Inside: It’s always difficult to know what to wear for family pictures every year so here are several outfit ideas for spring, summer, fall, and winter.
Family pictures are one of my favorite traditions every year.
We always set aside some of our budget to pay for a professional photographer to take our photos.
I’ve done family pictures often enough that I now have photos from each season of the year!
These family photos feature outfits for couples, maternity, families with small children, and even large families. So if you’re wondering what to wear for family pictures, you’ve come to the right place!
I also find that sometimes during the actual photoshoot, it can be difficult to know how to stand and pose, especially with small children who don’t always cooperate.
I’ve worked with some fabulous photographers in the past who have done a great job posing our family in a natural way!
So here are lots of ideas for what to wear for family pictures and the best natural family picture poses.
Tips For The Best Family Photos
Before we jump into the actual outfits and color scheme ideas, I want to share some of my tips for taking family pictures. As you’ll see below, we’ve been taking family portraits for several years, so I’ve picked up a few tips and tricks along the way.
1. Pick a date far enough in advance
It usually takes a few weeks to get coordinating outfits together for the whole family, plus haircuts, nail appointments, and spray tans scheduled, so make sure you give yourself enough time to fully prepare.
2. Pay attention to the time of year and time of day
There are definitely pros and cons for each season when it comes to pictures, so make sure you’re ready to handle the temperatures that accompany each season as well as the scenery.
Spring and summer are usually the best seasons to get a timeless background for pictures, but it can be chilly in the spring and sweltering in the summer, so make sure you’re prepared for that possibility.
Fall usually has more pleasant temperatures, but the fall leaves can make our photos look out of place during the rest of the year. And winter is freezing, but an make for fun, seasonal photos.
Along with the time of year, you’ll want to schedule pictures at the best time of day for lighting and for your kids. The golden hour lighting is best and that’s usually an hour after the sun rises in the morning and the last hour before the sun sets.
This time changes throughout the year so make sure you’ve scheduled a family session during one of those hours.
The time of day will also affect how your kids behave during pictures. If your kids are usually happiest in the morning, it may be worth it to schedule pictures in the morning. If it’s easier to take pictures in the evening, don’t schedule your session close to kids’ bedtimes or you may end up with some grumpy pictures.
3. Don’t plan any adventure activities the week before
To avoid the possibility of broken arms, scratches, and cuts, it’s best not to plan any crazy, adventurous activities the week before pictures. It’s also a good idea to remind your kids to be extra cautious at school so they don’t get hurt.
A photographer can usually edit out any scratches and cuts, but broken arms are tougher. And of course, accidents happen and can’t always be avoided, so if you do get a family member with an injury it’s probably a good idea to reschedule.
4. Plan your outfit first
When it comes to picking outfits for family pictures, the easiest place to start is with what mom is wearing. Once you know what you want to wear and what you’ll feel beautiful in, it’s easier to plan your family’s outfits around.
5. Shop your closet before hitting the stores
Family photos don’t have to be expensive to be beautiful! Once you figure out what you’re wearing, starting pulling possible options from your closets to see what you have that will match with the color scheme you have in mind.
I do this every year and I usually only have to buy one or two items for my family because I use the dress clothes we already have.
6. Bring snacks and grooming items
Once you get to the actual family photo session, you’ll want to have some supplies on hand. I always load up our diaper bag with snacks, water, a comb, hairspray, extra makeup, and wipes, just in case, and I carry it with me throughout our session.
You never know which kid is going to mess their hair up and you’ll want snacks to bribe the smallest members of your family!
7. Save the photos of the adults for last
Kids are going to lose interest in pictures the quickest so I always have the photographer start with the whole family shots, then the ones with the youngest kids, and then work our way up. So the photos with my husband and I are last because our kids are usually going crazy by then and there’s no way they would smile for pictures.
8. Bring a helper if you can
We don’t always have someone available to help us with pictures, but the times we have always go much smoother.
You could ask parents, in-laws, siblings, or even hire a babysitter for an hour so you can focus on taking great photos and not worry about your kids running off when they are done.
When it comes to what NOT to wear for family pictures, it will be different for every family, but there are a few items I would avoid:
-Bright colors/bold colors. Neutral colors are more timeless and flattering than super bright colors. You can definitely add in a few pops of color, but they should be small things like accessories or only part of an outfit. Another way to disguise bold colors is by wearing a sweater or vest.
-Large logos. Don’t pick anything for your family to wear that has a distracting logo on it.
-Casual clothes. This is different for every family, but I would personally avoid overly casual clothes like t-shirts and blue jeans. Family pictures are an excuse to get dressed up! Some might feel more comfortable in jeans and if that’s the case, opt for a darker wash.
-Busy patterns. Patterns are a great way to contrast with solid colors, just make sure that the patterns aren’t loud and distracting. Subtle florals and plaids are a great choice.
This is a common question that families have when they’re planning out their family pictures. Some of my favorite places to get inexpensive dressy clothes for my family are:
What to Wear For Family Pictures in the Fall
Fall is one of my favorite times to take family pictures.
