First and sooooo important, do not dress everyone in the same exact outfit. The reason you are most likely having your family photographed is to hold on to the memories that you are creating at this time in your life. Having said that, wear clothing that reflects just a bit of your personality but doesn’t “steal the show” (you’re not posing for a catalog ad). It’s always a great idea to settle in on a color family and then choose your accent color(s). Incorporate different shades of these colors throughout everyone’s outfits. Mixing in patterns is a great way to keep the look casual and not too “matchy matchy”. Clothing/fabric with texture (eyelet shirts, linen, denim, lace, etc.) photograph beautifully, especially if you are thinking of displaying these photos in black and white. Stay away from clothing with large logos, you’re not getting paid to advertise for any brands. Accessories are a super quick way to add personality to everyone’s look (scarf or statement necklace for mom, fun headbands for girls, even a cute hat for boys that can be taken on and off super quick to add variety, dad can simply roll up his sleeves to give him a more relaxed/everyday look).
Don’t…. dress everyone exactly the same way. Why? It’s boring and unrealistic. Go for a cohesive look, not matchy-matchy. This is a great look - shades of blue and strung white throughout.
Do….. choose colors that compliment each other and add dimension to the photograph. Mixing shades of a certain color or prints in the same color family are easy ways to add more interest. In this photo, these boys are dressed in three different shirts, but used navy as a common, unifying denominator.
Do.….think about your home and where you’d like to hang your portraits. Use the color schemes in your home as inspiration and dress in classic tones that compliment accordingly.
With these tips in mind, I’ve come up with a bunch of mood boards to serve as inspiration for your next family photoshoot. For each theme you will find a mom/dad look and 4 kids (2 girls/2 boys) with the assumption that you could mix and match depending on your own family. I am MORE THAN HAPPY to help you come up with additional options if you have more than 2 girls or 2 boys so just email me (firstname.lastname@example.org) or leave a comment and I’m on it.