5 Tips to Nail Family Photo Outfits and Lots of Outfit Ideas - Pretty Real

5 Tips to Nail Family Photo Outfits and Lots of Outfit Ideas

5:02 PM



I keep trying to not take family photos (so much work!) but I can't help it. I never regret a professional capture vs. the selfie that's required if I'm actually in the photo. We all know mom is behind the candid shots 99% of the time. I don't know how many times I've been frolicking with my kids wishing Joe had my same compulsive need to record everything that I posses. ha. Plus I love to include a professional picture in our Christmas card. You might not know this but I used to be a family photographer and loved providing consultations to my clients on choosing attire. So, here are my tips for choosing family outfits. 

Tip 1:

Usually I say to choose mom's outfit first. You're probably the hardest to please/fit/dress so it makes sense to start there and build around that. But now that I have pre-teens, I'll slightly modify it and say 'choose whoever is the hardest or pickiest to dress' and start there- moms of teen girls can I get an "I feel this?". I want whatever they wear to reflect their style/personality and not just mine (wait, is it that balance we struck while designing Genevieve's room all over again)? 

Shop mom picks: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10


Tip 2:

Don't match exactly. So here's where I say in the end do whatever you'd like! This is simply my opinion. A sea of red and black plaid for instance, or white tees is not very interesting and depending on the color choice can be harsh. I always say choose a color scheme and go from there and ideally your scheme has at least a few colors, if not more. It looks much more natural while still feeling cohesive. If you can't part with matching, try having the siblings match (like two girls wearing the same or very similar dresses) or even mom/daughters, dad/sons matching.

Shop teen/tween picks: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5 (comes in tons of colors!)  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10
(these items either come in 'big girl' sizes or a women's x-small)


Tip 3:

How to choose a color scheme. There are a few ways to do this- you can choose a patterned outfit/shirt for one person and pull colors from that, you can choose colors you generally gravitate toward, or you can find something you love and choose colors that match it. Neutrals are your best friend since you can pair gray, cream/ivory, taupe/tan with basically anything and it'll look great. I personally think pink and blue pairs well with everything too! I generally suggest to stay away from white as it can be blinding. Also stay away from small patterns that give off  that dizzying effect (called "Moiré") in photos.

Shop girl picks:   1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11


Tip 4:

Shop your closet. If you don't want to do what I do which is to order no less than 120 items with plans to return 110 of them, shop your wardrobes by going through each person's closet and pulling out items you love, that are in good condition, and/or that the person loves. Lay it all out on your bed and you might see a pattern/color combo forming. From there you can fill in the gaps. 

Shop boy picks here: 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10


Tip 5: 

Texture is your friend. I LOVE a good textured sweater in photos. Texture looks so great on film and if you're going simple with colors (which is my preference), texture adds a layer of interest.

Top Row: 1  |  2  |  3
Bottom Row: 1  |  2  |  3


Tip 6:

Add interest (optional). I hesitate to make this too complicated so this tip is sort of next level. You can easily follow the tips above and come out on top. But if you're trying to take it to the next level, there are a few things you can do to add interest. Adding texture is one. But you can also add a bit of drama- you can dress up (think of something you'd wear to an evening wedding), you can add drama in the form of a statement piece- full sleeves, a velvet suit jacket, etc- or you can go whimsical with ruffles or pretty fabrics like muslin. I have to say I often stop short of this simply because it's time consuming but when I see photos where people nail it, I'm like YES. 

One last note on fit- wear clothing that fits well, not oversized (unless that's your thing), and not too tight. First you want to be comfortable but also if it's too big or too small in real life something about a photo magnifies that. Go ahead and grab spanx if you need to (or just own that glorious body) but make sure your clothing fits!

What tips would you add? Shop these picks below!




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