Family Pictures: Dressing the Clan

Fashion & Beauty

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Fall is the quintessential time for family photos: temperatures have cooled off, you’re gearing up for the holidays and prepping to send out greeting cards. But along with family photos comes the stress of all the prepwork! There’s the photographer to choose, location to determine and, worst of all, the outfits to coordinate. Ay!

I’ve got some tips today for how to dress your crew for the perfect family photoshoot… whether you have 1 child or 10.

family-picture-collageFind your color inspiration. Sometimes this comes in the form of an outfit you already own and want to use, sometimes it’s a dress you see in the store or some other random print! This year I used the ottoman in my daughter’s room as inspiration and decided to go with gray, berry and blue tones.

While sometimes a wide array of colors can work for a large group, you’ll generally want to stick with no more than 3 colors (or color families). Also, be sure to choose colors that are in style for the season! You might want hot pink and royal blue for your Christmas cards but if those colors aren’t in stores, you’re going to have a hard time finding outfits for everyone. This fall you’ll find lots of gray and blue tones, maroon and berry colors, blush pink and dusty greens.

Dress the hardest body first, and build around that. Since I’m pregnant this year, I had considerably fewer options that I felt comfortable in, so my outfit got chosen first. This could also be a child who has fewer clothes than the others or one whose outfit you already know you love and want to use.

Neutrals, neutrals, neutrals! Beware of too many prints and colors; neutrals help ground an ensemble and will balance out all the other busyness. It’s tempting to dress everyone in a cute print or color but in order for everyone to work together, there has to be places for the eye to rest.

Once you’ve gathered all the outfits you own that you want to use, pack them up and go shopping! You can also take a picture of the outfits to reference while in the store, but having the actual clothes with you makes it MUCH easier to mix and match. My favorite places to shop for the whole family are Old Navy and Gap since they have clothes for every age and use the same color scheme throughout the store each season. This makes it a cinch to coordinate for the whole family! It also helps to have an idea in mind of what you’re looking for…a printed dress with berry tones or a neutral button down, etc.

Be sure all the outfits work well in any combination…in other words, make sure the girls look good together, the boys’ outfits work next to each other, mom and dad’s colors blend, etc. You want to make sure that no matter the configuration your photographer is shooting, all the colors meld well. 

In the example above, I put mom and dad in neutrals, with a colored cardigan and shoes for mom. Then assuming there are 2 boys and 2 girls, I put one of each gender in a neutral and one in a colorful outfit, with just 2 simple prints. No matter who gets photographed together, it will look great!

If you need more tips for how to survive family pictures, be sure to check out this post as well.

And to watch me walk through the process of selecting our outfits for this year’s pics, watch this FB Live video!
UPDATE: Click here to see our finished product!

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