What to wear? A smile and...

Most days when you choose your outfit you don't think about what the rest of your family is going to wear (well at least I don't - I'm usually just happy if Maelle puts something on within a reasonable timeframe without it spiraling into a breakdown). If on the other hand you're having photos taken, it makes sense to give it some extra thought. For family photos it's best to go for a coordinated look and choose colours that compliment each other while avoiding an overly matchy-matchy look. It can be a bit tricky to strike the right balance but I knew before shooting my friend's family we wouldn't have a problem (in fact she could give me a tip or two since she always has great style). Here are a couple guidelines when deciding what to wear: 

Consider your location

We took photos outside in the fall so the colour palette below of rich dark hues - with a pop of golden rod yellow on the tights - was a perfect choice to fit in with the background. If on the other hand I had of been taking photos of a family with a newborn, softer pastel colours might have been better.

Start with one person and build complimentary colours from there

One tip that works well is to start with one person as a focal point and build the other outfits around that person. In this case, my friend's little girl wore a plaid dress of navy and red, matching boots and a splash of yellow - and her parent's outfits complimented hers. Including a pattern can be a great way to introduce a cohesive palette but just remember to limit the number of patterns  (if there are too many they'll end of competing with one another).

Cohesive colours make the picture come together as opposed to creating a distraction. To highlight this point, I changed the colour of the boots and tights in the second photo on the right. Notice how your eyes are drawn to the mismatching items once your notice them, as opposed to the photo's subjects?

Layer, instead of adding bulk

In the first few shots my friend's family had their coats on but we quickly saw that removing the bulkier down jackets would be better.  Of course in the dead of winter you might not have a choice but since it was late October we were in luck.

Her jacket was a little too bulky (although she still looks adorable!)
Adding different textures can also add interest to a photo. When it got a bit chillier, my friend's little girl put on a cream coloured knitted sweater that matched the trim on her boots, which was a great addition.


  1. Such natural shots! I dislike overly posed photographs with the too matchy-matchy outfits.
    Your hints and, above all, photography are fabulous!

  2. The last one is a masterpiece. And, congratulations on the sturdy baby boy.