19 answers

What to Wear for Family Pictures?

is it best to wear matching colors like white shirts and jeans, black shirts and jeans or colorful sweater? help--I'm not sure-- we are light/med skin with brown hair--what looks best?

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So What Happened?™

Thank you to everyone. Your advice and opinions were very helpful. We had a great studio picture experience. The kids did well and had great smiles. We wore: husband wore a charcoal sweater, I wore a burgandy thin short sleeved sweater with a large bell kneck with a gray sleevless sweater dress over it and cropped boots (just a hit of burgany showed under the dress). My daughter wore a black sequin long sleeve shirt and a cute layered black adn gray ribbon/sequin skirt, my son wore a plaid long sleeve with white, burgandy, gray, and a hint of gold in it. It all looked really good together and we had several compliments while we were at the studio. I did gray and black backgrounds but then chose to do sepia to enhance the pictures. Turned out great.

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I think having everyone coordinated looks very nice. We did red shirts with khaki pants for Christmas cards last year and it looked fANTASTIC! We are all blond, fair and blue eyed. I put Santa hats on the kids and it was really neat. The tree in the background made the rest of it :)

Good luck!

I personally like the matching idea, even if it is the guys wear one color and the girls match the color in a dress or shirt. To me it looks neater and more organized.

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Here are some tips on a photographers websites blogs. The second shows examples! I agree the all white/all black with jeans is a little dated. I think the trend now is to use colors in a similar family and to find personality of your family members. The way photographers can edit today. You may also want to think about layers and fun props like a scarf or football, vests, hats, etc. VERY fun. We did that with our photographer and she was able to capture tons of looks with little effort on our part;) Have fun!!

1 mom found this helpful

A professional photographer told me that you should all wear one solid color (all long sleeved) so the picture will focus on your faces not your clothing. Just a tip...


I think having everyone coordinated looks very nice. We did red shirts with khaki pants for Christmas cards last year and it looked fANTASTIC! We are all blond, fair and blue eyed. I put Santa hats on the kids and it was really neat. The tree in the background made the rest of it :)

Good luck!

You are going to laugh, but one of the best pics of the family we have done is in coordinating PJ's! It was pretty dang cute:) Also, I would do coordinating colors. Maybe black, white and reds..or blue and brown. Even everyone in coordinating fall colors is cute. Like one person in a brown sweater, another in orange, and someone else with a wine colored top. No crazy patterns, but color always looks nice. I personally find the white shirts more of a summer time look. Good luck trying to coordinate everyone..it is a tough job! ~A.~

We just did a 4 generation photo and are all the same coloring as what you just portrayed. Light/medium skin with dark hair and two with dishwater blonde. We all wore white button down shirts with blue jeans and the shots came out amazing. Everyone has commented on how wonderful it looks. We took them at Target at Richardson Square Mall and they used a dark brown background and they just look amazing. I can't say enough wonderful things. The research I did before said the best pictures are ones that everyone has one color on such as white or black and not multi-colors because it detracts from the faces. Hope that helps!

It's ABSOLUTELY better to all be somewhat the same. White/jeans, Black/jeans, Navy/Kakhi, even Pink/white with jeans. It just give the picture more of a finished look. If you are having a photographer do the work, they will be able to tell you specific things for the background you will be using as well.

Hi M.,

When we went and had our family pictures done, my family went dressed as themselves. =) My son had spikes with blue tips (5 yr), my daughter wore fuzzy boots with a cute dress (8 yr), etc. I wanted to remember them as they are... however, if you're looking for the more posed effect, the same color shirts and bottoms are always a winner (white top/black pants or jeans). Have fun with it!


Mix it up! I think the pics where everyone is wearing the same thing are outdated. Just try to coordinate everyone.

The last family pic that we did, about a month ago, my husband wore a blue, black, red, and white striped shirt. My oldest son wore a black, white and grey striped shirt, my 2 year old wore a red polo shirt, and I wore a blue polo shirt. That way we were still coordinated, but not trying too hard. The pictures turned out really great. We did a big family picture w/the in-laws and all to where we all wore either black, white, grey, or red shirts. Those were taken outside and just looked really pulled together.

I am also a really big fan of the jeans and white long sleeved dress shirts for the whole family, but leave them untucked! I think going without shoes and just really comfortable make them look a lot less posed too.

I put my 3 kids in white t-shirts & blue jeans with bare feet. We went to the Picture People & the pictures came out great. The bare feet made it "look fun". They used a white background so the focus was really on their faces. It was really cute though & I got alot of compliments on the photos. Maybe since its close to X-mas yall could wear red t-shirts?

I had the same dilemna a few months ago and I ended up looking up some local photographers websites and checked out their albums. It helped a lot.

Personally, I like to keep the colors in the same family of colors like warm tones or cool tones and either dressy or casual. Then I try to make sure that their is a color that ties us together like a red stripe on my husband's shirt, red flowers on my daughters dresses, solid red sweater for me, etc. Does that make sense? White/black shirts are easy but they can wash you out if you have fair skin.


My daughter is very good at this sort of thing. What she does is make sure the girls wear something in the same color but can be different styles and the boys may wear another color but complementary in color to the girls. They did all wear denim shirts one time, different styles and it looked very good. Hope this helps.

My sister in law just sent a really great pic of her family. They were wearing "dark" - not the faded color - blue jeans and crisp white shirts. I thought the pics were really pretty. They were outdoors, though. The only "indoor" pics I've seen that I liked with "matching clothing" was with everyone wearing some sort of black top. Once I was engaged and we had holiday pics taken. I wore a long-sleeved white french cuff shirt with a red velvet dress over it and he wore a long-sleeved white buttondown shirt with a red tie and it was really pretty. I also like a pic I saw where the children wore these shirts that were green with gray stripes and the mom wore a green top and the dad wore a gray top...50/50 - cute!

Matching, solid colors does seem to look the best.

We recently had our picture done as well. Personally, I can't stand everyone in exactly the same color (like all the same white shirts or blue shirts). Also, we are super fair, so we can't even wear white. I put the kids in blue - my son wore a light blue longsleeved shirt and my daughter wore a dark blue dress. Then, I wore black pants and a coral color sweater (which is a good color on me). The coral and blue complemented each other. Plus, our pictures were in the rose garden, so those colors looked good with nature as a background.

I think you need to think about weather or not you are doing indoor or outdoor pictures, what the background color will be and then decide. I went with blue for the kids because they both have blue eyes.

Good luck!

we have done all kinds of family and group pictures -matching, not matching... I like black shirts and jeans or khakis, I like white and jeans or khakis - I like everyone wearing coordinating colors - I like it when everyone has the same style shirt in different colors, or the same colors in different styles. Anything can work!! I have done boys in one color, girls in another... you can have fun with it!! This summer we did beach pictures like we do every year - instead of all white - or khaki and white - we did black and white - love them. I had on a black tank and white skirt, my oldest daughter had a black and white tank and white skirt, my youngest daughter had on a solid white dress, my son had a black polo and white shorts and my husband had a white polo and black shorts...

Is this inside or outside - casual or formal?? I am guessing Christmas card photo?? I like color - I think it makes the pictures pop!


Most professional photographers will tell you to wear clothes that are very similar, and to minimize prints on shirts. This allows the lighting to be even across everyone's face and allows you to see your faces and not your clothes.


I personally like the matching idea, even if it is the guys wear one color and the girls match the color in a dress or shirt. To me it looks neater and more organized.

I love white with jeans and if you are doing black and white it aways looks great.

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