Fashion Guide: What to Wear for Family Portraits

Now that we are in our new house, and Audrey is actually old enough to pose (sort-of), I decided it was time for me to get some of my own family pictures! My heart goes out to all of you moms who have gone through the process of deciding what to wear, as I now truly understand what a hassle it is. After finally finding what I wanted us to wear, I decided that I would post it here (first just the clothes, then the actual photo of us as soon as we have it taken). I’ll start with my own family outfits, but I plan to continue doing these posts for all types of sessions just to give you some ideas.


My biggest tip for outfitting your family is to mix and match. Get things that coordinate, but not necessarily match. I also suggest wearing things that add texture (embellished shirts or cardigans, jeans, jewelry, scarves, etc). It’s hard to tell from this photo (since I had to lay the outfits on the grass, making the white super reflective of the noon sun–we will not be shooting at noon for the fam pics so they won’t be blown out!), but my tank has a few ruffles and Audrey’s cardi is embellished with rosettes. Layers (such as cardigans, jackets, and vests) are great as well. Skirts for the girls mixed with jeans for the guys are fun. You can definitely add patterns (like Jake’s shirt) here and there, just use it sparingly. Ties and hats can also add an extra fun element.

Once you’ve made your selections, I would suggest laying out your selections together as I have done. After snapping these photos, I realized that I want a little more color and will probably add more colorful accessories to my outfit (like bright green earrings or a colorful necklace). Bright pops of color here and there (such as red shoes, a deep purple belt, or mustard yellow cardigan) photograph really well.

Lastly, think of where the photograph will be displayed. Will the colors you have chosen complement the colors of the room? What about the colors of the season and the location? I chose to incorporate green into our photo (both in our clothing as well as the location–shooting now rather than in the fall colors) since I know that green will look great in my living room.

Hopefully these tips help and get you thinking as we near our family portrait season. If you find yourself overwhelmed, let me know and I’d be happy to help out by giving advice or sharing my opinion.

  1. Robin G

    August 25th, 2010 at 1:30 am

    Great advice. Thanks.

    Cute choices.

  2. Fashion Guide: What to wear for family portraits II | Meredith Carlson Photography

    October 25th, 2010 at 7:26 pm

    […] so remember how I was going to post photos from my own family shoot showcasing the clothes I posted? Well, here they finally are! Sorry that took so long. As you can see, I swapped out […]

Leave a Reply

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