How to Dress for Family Photos

One of the most stress-invoking wardrobe conundrums I hear from clients are family photos. Whether it is for a holiday card, welcoming a new baby, or commemorating a significant point in time, I hear the same questions…

Should everyone match?

What colors look best on camera?

How much pattern is too much?

Where do I even start?

I get it. Coordinating one person for professional photography is tough, let alone a group of people.

Although a lot of it can be objective, there is good news. A bit of science can help streamline the process and provide direction to make it a little easier.

The best way to do that is to keep the following elements in mind:

  1. Create Balance— Mainly, you need balance the distribution of color and pattern. You don’t want one color to be too dominant and you also don’t want a pattern to be too overbearing. A good rule of thumb is to have 3 main colors + 2 accent colors, and distribute them equally to add interest and cohesiveness.
  2. Find your Purpose— Will you be using these photos for your business? Then maybe you want these to also compliment your branding. What is the tone you want to portray in the photo?
  3. Consider the Background— Are green, luscious trees the background to your photos? Or a pastel palette of the beach? Or concrete neutrals for an urban setting? Keep the background colors in mind so you make sure the subjects (aka you) pop.
  4. Add Interest— Use accessories and textured solids to create depth and interest in the photo. Instead of a plain t-shirt, think of a waffle-knit sweater or an eyelet top to add more depth. One quick way to devoid the photo of much interest is to have everyone in the same color. Instead of focusing in on individual’s faces, the eye is distracted by the sea of white or black.
  5. Start with the Mom— Let’s be honest, mamas are the Queen in family photos. Find an outfit she looks good in first and build the rest of the family around that.

If you are looking for more wardrobe guidance in creating a balanced + engaging family photo, click here to get a free pdf with stoppable links –> here.