Tips For Putting Together Outfits for Family Photos


Fall is a great time to take family photos, either for a holiday card or a yearly memento. One of the biggest struggles I have (besides making sure the kiddos behave during the actual shoot) is deciding what to wear!

Here are some tips for gathering outfits for family photos:

  1. Start with mom’s outfit.  I feel like I’m the most particular person in our family when it comes to clothes (though one of my sons is a close second). I usually start with my outfit when we do pictures and go from there. If I have a patterned top, I try to pull colors from it to fit everyone else’s outfits. 
  2. Don’t be afraid to mix patterns.  It’s okay to have someone in plaid or floral and someone in stripes. You don’t want too many patterns, but a couple are okay. Usually when I mix patterns I go with one big pattern and one small pattern. Some examples might be a big floral and skinny stripe or a thick stripe and small polka dots.
  3. It doesn’t have to be matchy-matchy. Colors don’t have to match exactly as long as they are close. Though I did one year have our three boys in matching shirts (because I wanted to be “that mom” just once, see below). As long as things are in the same tones but different shades, you’re okay. Think dark pink and light pink or navy and a lighter blue. 
  4. You don’t have to spend a fortune. Some discount retailers like Target and Old Navy have some of the cutest things and they often carry similar shades during a season so you can easily find things that go together. Many times I haven’t bought all new things for photos. I shop our closets first and see what might work and then fill in the gaps.
  5. When in doubt, have someone wear chambray or white. If you have all the outfits for everyone but one person, find a chambray or white shirt or dress. Chambray goes with so many different colors you usually can’t go wrong. 

Below I’ve put together a couple sets of ideas to help you selecting outfits! Each is a different color scheme with a few options for different people in the family.





What do you think? Are there any tips you would add?

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Becky grew up in Iowa and moved to Waukee in 2009 after she and her husband, Russ, settled into teaching jobs in the Metro. She and Russ have been married since June 2006 and have three boys, Henry (2010), Wesley (2013), and Calvin (2015). She teaches in Waukee and loves the small town feel that one of the fastest growing zip codes in the U.S. has to offer. For fun, Becky enjoys spending time with her boys, blogging at ByBMG, keeping up with fashion and make-up, making crafts that can be accomplished in a nap time, and “vacations” to Target.


  1. Yes to starting out with Mom’s outfit! What I always do and then work from there, and yes to mixing patterns, although not too many. I love family outfits, we’re actually taking our photos early this year…need to get my butt into gear!

  2. Such great tips!! I agree 100% about starting with mom’s outfit or a statement outfit and then building the family wardrobe off of that. We’ve got family picture coming up so I’m really hoping to find a great dress for myself and then shop for everyone else. Your family pics always turn out so great.


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