FamilyHints & Tips

Best Dressed: What to Wear for Family Photos

From the Hip Photo6 comments1051 views

Picking out what to wear for family photos can be so tricky! How do you make sure everyone looks coordinated and stylish, while not accidently creating the next Awkward Family Photo? We know it can seem overwhelming and you may be tempted to have everyone wear black, which can be a great option, but we can help your family look absolutely wonderful during your family photo session in a variety of styles and colors!

Pick a Color Gradient

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There’s no rule that everyone has to wear the exact same color as everyone else in the photo! Instead, it’s much easier, and looks just as nice, to coordinate a color gradient. A color gradient is the blending of one color into another and is most generally associated with paint chips displaying several shades of the same color. If everyone is wearing shades of blue and purple, pinks and reds, or any other colors on a gradient, the pictures will look fantastic. This family chose a palette of cool colors, which makes them look put together, even though they just welcomed another member into their family!

This can be easily achieved by looking up examples of color gradients to decide which color palette will be the best fit for your family. We think that Behr paint’s ColorSmart is a simple tool for picking out the right shades and palettes for your family.

Mix Patterns

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If you feel more comfortable having the family in more similar colors, trying picking one main color, and allowing everyone to wear different shades or clothing with a pattern in that color. Even though at first it might seem like there will be too much going on, it can actually make for vibrant and visually-exciting photos that your family will cherish for years to come. This adorable mother-daughters session picked pink as their main color. Their different patterns all blend together because of the base color in all of their outfits and makes them absolutely pop for a stunning family photo.

To borrow this look for your own family, make sure everyone knows what the base color is! This will make sure the patterns will tie together smoothly. Likewise, make sure that the patterns everyone is wearing are similar or not too bold. In the example photo, the two daughters are both wearing florals, which can play off of each other, and the mother is wearing a thin stripe. Too bold of a pattern on someone will overwhelm the picture!

Coordinate Complimentary Colors

what to wear for family photo | family photography | from the hip photo

When it comes to what to wear for family photos, you can never go wrong with complimentary colors. This classic look can really stand out and make for a very coordinated looking family. Complimentary colors are colors that are opposite of each other on the color wheel, like purple and yellow or red and green. Fortunately, there are many complimentary color options available to choose from to find your family’s colors. This family chose a salmon and blue combination, which stands out nicely against the natural green background they were being photographed in.

Determining complimentary colors doesn’t have to be hard! We love this color wheel, which will help you figure out which colors will look fantastic together! It can help to choose one color first and then find its partner on the color wheel.

Matching Outfitswhat to wear for family photo | family photography | from the hip photo

Another option for families is to match their outfits exactly. From matching black shirts and jeans to identical sweaters, coordinating the exact same outfit can make a family look just as close as they actually are in real life! Having identical outfits can take the stress out of finding something that everyone feels comfortable in and matches what the rest of the family is wearing. We tend to not suggest this because it can easily be done incorrectly and end up looking forced, but these brothers look adorable in their matching sweaters! Combined with the hug, they couldn’t seem closer!

Keep it Casual

what to wear for family photo | family photography | from the hip photo

Finding outfits that your family feels comfortable in can make a huge difference in the way the photo session turns out. This is especially true if you’re doing family pictures with young children who are on the move and exploring or teens who just want to show off their cool and unique personalities. When everyone is comfortable, they are able to relax, which makes for more natural and candid pictures. This family chose casual outfits that slightly match in color scale so they felt at ease, allowing their young son to act like his giggly self.


Picking what to wear for family photos doesn’t have to be hard. If you keep these tips in mind when planning your pictures, your family will look perfectly put together, without being too matchy.

From the Hip Photo
From the Hip Photo is Colorado's best photography team. Based in Denver, they photograph assignments across the country and the globe for individuals, couples, families, businesses, and non-profits. Their photo adventures have taken them to Miami, New York, Los Angeles, Mexico, Costa Rica, and Russia, among other spots.