17 answers

What to Wear for an Extended Family Picture - About 25 People

We are hiring a photographer to take an extended family picture. There will be about 25 people in the picture, ranging from age 3 to 90 years old. I was asked to put some parameters around colors, clothing, etc. (for example, jeans and white shirts... jeans and bright colored shirts...) Any suggestions? Thank you!

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It could be fun to do jeans and assign a different color shirt for each generation. Grandkids in red, their parent's generation in blue, their parent's generation in yellow... that kind of thing. Good luck!

As a prof. photographer here is a suggestion. Find out what the color of the background and go from there. If you are using a white background don't wear white shirts. If you want the black background don't wear black - red really pops on black or white backgrounds but Blue looks good on the grey back ground. Coordinating colors with the rest of the group is a good idea. Are there certain colors that make you look washed out? or make you look more alert? Take in consideration most select a variety of backgrounds. I would steer away from scenic backgrounds as a more traditional background is best (black, white, grey blue) Jeans with a denium shirt looks good for the casual photo and works on most back grounds. For a more formal photo dress clothes are good or even kahkis. My guess is the 90 year old will not wish to wear jeans, but will still look nice next to the person who does. You do not have to dress a like to still look like a good group together. HAVE FUN!!

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Being a photographer myself, talk with the person you hire and see what they think. Part of the decision might depend on if it's going to be taken inside or out. Another part is are you just doing one large group - or doing the large group and then each 'family' gets their own as well?

I've done large family groups like this a few different ways -mainly outdoors: each family can wear the same coordinating colors (white top, denim jeans; white top, khaki bottoms, etc...) or have each smaller family wear a different color (oldest sibling family wears blue, 2nd oldest sibling family wear red, etc.. grandparents wear white) A 3rd thought is that each generation wears the same color: parents wear white, sibling wear blue, grandchildren wear red - or whatever. it can get more complicated when adding in aunts, uncles and cousins, but workable. But again - talk with your photographer!

1 mom found this helpful

My family recently had a picture like this taken and everyone wore a white shirt with blue jeans. It looked great. We have also done black shirts with jeans and it looked nice as well.

When our family did this 9 years ago (about 35 people) we just chose blue jeans with a SOLID color 3/4 or long sleeve shirt. It turned out really nice!

We just did it again 1 1/2 years ago. This time it was ANY kind/color pants and a solid color shirt. Looked good again! (The 2 little girls actually wore dresses.)

I think each family in one color makes a great photo.....I have taken pics off and on. Just make sure no one messes up on the colors.......you can do light and dark blue, but make sure each family sticks to the same color........that way you are one and then you are separated by your individual family as well. I hope they come out awesome.
You can do the same if you want more than jeans......go with black....even the 90 year old can find something black. You could keep that even if the girls wear dresses, just keep the colors the same.
Good luck!!

I have always loved the white shirt with blue jean look in family photos. But something just came to me I have never seen it before so i don't know if it would work or not. Maybe a professional could offer their opinion on this one. But what if all the women wore a red shirt and all the men a blue shirt?

Or of course other colors, but I kind of like the idea of the women mixed into the men with a completely different color.

I like the idea of each immediate family having a color/theme and all of the colors coordinate. If you need help figuring out what colors coordinate, go to home depot and get a color sample/wheel.


I like the black shirt or white shirt and jeans. One thing that I saw once was a family that did jeans and colored shirts. Each immediate family wore the same color, and all the colors blended well (all pastels, or white, black, and navy, etc.) In this way you had the group picture, yet could still match families together, which was a nice touch. Depending how many families are included, you can duplicate colors and just separate them throughout.

I'd have everyone wear the same pants - jeans or khakis - and then have each family assigned a color shirts - tees, button-downs, or polos. The family colors don't have to match, they don't all have to buy the same shirt, but if one family wears reds, another greens, another blues, etc... I think it would look cool. You could do a picture set up by family groups, and then with everyone mixed up.

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