony throughout the photo. If everyone is dressed the same, you lose individuality. Remember, this photo is an authentic representation of your family and therefore everyone should be dressed differently, afterall our whole families don’t match every day in our “real” lives do we? It is best to have one or two children wear a pattern and then pull complimenting colors from this pattern to dress everyone else in. We used this method in our own family photoshoot recently and the pictures turned out amazing! I dressed our newborn in a patterned dress and took solid colors out of her outfit to put on everyone else. All of the colors complement each other very well and create a cohesive color scheme.

Pro Tip! Having trouble getting your kids to wear their dress up clothes? Here’s a little trick I use: when my kids don’t want to get out of their printed t-shirts and cozy pajamas for family photos, I tell them that everyone is dressing up in costumes, just for the photos, and that afterwards they change back into their play clothes. This normally stops the arguing and they concede, ready to pretend to be models!

  1. Go for Muted or Bold Tones

Although you may be tempted to go with bright, neon colors to show off your family’s fun personalities, let the excitement be shown through the looks on your faces instead! Neon, highlighter colors tend to shine BRIGHT through the camera, giving an awkward face-glowing effect in the photo. The only shine we want to see is in your beautiful smiles, not a white circle where your face should be. This doesn’t mean you can’t use corals or teals just because they are brighter than, say, tan. Use them, just make sure they aren’t electric.

  1. Take Your Decor into Consideration

It may sound silly at first, but don’t you want to hang your beautifully done photos proudly in your home? Choose colors that will compliment your decor, making it easier to match your new portraits to the style of your home. If you love neutrals and your home reflects that, choose neutrals for your outfits as well, or match your child’s shirt to your favorite painting or decorative pillow. Tie in those accent colors, friends!

  1. Use Textures

Textures make a photo look realistic. Add that chunky cardigan or wide-brimmed hat, layer up the jewelry, and throw on a belt just because. If in doubt, bring it anyway. You can always count on in-person advice on site – better to have it than not!

  1. Black and White

No, I’m not talking about black and white photos, I’m talking about your wardrobe! Out with the “everyone wear a white shirt and some khaki’s” fad – you can up the game of your family’s photographs simply by using color variation. Not to say that some black or some white isn’t okay, but, similar to the “matchy-matchy” rule, a bunch of white or a bunch of black can result in a loss in detail, depth, and contrast. To get the best results, think of complimentary, subtle, and bold colors. Colors such as navy blue, dark maroon, and dark green work well together, for instance. Choose two or three main colors and work off of variations of those. Don’t be afraid to try different shades of the same color! Such as the blues as shown in this photo, for example.

  1. Location

When thinking about what to dress your family in, it’s extremely important to take the location of the photoshoot into consideration. Although I do offer in-studio family portraits, many of my clients, especially those with a larger family, will choose to do their portraits outdoors at one of the many different landscapes available to us in Cobb County, Georgia. Whether you wish to shoot at a more natural landscape, such as a lively farm, luscious field, or calm creek or you would rather go for a more industrial setting like one of our many historic downtown squares, you must think about what your outfits will look like in that environment. When in nature, keep in mind the tones of the season. While spring calls for more pastel, poppy colors such as pinks and blues, photos taken in the fall are usually better for more rich, neutral toned colors such as navy blue, olive green or mustard yellow. Shooting in nature also allows for a more casual, flowy, or whimsical style of clothing that parallels the ever-moving feel of nature. If you do opt for a more “concrete” setting (ha, get it?), you have the option to wear nicer, more formal “going out” clothes in order to match the high-energy vibe of the city. Additionally, keep in mind the weather and time of day you are shooting your photos when planning outfits for outdoor photoshoots.

Photoshoots are a work of art. Photographers are artists. Allow Liz by Design Photography to be your biggest asset when getting ready for your family portraits. Ask questions. Get answers. It will pay off in the end!

If you are ready to book your next photoshoot, contact Liz by Design HERE.  With over thousands of successful shoots, she will create an experience that lasts a lifetime.