Easy Tips On How To Dress For A Family Portrait

Oh the stress.

As if it weren’t hard enough to drag your screaming, kicking unwilling family along to get the annual family photo taken, but to figure out what to wear? It’s too much!

Never fear, I have a few easy tips for you that will help you along in this process and keep it relatively painless.

What To Wear For Family Photos via Tipsaholic.com

1.  Kick it up a notch

You’ll hear this a lot “make sure everyone is comfortable”. While I agree to a certain point, what if someone’s “comfortable” is their torn up jeans and ratty t-shirt?  Instead I would say have everyone be themselves but kick it up a notch.  Show the more fun side of your personality rather than the couch potato personality!


2. Pattens, Layers and Accessories

Patterns are okay in moderation and as long as it’s complimentary to everyone else.

What to Wear for Family Photos via Tipsaholic.com

Typically it’s good to have one or two people with the pattern and everyone else can work around it with complimentary solid colors.  In addition, layers, textures and accessories all add more personality to your overall look so go for it!  For more visual examples I recommend heading over to Pinterest and searching for ‘family portrait style guide’.


3. Avoid logos, characters, etc.

On children and adults alike this is a hard fast rule of most photographers.  Why? Refer to #1.  It will make you stand out in the picture and not in a good way!


4. Let their light shine

Here’s the thing, our kids often leave our heads shaking when they come out of their rooms beaming with pride having put together the weirdest looking outfit humanly possible.  But just remember that one day they will likely be just as boring as we are, so while they have no inhibitions limiting their choice in outfits, embrace it.  Step in with some guidance however if any or all of rules 1-3 are broken.  Here’s my daughter who insisted on her hair in a messy bun and a pair of glasses ‘just like mommy’ for this photo shoot.  My choice would have been way less memorable – so glad I gave in!

Dressing for A Family Photo Shoot via Tipsaholic.com


5. Consider Your Home

Did I throw you off with that one?  This is important for a couple of reasons.  First, we tend to decorate our homes with colors we love and are drawn to.  If that’s the case for you (hopefully it is!) then consider incorporating those colors in your family’s wardrobe selection. This brings me to my next reason which is how you plan to display photos in your home (which I hope you plan to do!).  By having a color palette that compliments your home, it will be a piece of cake when your ready to display them.  For example (of what not to do), I recently took a gorgeous photo of my daughter in a field of sunflowers but I can’t hang it where I would really like to because the yellow flowers don’t ‘fit in’. Sadly, it just wouldn’t work.  However, if you’re intentions are to put the photos in an album then by all means feel free to take a creative leap from your ‘normal’ colors!

Do you have any additional tips you’d like to share based on your own experiences?  Comment below!

Author: Jennifer Faris is a photographer, writer, mom of 3 littles and wife to a rock star (at least in her eyes). You can see more of her work at www.jenniferfaris.com and follow her on FacebookPinterest,Instagram.

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