family sitting together on the ground for their Hampton Roads Family photos as the small children play in the dirt and the parents smile

Feb 11, 2022

Family Photography

Top 5 Tips To Plan Family Photo Outfits

This time in your life is precious, and before you know it you will be onto the next stage and phase! That is why as a Hampton Roads family photographer I am so passionate about capturing your family throughout every season of life. You will be able to look back and remember exactly how you felt in these moments! But something we all seem to struggle with when planning family photos is how to plan family photo outfits.

Lucky for you, I am sharing my top 5 tips for gorgeous family photo outfits!

family photos in Williamsburg Virginia with parents and two toddler girls as they all holding hands and walk together on a dirt path

Tip #1 to Plan Family Photo Outfits: Use What’s In Your Closet

That’s right, you don’t need a completely new outfit for your family photos! Although it is a great excuse to get new clothes for everyone, I suggest you first through your own closets. This tip will bring a few benefits to your family! First and foremost, family photos wont become as expensive. You are already investing in preserving your memories through photography. Buying new outfits can put a financial burden on you for no good reason, and prevent you from having your pictures taken as often as you would like.

Secondly, what is in your closet typically already fits and is comfortable! When you plan family photo outfits, before anything else you want to be comfortable in what you are wearing. Wearing new shoes or pants can be uncomfortable, and that will show through in your photos. Instead, find the key pieces of your outfits in your closet, then if you want you can buy a few accessories to bring more cohesion to your family’s look.

plan family photo outfits for a cohesive look and style with best Hampton Roads family photographer, family is Williamsburg posing as they smile at each other and hold their children

Tip #2: Variety In Texture

One of my favorite tips is to add variety in texture, and this family is a great example of that! Mixing too many prints can cause chaos, and look messy on camera. But on the flip side, everyone wearing a solid color of the same texture can create a boring and flat image. In this Williamsburg family photoshoot, we see one print (plaid), and three solids that are all in different textures (cotton, velvet, and corduroy). This adds interest to the outfits, while keeping the focus of the images on the members of the family.

family photos in Williamsburg Virginis with two little toddler girls sitting on the ground together, as the older one leans over the hold the other cheeks and kiss her

Tip #3: Avoid Bright Colors

If you take one thing away from this article, this is it! When you plan family photo outfits, please keep the bright colors at home. And if you are a color loving family, then choose colors that are not as bright and more muted.  Neutrals and muted tones work best because of the way the light reflects off of the hues. Brighter colors often come off as harsh and do not look as good for your end result.

In addition, more neutral and muted colors are timeless in family photography. When you choose to steer clear of brighter colors you are creating a beautiful heirloom that will hang in your home for generations. It will not clash with your changing home decor or wall colors, nor will it cause you to cringe when you look back at the colorful fashions that were trending.

family sitting together on the ground for their Hampton Roads Family photos as the small children play in the dirt and the parents smile

Tip#4: Coordinate, Don’t Match

Something that went in and out of style really quick was matching family outfits. And for good reason! Plan family photo outfits to coordinate, this way each member of the family is shown as an individual. The best way to do this is to pick a color palette and work within those colors alone. If you are unsure where to start with color palettes, try out Canva’s free color palette generator. Or draw different colors from one article of clothing. For example, this family’s color palette came from the dad’s plaid shirt, pulling the reds and blues within the plaid out for the daughters outfits.

best hampton roads family photographer captures father dancing with his two toddlers on a dirt path in the fall

Tip #5 to Plan Your Family’s Photo Outfits: Be You

Stay true to who you are! When you plan family photo outfits, remember that the most important thing is that these photos are a representation of your family right now. And although we all want to look cohesive, we can accomplish that while being true to ourselves. If you don’t like dressing up, keep it casual! If your baby won’t keep a bow on her head, then don’t stress over it! Be who you are as a family and have fun together.

mom holding her toddler and kissing her on the head, as the toddler smiles at the camera for fall family photos in Hampton Roads, blog post inspiration to plan family photo outfits

Next time you need family photos taken, reach out! I love getting to know my clients and their family’s as we adventure through Hampton Roads to beautiful and historic locations. And, if you need help with planning your family’s photo outfits, I am here to help!

husband and wife kisisng as their children play around them for their outdoor Hampton Roads family session, blog post inspiration to plan family photo outfits


Hampton Roads family portraits with toddler smiling at the camera as she holds her family's hands

baby girl walking outside with her family in Hampton Roads, dressed in green velvet top as planned for family photos

outdoor family photos in Virginia with mom and dad holding their toddler as their baby sits on the floor below them, they are wearing coordinating outfits to give inspiration on how to plan family photos

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