Our First Family Photos-What Should We Wear??

Updated on April 08, 2011
N.G. asks from Arlington, TX
21 answers

Hi Moms!

We have never taken family photos before. It's me, my husband, and our two daughters, ages 7 and 4. We are taking the photos outside at a park where there are flowers, a pond, etc. It will be this Saturday when the weather is partly cloudy and a high of 92. We are all brunettes. I'm just not sure what color to wear, if we should all wear the same color, or what? I'm really bad at this stuff.

Thanks for your help!

What can I do next?

  • Add your own comment
  • Ask your own question
  • Join the Mamapedia community
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks for all the advice! We decided to coordinate, not match. My youngest wore a peach-colored polka-dot sundress, my oldest wore a long white skirt with a solid peach-colored shirt, I wore red, and my husband wore orange. The photos turned out great!

Featured Answers

M.A.

answers from Houston on

Denim shirts and khakis? All white? All white, really? Hey, 1996 called, they want their look back!!!

You just need to have everyone dressed in their best outfits for THEM...not all matchy, matchy.

M:)

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.L.

answers from Columbus on

Something you all feel really good in (it will help with the smiles!) Sounds like you got some really good ideas here (love the idea of the dresses and bare feet (or sandals, even.) I would think light and/or bright colors with the dark hair but would ask the photographer what they recommend. I've always kind of liked the white shirt/jeans idea but we've never done it. I like the casual complementing outfits - like if you had matching or coordinating sundresses for the girls in blue and yellow for example then DH could wear a blue shirt and you could wear yellow or something like that.
Beyond that just be relaxed and smile! GOOD LUCK!

More Answers

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.R.

answers from Chicago on

So, my answer is just for fun but you'll not only get a good laugh but you'll also get a good idea of what NOT to do.

Ever been to awkwardfamilyphotos.com?

Go there - laugh your behind off and take notes as what not to do!

2 moms found this helpful
Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

A.M.

answers from San Francisco on

I would suggest that everyone wear what they feel comfortable and happy wearing. For some possible suggestions on what not to wear, or how not to pose, have a look here. I know my family has at least one picture that ended up in the awkward catagory!

http://awkwardfamilyphotos.com/
(just copy and paste the link if you can't click it)

1 mom found this helpful

R.D.

answers from Richmond on

I've always loved the 'clean' look of khakis and white button up shirts in pictures. It doesn't take away from your surroundings and it compliments everyone. OR you could wear similar but different things... girls in sundresses, boys in khakis and polos. Have fun and make it your own! Dress to fit your personalities. Sounds like a gorgeous place :)

1 mom found this helpful

T.K.

answers from Dallas on

try to coordinate rather than match exactly. pick something age and body type appropriate for each person in colors and style that compliment each other but arent the same cut and color just in differant sizes. That alows for each person to shine individually but the group remains cohesive - like a family!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

C.M.

answers from Dallas on

We chose blue tops and jeans, and it looked great.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

V.B.

answers from Phoenix on

We just did family pictures and did browns and reds and liked it. But, how we got that idea is browsing photography blogs and websites and looking at different families and what they wore. Obviously, by the answers you are getting some people really like the white shirts some don't, so google photo websites and look at the galleries for families and see what fits you.
Good luck! Family pictures are great!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

B.B.

answers from New York on

Our first family picture we all did khakis and white shirts.........BLAH! Hate those pics! Second family pic we did we coordinated rather than matched. I wore a yellow shirt, my hubby wore a blue shirt, oldest son wore a green shirt and the baby wore a blue, yellow, white and green striped shirt, those pics are awesome!!

Make sure you are comfortable too!!

M.B.

answers from St. Louis on

White dresses for the girls would be cute! White shirts for you and hubs. I really like the look of everyone wearing white.

K.L.

answers from Cleveland on

As an amateur photographer, and someone who has taken LOTS of family photos of people I know, the first thing I would suggest is that everyone is comfortable in what they are in. If the kids feel stuffy, it's going to come across in the pictures. I would make sure your outfits coordinate, but don't match exactly. You can go for a basic color theme (white and blue, or everyone in khakis with different types of white shirts, etc), or everyone in shorts and polo shirts, etc. The most important thing is to be comfortable, and not stress out. Have a good time, get the kids excited while you are there and the smiles will be awesome!

S.J.

answers from St. Louis on

I am going to second Rachel here - jeans and a crisp, white shirt are classic, especially if you will have color and black and white done.

Call the photographer and ask him or her. They usually recommend solid colors, and each photographer is different and the light outside will be different as well.

When we had our engagement photos done they were done outside. We wore a deep blue for some, white for some and then a deep red/maroon for some. They all looked fabulous!

