Styling Family Pictures


So glad to be able to share a huge project we’ve been working on! Easily the number one question I get asked this time of year is if I have any tips for styling family pictures. It can be a stressful process to try and coordinate outfits for your entire family so having a little direction is super helpful.

I myself am a very visual learner, so in order to make the most out of this post, I decided to go ahead and style eight different looks for family pictures. Not only will you have the option to mix and match any of the items I’m sharing as you style your own photos, but you’ll also get a little peek into how I pulled together each look.

I’m really hopeful that this will take some of the guess work out for y’all as you plan your outfits for your fam. There really is no need for family photos to be stressful! They can actually be a fun creative outlet as well as a way for your family to enjoy spending time together.

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So let’s jump right in!

  1. Plan ahead for the getting ready part: There’s nothing worse than that feeling that everyone is stressed and on edge before the photographer has even snapped the first picture. You want this to be a sweet time and in order to pull that off, you need to be happy and relaxed. Lay everything out ahead of time and be sure the plan for photos is over communicated to everyone involved. This will help you to stay on track and really enjoy the process leading up to the pics!
  2. Stay away from static poses: It seems like the picture everyone wants is the “all eyes looking at the camera and smiling” one. But I really love when candid moments are captured. Be sure to tell your photographer before hand that you’d like more candid shots. You can even show them examples if there’s something specific you have in mind. The less you pose, the more natural you’ll feel. That will definitely translate in your photos.
  3. Mix those patterns: There’s a tendency in pictures to be either too matchy matchy or to have too much going on. In order to achieve the in between balance, you’ll want to mix up some pattern and texture. If one person is wearing floral, have someone else wear faux fur. If one person is wearing plaid, add in a stripe and a statement necklace. The idea here is to not have competing patterns but rather complementing patterns. Never underestimate the power of TEXTURE (the feel of the fabric over just the color) in adding dimension and interest to your photos.
  4. Pick the right location: Sometimes this can be the last thing anyone thinks about, especially after you’ve spent SO much time just trying to plan what everyone will wear! But choosing the right time of day and the right spot for pictures is just as important as the outfits you choose. I love golden hour (right before sunset) because it just gives a glow to your photos. Depending on the vibe you’re going for, choose a location that supports it and doesn’t compete with it. Your photographer should be able to help you in picking out the right spot.
  5. Helping your kids cooperate: This is especially tough if you have little ones. If yours are too little to understand the value of a bribe (let’s be real here, people), then bring little snacks that they can have for cooperation. If they’re even too young for that, just try to make sure they are well rested and fed before you start so you don’t end up with an unwanted tantrum. For your bigger kids, just take the time to talk through your expectations of them so everyone is on the same page. You can even plan a fun activity that you can all do if everyone cooperates during the pictures. Over communication is key when you need cooperation so just keep that in mind as you approach picture taking time.

Now that we’ve talked tips, here are a few different looks that will hopefully give you some inspiration for planning your family outfits!

Bold Pattern Play

Don’t be afraid to mix your patterns! The only time patterns tend to compete in a photo is typically when you’re overdoing one. Here I mixed plaid, polkadots, and solids. This AMAZING oversized coat is a bold print but it balances with the subtle polkadot print in Reese’s dress. I also made sure to pull a little bit of this burgundy in each of our outfits so it created a cohesive feel.

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City Vibe

This look is brought to you by my deep love for all things TULLE. I love how whimsical and fun a full tulle skirt is but add an edgy moto jacket and it gives it a totally different vibe. If you’re wanting to pull off an urban feel for your photos, location is KEY. Go to a quiet downtown area if you can and get some of the live action in the background. You can also pull this off with exposed brick or industrial elements.

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Casual and Comfortable

I think sometimes we tend to overthink the whole family photo thing. It can be just as easy as throwing on some jeans and a comfortable sweater and calling it a day! For this relaxed look, I started with Rowen’s floral dress and the built our outfits around that. I love having one piece as inspiration to sort of anchor the rest of the outfits. This combination of shades of soft green and blue mixed with rosie pinks says “hey, we tried but not too hard”.

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Bohemian Whimsy

Ok I really don’t know if bohemian whimsy is actually a thing but we are gonna run with it! A wide open field at golden hour is the perfect location for just about any style of family photos. I love a soft neutral monochrome palette with just a little bit of texture. I think I’ve had someone in my family wear a faux fur vest EVERY year that we’ve done photos. I mean when it works, you work it hard, right? I also love the idea of having mom in a maxi dress and dad in a blazer with khakis. Options are endless!

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Christmas Card

When it comes to taking photos around the holidays, there really is no place like HOME. We are planning to use this picture for our christmas card this year because we feel like it just embodies what’s really precious about this whole season… being at home with the ones you love. If you’re trying to pull off a truly seasonal style, you can’t go wrong with a classic red and white combo. A few touches of green and some sparkle for good measure and you’ve straight nailed it!

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Soft Neutrals

Ok here we are again with the faux fur. This time in shades of PINK tho. I think a lot of time people shy away from neutral because they are afraid it’ll feel boring. The thing that combats that every time is TEXTURE. Whether it be from a sweater, fur, sparkle, or shimmer, texture sets off an ensemble in the best way. If you have a neutral palette that you love but it’s feeling too one dimensional, just add texture to shake things up. You’ll be amazed at what a difference it makes!

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Caroling, Caroling

Kind of looks like we could show up at your porch singing jingle bells, doesn’t it? Well I am here. for. it. I love traditional christmas color schemes and this is just another way to pull one off. This plaid cape was my anchor piece and I styled everything else around it. You already know I love mixing pattern and this is a very subtle way to do that. Also, if you’re ever stumped on what to put your husband in, a navy blazer and khakis goes with just about ALL THE THINGS.

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I hope this post is helpful for those of you still trying to plan out your family photos this year! Thanks so much for stopping by the blog!



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