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

Updated on March 12, 2010
E.F. asks from Sylvania, OH
17 answers

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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answers from Cincinnati on

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!



answers from Terre Haute on

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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answers from Minneapolis on

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!

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answers from Wichita on

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.


answers from Jacksonville on

My husband was told by the professional photographer who did shots of our kids (for my surprise 40th birthday gift) that White shirts give the best face coloring. If you look through albums of the the photographers, you will likely find lots of photos of white button down shirts paired with Khaki pants.
Where we live... SE GA, a lot of people choose to have their family shots done at the beach on the sand dunes.... The white shirts with khaki (skirts, pants or shorts) always come out looking very nice.



answers from Cleveland on

My siblings and spouses had a picture taken at Christmas time for our parents - six kids = a picture with 11 people total. We all wore black shirts and jeans. It turned out really nice. However, with about 25 people - maybe you could do black and white shirts. Guys one color, girls another?



answers from Tulsa on

A friend of mine has 9 kids. They are all adults now and they have many family pictures.

When it just mom and dad and the kids they usually wear coordinating clothes like the jeans and red shirts. They all have coloring that red looks very good on.

When they take extended family pictures now each branch wears a particular solid color. For example, the oldest son, his, wife and thier children all wear a grass green, the oldest daughter, her husband and their children all wear orange, etc...all the way down to the single ones who match mom and dad.

It really helps to designate who's who in the pictures for future generations, they can see at a glance who goes with who.....



answers from Missoula on

long sleeved color coordinated shirts and jeans or kahkis. long sleeved because if you look at a picture where people's arms or other skin is showing your eye tends to look at the skin or light colored areas first. You want to look at the faces. Good luck and have fun.



answers from Chicago on

We did this last year. Got a "whole family" photo that has everyone from great grandmother down to great grandchildren. What we did was had one set of photo's taken with all of us in white shirts. then had some taken with each "family" in a separate color my family in white, my sisters in blue, my brothers in red etc. then we also did the 4 generations photo. the all the women and all the men, photo's of grandkids and great grandkids with great grandma and separate photos of each family. we did it that way cause we only paid one big sitting fee and then each family ordered and paid for what they wanted. we were there for a while but the photo's turned out so nice.



answers from Indianapolis on

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.



answers from Boise on

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.



answers from Washington DC on

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.




answers from Las Vegas on

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.



answers from Indianapolis on

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!!



answers from St. Cloud on

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.)



answers from Seattle on

When we did ours a few years ago we did denim, white and navy blue. I wore a white shirt and denim dress, my husband jeans and a blue shirt, our oldest jeans and a white shirt, youngest jeans and a blue shirt with a white stripe...you get the picture. The photographer complimented us on the color theme. Everyone can fill in as they like and most people probably already have clothes that would fit that theme. I think a lot of brightly differently colored shirts might be distracting. Keeping it down to two colors and denim gives everyone options, yet is still cohesive. Have fun, we did and treasure the pictures to this day.



answers from Dayton on

I haven't done this, but saw a large group picture where each individual family wore the same brightly colored shirts and ALL wore jeans. So for example, my husband, son and I would wear red, my sister, her husband and kids would wear blue, my brother, his wife and kids would all wear green, etc. That way each family is represented but you are still all together!

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