I love the colors that the changing leaves add to the photos and it’s cool enough that you’re not sweating in the pictures, but not cold enough that you’re freezing. The weather is perfect!
1. Cream and blue
For our first fall photos, we went with a neutral cream and blue color scheme.
You’ll see that the blue and cream color scheme comes up A LOT in our family photos. I didn’t realize how much we’ve used it until I pulled all of our photos together.
It can be so fun to add in bright or unusual colors, but a nice, neutral color scheme makes the photos timeless and easily shareable on social media.
These photos were taken by my husband’s grandparent’s cabin in Wallsburg.
2. Pink, blue, teal
In our next Fall family photos, we did a few pops of color.
I loved how my pink shirt wasn’t too distracting with the fall leaves.
These photos were taken at Silver Lake by Brittany Summers.
3. Burgundy, gray, black, and cream
In our next fall family photo, I incorporated classic fall colors like burgundy, gray, black, and cream.
This is probably one of the best matching family outfits I’ve put together!
These were taken up Butterfield Canyon by Brittany Summers.
In the next fall family photo, we also used burgundy, black, gray, and cream.
This was taken at Tibble Fork Reservoir.
4. Earth tones and blush
I also decided to put together some color palettes with some fall outfit ideas since I don’t have family photos with all of the possibilities.
This palette is calming and looks great with the pop of blush pink. You can shop these outfits here.
5. Desert tones
This is a palette I don’t normally choose, but I love how the cream color compliments the shades of orange and rust. These outfits would look great in a grassy field or forest! You can shop these outfits here.
6. Mustard and burgundy
Mustard and burgundy are classic colors for fall family pictures and look great with the changing leaves. You can shop these outfits here.
What to Wear For Family Pictures in the Winter
1. Red, cream, gray
We’ve only done one winter family photoshoot and that’s because it’s so cold!
But getting some snow pictures was totally worth it. I love how they turned out!
These were taken up Big Cottonwood Canyon by Christine Olsen.
2. Black and white
Here is another winter family picture idea for large families.
3. Green, cream, burgundy
And some Christmas outfit ideas for family pictures.
What to Wear For Family Pictures in the Spring
1. Pink, cream, floral
Every spring we go to the Utah State Capitol to take pictures with the blossoms.
If you can catch the blossoms while they’re beautiful and blooming, it makes for a gorgeous backdrop for spring family pictures!
These photos were taken by Sadie Banks.
My husband took these ones in 2020.
If you didn’t know, he’s the man behind most of my blog photos and has developed quite a talent over the years!
What to Wear For Family Pictures in the Summer
Summer family pictures are probably my all-time favorite!
It’s dang hot, but the trees are gorgeous, the grass is green, and everyone is tan from being out in the sun lol.
We’ve done several summer photo shoots over the years.
1. Blue and gray
The first was our one-year anniversary shoot done by Jenna Bechtholt at this awesome grove by IKEA. The grove has been cut back over the years and isn’t as large and beautiful as it used to be, unfortunately.
I chose shades of blue for these photos (surprise, surprise!).
2. Blue and denim
The next set of summer family photos was a nautical-inspired photoshoot done by Christine Olsen at the Provo Marina by the Utah Lake.
I love these photos so much because they help me remember my first pregnancy.
3. White, light blue, khaki
The family photos we took in 2017 are probably some of my all-time favorites!
I loved wearing super light, neutral colors, and I loved how beautiful the location was!
These were taken up Little Cottonwood Canyon by Hannah McFall.
4. White, blue, stripes
We took family photos in 2018 with my side of the family up at Bear Lake.
I loved this pretty spot we found by our condo!
5. Pink, teal, cream
Here are our family photos from 2018! I went with the blue color scheme again, but added in pink for Ella!
These were taken at Mehraban Wetland Park by Christine Olsen and I am obsessed!
All of the work planning outfits, giving everyone a haircut, and bribing the kids totally pays off with amazing photos!!
6. Peach, cream, floral
In 2019, I went with a feminine beachy vibe and I love how they turned out!
These were taken at the Great Salt Lake state park by Paulina Kettenring Photography.
7. White, yellow, stripes
And I have to include our front porch pictures from 2020!
This was the first time I wore yellow for family pictures and I love how it turned out.
8. Cream, navy blue, khaki, and mustard
I kept the yellow theme going in our formal family pictures, with a cream, navy blue, khaki, and mustard color scheme.
These photos were taken at Loch Lomond Pond by Vandelay Industries Photography.
9. Blue, peach, floral
For our pictures in 2021 I went with a peach and floral theme again.
These photos were taken at 14868 S Juniper Crest Rd in Herriman by Paulina Kettenring Photography.
If you liked this post and are expecting, here are 44 maternity photography ideas to give you inspiration for poses and for what to wear.
I hope all of the photos we’ve taken throughout the years gave you some awesome family picture outfit ideas and natural ways to pose during pictures.
Let me know in the comments which outfits you’re most likely to wear.
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