Let's face it. Family picture day can be stressful. There is is so much to coordinate and figure out. Location, weather, work schedules, nap and meal times... Don't let choosing what to wear take more mental energy than it deserves!- Use these 5 simple steps and you'll be on your way to an amazing day! (Don't overlook #5... IMO it's the most important)

1: Choose A Cohesive Color Palette

This can sometimes be the hardest step to selecting family outfits, but don't let it stress you out! Head over to pinterest and search "[keyword] color palette" for whatever vibe you want. Some great keywords are: NATURAL, COZY, EARTHY, MOODY, CALM, HOLIDAY, FALL. Select a palette and then focus in your attention on 3-4 colors you can use to plan your outfits.

Pro Tip: Keep your closets in mind as you narrow down a color scheme. That way you can use what you have and don't have to spend so much money buying new clothes for your photo session

2: Textures & Layers Are Your Friend

Textures and layers can create a lot of visual interest in your family photos. Think chunky sweaters, jackets/cardigans, or a quilted vest. Fun fabrics like lace, eyelets, and muslin also are amazing at really elevating the look of your photos.

Pro Tip: Remember that a good fabric can look amazing, but in that same way- the wrong fabric can do the opposite. Try to avoid fabrics that are clingy, wrinkly, or droopy and you'll be on your way to an amazing look.

Photo Links:

A: Women's Sweater B: Women's Jacket C: Boy's Vest D: Girls Dress

3: Use a Mix of Patterns and Solids

A great way to look great in your family photos is to have your family wear a mixture of patterns and solids. A good rule of thumb is to choose a couple of simple complementing patterns, and then fill in the rest with solids. Florals, stripes, and plaid are a great way to look great.

Pro Tip: Know which patterns to avoid. Really thin stripes can cause moire and will end up looking funky. Also remember, high contrast colors and big patterns can be really distracting to look at in a photo (eg. black and white pattern, large scale polka dots, large florals, and graphic tees).

4: Wear What Makes You Happy

This step is simple. Wear something you feel great in! Something that complements your body type, something that makes you feel beautiful! If you don't love what you're wearing when you're at home, you're not going to like it in your photos either.

Pro Tip: This one is maybe the most important, so listen up! Dress your kids in something that makes THEM happy. Hear me out. If your kid is uncomfortable in what you are 'making them wear', it will be written on their face and you'll see it in the photos through their body language. Try planning their outfit ahead of time and ask for their input. When picture day comes around, you'll both be on the same page and their happy confident smile will glow.

5: Don't Forget Your Smile!

Ok this is totally cheesy, but seriously, don't forget your smile! Try not to let family picture day stress you and your family out. When it comes down to it- all you really want in your images is to see the connection and love you feel for your family portrayed in your portraits. When people look at your pictures, they will see YOU! (not your outfits)

Pro Tip: Try to reduce the stress of picture day by being prepared ahead of time. Have your outfits washed, ironed and ready to go a day or two beforehand. Pack (stain free) snacks to keep the kids happy, and try to arrive early so you're not stressed about time. Blast some fun music and have a dance party in the car on the way to your location.

HI, I'm Alyson

I am a family and motherhood photographer in the beautiful Farmington River Valley of Connecticut. I love capturing the natural love and connection of families- those precious moments and feelings that can last a lifetime.

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