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,ย 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 Planningย 

  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

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  • Reply Laura November 6, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    Great photo ideas! I love how your pics turned out! You guys are so cute!

  • Reply Sarah Green November 6, 2015 at 8:19 pm

    So funny,and thanks for your share


  • Reply for seven seasons November 6, 2015 at 4:40 pm

    You two are so awesome. You seem like such a wonderful couple! Also you both look amazing, and I love your outfit suggestions.


  • Reply Mica November 6, 2015 at 4:12 pm

    Those are beautiful photos! And great tips too! ๐Ÿ™‚

    We had a professional shoot a while back (my brother in law got a gift voucher to a REALLY exxy place and wasn’t going to use it so gave it to us) and I didn’t put too much thought into our outfits – in the end we all ended up complimenting each other with what we wore so it worked out brilliantly, but if we did it again I’d definitely plan more!

    Away From The Blue Blog

  • Reply Mili November 6, 2015 at 3:40 pm

    You two look so cute and perfectly coordinated ๐Ÿ™‚ But without being too matchy-matchy. I love the dress you’re wearing!


  • Reply Michelle Orsi November 6, 2015 at 3:29 pm

    Love these tips! Now I just wish I could get J to take a few more photos ๐Ÿ˜‰


  • Reply Kelly M November 6, 2015 at 3:27 pm

    What a beautiful and informative post. I’m so happy to hear is your rock! I love the ideas for mom and dad, kids in the fall. You deserve to be a mother so bad, I’m sure it won’t be long now ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Reply Hayley November 6, 2015 at 2:42 pm

    What a great post! I love the pattern mixing in your photos with your husband! You both look fabulous, but I agree planning outfits for a family shoot is intimidating! Every time I have to do family photos with my family I worry about us going together without looking like mass produced mannequins!
    Thanks for linking up with Favorite Fashion Friday this week!
    Hayley – smartypantsfashion.com

  • Reply Sera | Stardust Bohemian November 6, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    great outfit tips! cute looks ๐Ÿ™‚


  • Reply Lizlizo November 6, 2015 at 2:18 pm

    Amazing photos, I love the ideas for outfit planning before shooting. It definitely makes things less stressful!

    – Liz Lizo

  • Reply Lyddiegal November 6, 2015 at 2:09 pm

    You two look really great together – I hate it when couples and families get too matchy-matchy!

  • Reply Larissa November 6, 2015 at 1:42 pm

    Thank you for sharing your tips! I am also starting to think about Christmas cards… will have to take some family pictures rather soon ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a most wonderful weekend!




  • Reply Threads for Thomas November 6, 2015 at 1:40 pm

    I love this post Amy Ann! You and Russ make such a beautiful couple, and I’m in love with your dress. I don’t have a lot of family photos, so you just inspired me to get some done for the holidays!

  • Reply Laura November 6, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    Great tips! You and your husband make a gorgeous couple!

  • Reply Denise Kokinis November 6, 2015 at 12:56 pm

    I find taking photos for certain things intimidating as well! If I know they are going to the family, I seem to worry a bit more. I love this dress and I think you nailed it with those booties! I also love his outfit, those shoes are awesome! These photos of you both are so great! Hope you have a gorgeous weekend.

    Denise | Fashion Love Letters

  • Reply Epsita November 6, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    These are some great suggestions…love them all!
    Bookmarked!! Thank you for sharing.
    Thank you for the comment on my blog. Keep in touch


  • Reply sandyalamode November 6, 2015 at 12:27 pm

    you guysssssssss are soo adorable!!!!! ๐Ÿ™‚ ๐Ÿ™‚

    Sandy a la Mode

  • Reply Lisa @ Daily Style Finds November 6, 2015 at 11:29 am

    A supportive husband is a wonderful gift. You will be a wonderful mom – and I pray you soon can be. Have a great weekend, Amy Ann.

    Daily Style Finds

  • Reply Traci Hart November 6, 2015 at 11:18 am

    So cute! I love the print dress with the checkered shirt. I love styling for photos as well. It is so much fun.
    Have a great weekend.

  • Reply Heidi D. November 6, 2015 at 11:08 am

    You guys look great! I love the length and print of your dress! Have a great weekend.

    Wishes & Reality

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