Create Picture Perfect Outfits For Your Family Portraits

create amazing outfits for family pictures

We finally made the leap and took some family portraits! This is something that I have been putting off for a long time now. My girls are already 5 and 2 1/2. I guess I was mostly worried about how the kids would behave during the photo session. Which was a legitimate concern since our previous photo session didn’t go that smoothly. Apparently one year olds hate taking pictures! Not to mention that I hate taking pictures! I always look a little awkward in photos as if I am playing the mannequin challenge.

Another reason I put the family portraits off was because I was stressed about what we were all going to wear. I wanted to put together perfectly coordinating outfits without them looking “matchy matchy”. Sorry to those of you that like the matching outfits, but sadly they are not for me. I wanted our personalities to come though in our outfits. It is much harder to do that with matching outfits. Coordinating outfits are the best way to created visually appealing family portraits. I put my fashion design background to use and put together the perfect outfits in 4 easy steps.

If you want to create picture perfect outfits for your next family portraits follow these steps. If your lucky you may already have coordinating clothing pieces and you won’t need to buy anything. In the event that you do need to purchase a few pieces, Old Navy or H&M are a great place to shop for the whole family at an affordable price. By sticking to the same store you have a better chance at finding outfits that go together.

Step 1:

Choose Your Color Pallet

Below are a few of the basic color palettes to choose from and examples of each. Although there are endless color combinations, this will help you get an idea of what color scheme you want for your family photos. Choose colors that look nice together. No one color should be too bold or stand out more than the others. Decide if you want to go with a cool or warm color pallet or a combination of both. For a soft and subtle color pallet stick with neutral colors.

Monochromatic– One color in many shades.

Complimentary– Colors directly across from each other on the color wheel.

Analogous–  Colors that are next to each other on the color wheel.

Triad– Colors that are evenly spaced around the color wheel and form a triangle.

Neutral– Colors of very low saturation such as blacks, whites, grays and browns.

Step 2:

Find Your Prints

Choose prints that work well together and fit in your color pallet. Sometimes it is easier if you find a print first that is in a color pallet you like and then build your outfits around that print. Add in one or two more prints to compliment that print. The prints should all be tied together by color.

Pick 1 or 2 of these types of prints:






Pick 1 or 2 of these types of prints:


Polka Dot







Step 3:

Find Your Solids

Your solids should be colors that you pull out of the prints. You want to choose solid colors that are the most prominent colors in the prints. The subtle colors can be used as accent pieces. Not all of your solid pieces have to be a color from the print. It is best to add in some neutral colors for pants and layering pieces. Textured solids such as sweater knits and lace will add some dimension to your outfits.

Pick atleast 2 solid colors that match the prints
Solid Texture


Solid Colors


All other clothing pieces should be neutral
Black, Brown, Grey, Ivory, White


Example of what your prints and solids should look like.

Step 4:


Add some finishing touches to complete your looks. For mommy necklaces, bracelets, earrings, a belt or a scarf are all great accessories. Dad can wear a bow tie or tie, a belt and a watch. The best accessories for little girls are hair accessories like flowers or glitter headbands. Little boys can accessorize with a bow tie or tie and suspenders.

Triple-strand Necklace

Charm Bracelet


Men’s Bow Tie & Handkerchief 

Men’s Belt

Girls Headbands

Boys Suspenders 

Say Cheese!

Good luck on your next family portraits. I hope you can create your own picture perfect outfits. If you found this post helpful leave me a comment. I would love to hear from you!







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8 thoughts on “Create Picture Perfect Outfits For Your Family Portraits”

  1. This is so much better than the matching dresses my Mom made my sister and I when we were younger! I need to keep this information in mind for the next time we take family pictures!

  2. This is a great tutorial! I’ve never seen it broken down like this before. Your outfits (and photos!) turned out great!

  3. I think coordinating for a group picture is the hardest thing . Thank you for the great info. I’m gonna be better prepared next time

  4. Great ideas!! I always spend WAAAAAY too much time deciding on outfits and coordinating everyone… But in the end, I know it’s way worth it 🙂

  5. your kids are such cuties! I agree on color coordinating rather than having everyone wear a uniform during a family portrait. I haven’t done a formal family portrait yet but we might just get going to having one. your advices will come in handy

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