Coordinating Outfits for a Family Session - Liebe Photography

Liebe Photography

Coordinating Outfits for a Family Session

September 16, 2019
Mom and dad hold two young boys in their arms on trail with fall leaves.

Thinking about family pictures?  Sometimes it is hard to know where to start in getting everyone put together for them!  Here are some basics as a place to start.

Start with one person, then go from there.

It is a lot easier to choose an outfit for one person, like a mom or a daughter, and look at the colors and patterns from their clothes to decide on the rest.  What pieces will best compliment their outfit?

Color/Pattern Coordination

Different patterns are great- as long as they are not overbearing on each other.  For example, you might have dad wear stripes, mom wear something solid, and the daughter wear florals, all with complementary colors.  As long as the colors and ideas work together and they are not overwhelming, patterns can be doable, though I don’t recommend that everyone wears them.  That being said, no tiny, tight patterns! Pinstripes and patterns of the like can show up weird in pictures.

Large family stands together smiling dressed in shades of blue in front of forest

Don’t do super matchy

There is a trend for families to want to all wear blue jeans with white or black t-shirts.  I highly recommend not doing that! Keep everything complementary- not matching. When everybody matches, people tend to get lost in the picture.  Additionally, in all white, the exposure gets blown out when trying to make you and the background look nice. In black, you tend to get swallowed up and lose definition of the individual people.

Family with mom, dad, a daughter, and two sons pose goofy in front of trees on grass.

Don’t forget to layer and accessorize

Layering is a great way to add color and textures without overdoing it!  Adding a light or heavy scarf, depending on the weather, can add that pop of color that might be missing.  Hats are a great way to add some fun into the mix as well. 

Dress for a theme

When looking holistically at the outfits you have, make sure they all are following a theme or idea.  Make sure that people all tend to look like the season they are in! It looks strange to have one person in shorts and another in a thick sweater!

Mom and two daughters laugh together in front of Tacoma cityscape.

Dress for the weather

Are you getting your pictures done in fall with the colorful leaves?  It probably isn’t the best idea to wear your summer sun dresses! Are you taking pictures in the summer by a lake?  Better leave your fuzzy boots or thick scarf at home. It is easy to tell when the clothes are out of season- especially if you have your kids in heavy winter wear in the heat!

Look for comfort

If you have fallen in love with a dress but it fits kind of funny or itches in weird places, you are going to be able to tell!  If you aren’t comfortable, it shows in how comfortable you are for your pictures. That goes even more so for your kids! If they are not comfortable with what they are wearing, they are definitely going to let you and the camera know.

Remember your background

Remember to take into account where you are getting your pictures taken.  Are you taking pictures in the forest? Probably not the best idea to wear a dark or bright green.  It also isn’t a great idea to wear whites! These tend to blow out super bright against the dark of the forest.  Additionally, patterns can get lost against the busyness of the tree leaves and limbs. Are you going into the city?  Pastels, whites, and greys can wash out against the light greys and browns of the cement. But with all of the solid backgrounds, patterns pop really well!

Mom, dad, and toddler boy walk together and laugh in fall leaves in Tacoma park.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *