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Family Photo Outfits~ A Style Guide

January 30, 2023

You’ve browsed local boutiques and hit up your favorite online stores. You’ve rounded every aisle of Target, twice. You picked one set of colors but couldn’t find anything in your toddler’s size. You went back to the store to return it all and go with a different palette only to find nothing for your teen. There isn’t enough pop of color, there are too many conflicting patterns, the various shades of blue don’t seem to flow. It’s exhausting! Even as long as I’ve been doing this, I still stress about coordinating our family photo outfits. I get you. So let’s go through a few guidelines that can make the process just a bit easier when



While I love a good pair of sweatpants {insert a book and glass of wine here}, that’s not quite what I mean. Maybe you’re tired of what you have and you’d like to take a risk with something different- awesome! But I recommend doing this on a date night dinner or out to a concert.
Select the cuts and styles that always stop you in the mirror with, “Dang, I look good.” Having outfits that give you confidence will directly transfer to how you feel during your portrait session. And I want you to feel comfortable! After all, these are the portraits you’ll hang in your home and send out in holiday cards.


Neutrals, nuetrals, nuetrals! Whatever your favorite colors, neutrals will always make your portraits timeless. When investing into purchasing prints or wall hangings, holiday cards, or sharing with family, having a neutral color palette will help you love them for a very long time.
Cool neutrals are colors such as sage, ivory, grey, taupe, blush, and dusty blue.
Warm neutrals are colors such as taupe, cream, browns, olive, rust, and mustard.



Oh patterns, you are beautiful and sometimes confusing. When does it start to look too busy? What types of patterns clash? {OK side note, clashing patterns were recently a trend and I’m not talking about flowers with checkers. I’m saying like your grandma’s quilt with your other grandma’s quilt in bright and opposite colors. Click here for a good time.} I digress.
Patterns can add dimension and texture to an otherwise minimalistic color scheme. Honestly speaking, I don’t mind the minimal look but if you need a little pop then go for it!
When I’m coordinating for my family I start with 3-4 neutral colors that compliment each other and work with our skin tones. They’re usually colors we wear often or know we like. Then I’ll find a patterned item such as a dress or shirt and build out the rest of the outfits from there. I’ll often keep the majority what we’re wearing as solid colors while accenting with some pattern. This really provides an elevated, timeless, look without seeming overly busy.
The clients in the portraits above and below are a great example of how to incorporate a couple of patterned items with solids in the same scheme. Taking from the mom’s dress and working out from there would be the easiest approach.

Things to avoid

My hope is that you will love your family portraits for years beyond your session, so here are a few suggestions on things you might want to avoid the next time you select family photo outfits. Above all, it’s your investment so BE YOU.


For more ideas follow my mood boards on Pinterest here.
Interested in a session with me? Can hardly wait to meet you! Find me here: Brittany Ann Photography

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