M.M.

answers from Detroit on

I have recently seen photos where the girls (mom & kids) have worn white and the kids are barefoot. I would paints your kids nails a color that will stand out if you are okay painting their nails. Boys wear jeans and a light blue or white shirt. Looks really, really nice with the colors outdoors. Plus looks really cool in black and white shots.

A.S.

answers from San Diego on

Jeans and a White shirt are usually kind of nice in the pond pictures, that or a blue shirt. But I think the white shirt is nice.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.P.

answers from Pittsburgh on

Professional photographers often discourage white shirts, but I have seen some nice results.
I think that solid, complimentary colors will work well...not busy prints and stripes all clamoring for attention in the same shot, ya know?

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

E.B.

answers from Beaumont on

Wear white t-shirts (solid white) or solid black and jeans. This keeps you guys the focus of the picture instead of the clothes. I've made several family photos and the ones that we did this in, turned out the best by far. Good luck!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

D.L.

answers from Columbus on

Something you all feel really good in (it will help with the smiles!) Sounds like you got some really good ideas here (love the idea of the dresses and bare feet (or sandals, even.) I would think light and/or bright colors with the dark hair but would ask the photographer what they recommend. I've always kind of liked the white shirt/jeans idea but we've never done it. I like the casual complementing outfits - like if you had matching or coordinating sundresses for the girls in blue and yellow for example then DH could wear a blue shirt and you could wear yellow or something like that.
Beyond that just be relaxed and smile! GOOD LUCK!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

J.Z.

answers from Minneapolis on

We’ve had good results when the kids are wearing something bright and we wear something more neutral…makes the kids “pop” in the photos. I also like when you have outfits in the same color family, but not all matchy-matchy, but that’s just my preference.

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

N.W.

answers from Eugene on

I like to see more of the person, less of their clothing in our photos. Short sleeve T's. Sundresses. Bare feet. Natural hair. Simple. When I look back at photos of my kids, I want to see their faces, remember their quirky cowlicks, see their chubby hands and feet.

M.L.

answers from Houston on

Complimentary outfits, but not matchy matchy (like the all white)...looks like a boring uniform and lacks imagination.. way too overdone (in my opinion!). Try sticking to maybe two colors that look good with your coloring, like blue and yellow or something. Kids can wear a blue/yellow plain and the other a blue/yellow polo... Just do what looks and feels good on your family. Some are tshirt people, some are more dressy.

Take these two photos of the popular Nielsen family. They still look like themselves in the individual outfits, they styles coordinate, and they still have a similar color theme:

http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_13FYr9yUlPw/Ssy4poWZ7sI/AAAAAAA...

http://cdn.babble.com/family-kitchen/wp-content/uploads/2...

scroll through these, surely a family and there style will catch your eye:
http://www.google.com/images?hl=en&q=professional+fam...

this pro photographer has great advice, and for once, the white actually looks good, b/c it doesn't look like a uniform:

http://chrisblackburnphotography.com/blog/2009/07/the-sec...

-WHAT TO WEAR. Some will consider this a more traditional, formal approach to a fine portrait but it is equally important in contemporary portraiture where spontaneous expressions and a relaxed feel are wanted. In order for the image to “work” it needs a certain prearranged sense of importance, a coordination of look and expression, color and clothing. This is a hard one because for some families, it’s easy to coordinate, but for others, matching might feel fake and not really who they are.

Not to worry. Coordination doesn’t have to mean matching outfits from the same department store. You want the group to look unified. What we’re talking about here is color harmony. Clothing should suit and flatter you personally and the environment you’re shooting in. Formal or casual, bright and funky, or subdued and natural. White is always a great choice. Blacks and darker tones lend a more formal feel and can be slimming for necks and torsos. These neutral tones (black, white and gray) will emphasize the faces and make them appear warmer. Solid colored clothes in cool or neutral shades with long sleeves always look good. A pop of color is always fun too, little red shoes to match a red t-shirt under dad’s jacket. V-necks are another flattering choice, again drawing the eye to those beautiful faces.

When all is said and done, don’t stress out about it too much but whether people are aware of it or not, lack of color harmony and coordination is the main reason people don’t like previous family portraits. We are all natural artists and our eyes are hungry for the basics of composition, line, shape, and color. Don’t resist, feed your inner artist, coordinate your clothing!

Smallavatar-fefd015f3e6a23a79637b7ec8e9ddaa6

M.G.

answers from Chicago on

We're huge Chicago Bears fans, so for our first family photo, we put our one month old twins in Bears onsies and we wore jerseys.

M.A.

answers from Houston on

Denim shirts and khakis? All white? All white, really? Hey, 1996 called, they want their look back!!!

You just need to have everyone dressed in their best outfits for THEM...not all matchy, matchy.

M:)

R.P.

answers from Cleveland on

i would get springy colors like pastel pink and purple for the kids and yellow for you and green for your husband and wear khakie shorts or plaid bamuda shorts

Next question: Family Pictures