5 Tips for Family Photo Outfit Planning

November 6, 2015

This past weekend, I took some photos for my friend Emily and her family. In turn, they took some of Russ and me. Besides being a lover of all things photos and documenting life through them, it’s that time when we all start thinking about Christmas cards. Even as a fashion lover, I find outfit planning for photos a little intimidating. I mean, only everyone we know is going to see this?! Last year around this same time, I styled some boards for Jami Leavitt of Photography by Jami Leavitt to share on her blog (see the post here). I thought I would take the opportunity to share a few of our pictures, the boards, and 5 tips for family photo outfit planning. I’m so happy to be married to this man. He makes me laugh. He gets me. Going through infertility these past two years (almost) has been something neither of us expected. It’s challenged our marriage and our faith and made us grow closer. I love having these photos because some day we’ll look back on this time with our kids and tell them all about our journey.

christmas card 20152015 walking full length 2015

Dress c/o WAYF // Fringe Boots: Sam Edelman

Jeans: J.Crew Factory // Shirt: J.Crew (slim fit) // Shoes: Cole Haan (similar)

5 Tips for Family Photo Outfit Planning 

  1. Pattern Mix – Mixing different patterns is a wonderful way to visually mix things up. Instead of pattern mixing on one person, make sure to mix and match patterns on a couple people. Patterns should be complimentary in color. For example, I have a floral/paisley pattern with some browns in it which compliments well with Russ’s brownish checked shirt.
  2. Avoid Bold Colors – It’s easy to coordinate more people when no one person has on a bold color. Additionally, neutrals are more visually appealing in photos and chances are you won’t hate it in two years if you play it safe. Your versatility can come from the pattern and accessories.
  3. Pick Complimentary Colors – You don’t want everyone to wear the same color for visual interest, so choose a couple that work well together and weave them through your various outfits. Using different shades of the same color is a great way to do this when you have multiple people. For example, Russ and I mainly are wearing blues and browns of different shades.
  4. Choose Classic Pieces – For your main items, pick something classic. Not only will your photo look classy, but it will be more timeless and easier to match with others.
  5. Add Fun Accessories – We don’t want this to be boring! Consider adding a fun shoe like my fringe boots, a statement necklace, a cute hat or bow on the kids, etc.

Outfit Examples – Dressy & Casual

Fall Photos
Fall Photos
Fall Photos
Fall Photos

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Annessa Smith November 13, 2015 at 5:12 am

    I LOVE this guide. I get so intimidated planning outfits for photos as well. You both look wonderful in these photos!

  • Reply Rachel Garay November 10, 2015 at 8:30 am

    Awesome tips and you two make the perfect couple. I enjoy seeing you both work as a team and pull through (with Gods help) through this season in your life. Been thinking of you lately and praying all is well. Thanks for sharing your struggles, lovely outfits and inspirations daily.

    Rachel xo

    Garay Treasures

    • Reply Amy Ann Arnold November 10, 2015 at 8:45 am

      Thank you so much Rachel! You are too sweet.

  • Reply Red Reticule November 10, 2015 at 5:39 am

    I love these photos of the two of you! Beautiful couple and the colors and patterns in your outfits were a great choice.

  • Reply Meghan Conard November 9, 2015 at 1:06 pm

    Gorgeous shots & great tips! Your honestly is so refreshing and I know your kids will love looking back at these photos one day!

  • Reply ADA November 9, 2015 at 7:55 am

    Your photos turned out great color-coordinating with blue and camel. I love your maxi boho dress and fun fringe booties. Great tips too and I especially agree with 1, 3 & 5. Also, you gave us many great options for family photos with illustrations. =)

    P.S. I am sorry you are going through all the infertility problems but glad you are keeping up the positive spirits, thinking about the future with your kids. =)

  • 1 2 3 4

    Leave a Reply