Are you low key stressed about what to wear for your next family pictures before you’ve even got the session on the calendar?
I get it. A great outfit can be the confidence boost to step in front of the camera. Yet creating that picture perfect, but not like you’re trying too hard, outfit… let alone x3 or more for the family… can be stressful. But deep breaths, mama. You got this. You can totally curate photo ready outfits with what you already have in your wardrobe. Yes, really. Yes, even you.
style your session from your closet (and mine)
Don’t let Pinterest’s sea of gauzy dresses and babies in bow ties fool you. You do NOT need to buy a bunch of new fancy clothes for the family to look great in your photos. Because guess what? The outfits that look best, are the ones that make you look like you (but like, on a really good hair day). So let’s take the pressure off and level set expectations here. The shining star of jaw dropping family photos is the connection between the subjects and darling, you’ve got that by the boatload; sartorial choices are merely your accessories.
“Sounds good, but we still have to wear something.”
Truth. But keep it simple. Start with an item you love. Your power item. The one that makes you feel like a million bucks. Whether that’s a leather jacket or the perfectly broken in jeans or the sweater that makes your eyes pop, you know the one. Build your outfit from there and use it set the mood for the rest of the family. Stick with simple solids and neutrals, mix in a couple of pieces from the MSP Client Closet and voila! A stunningly styled look’s all your own, with out the fuss or the overwhelm.
Below are my top tips for choosing what to wear for your family photos and three relaxed summer styles to inspire you to think outside the box.
the foundations of coordinating photo ready family outfits
Still feeling lost on what to wear for your family photos? Start with the four Cs. These are basics I use with every client to guide them through their wardrobe selections: Casual. Comfort. Complementary. Common Sense.
I’ve said it before, but it’s worth saying again. You should look like you in your photos. If you usually rock ripped jeans and a sweater, putting on a frilly gown for photos could easily feel like a costume. Hard pass. Instead, think of what you might wear on a date night. That is the level of dressed up that’s going to be authentic. Further, nothing turns a reluctant partner into a grump faster than asking your t-shirt and shorts loving dude to wear a stiff collared shirt and dress shoes. Trust me, they’re going to be a lot happier to be there if you let them dress like himself.
Wear things you can move around in without be distracted by you clothes. During our time together you will play and tickle and snuggle. If you can’t bend, jump, run, or swing in it confidently I suggest skipping it for the day. Same goes for the kiddos.
Modern family photo outfits are all about putting together pieces that compliment each other without matching. Here is the basic recipe for creating that perfectly mis-matched but coordinated look you see in all those Minted holiday cards:
- Look at mom’s outfit. The color you see first is the primary color of your group.
- Pick one or two coordinating accent colors. This, plus neutrals, is your color pallet.
- Start building outfits for each family member. Each person should have a different dominate color from your pallet. The easiest way to do this is to dress everyone in neutrals and add a pop of color to their outfit.
The goal is that no two people match but every group pair of people looks great together.
This one is super simple and yet the most often over looked. Whatever you wear, it has to make sense. Are we headed to the mountains? Think wool socks, sweaters, and beanies. If we’re going to the beach, plan for barefoot (or rainboots, it is the PNW after all) and windswept hair. Needless to say, I’m not the ballgown in a field kind of gal.
Whether you opt for pajamas or couture, please make sure everyone is on the same wavelength. Having one person in pearls and another in flip-flops is going to look awkward. While neither is wrong, they don’t make sense together. Aim for the same level of formality head to toe AND across the group. Pro tip: check the shoes.
Bonus Tip: Ask for Help
This isn’t a C but it is literally the best news. You aren’t in this alone. Let’s work together to solve the what to wear puzzle. Grab a few options and let’s hop on a video call so that I can walk you through what will photograph best!
relaxed summer outfits for your family photos
Now for the examples!
For the following looks, I pulled from a mix of brands and price points paired with items available in the MSP Client Closet (flagged with an arrow).
Each style board contains looks for a family of six to demonstrate how the four Cs play out for a larger family but you could subtract any of the outfits without changing the overall mood or effectiveness. Plus shopping links, because sometimes it’s fun to buy something new and special.
Let’s dive in.
1 // Relaxed & Modern Family Photo Outfits
2 // Cool & Casual Family Photo Outfits
Baby (right) tank romper *
3 // Laidback & Classic Family Photo Outfits
Baby (right) shorts romper (similar) *
I can’t wait to hear which of these looks spoke to you most! Let me know in the comments below your power item so that I can create an style board around it next!