I’ve never been the go-to friend for styling advice. Sure, I can keep up with the latest trends, and keep things fun in the old wardrobe department. The truth is, I am much more the capsure wardrobe friend that can easily help in the super simple basics department. So when it comes to family photo shoots, I’ve always been at a total loss on what we should all wear. Over the years, and as our family has grown I still wasn’t getting much better at it. This past year, I’ve started to pay a little more attention to the family pictures of friends that I love the most and just this past year, I’ve learned the value of understanding color schemes, textures and accessories. Family photo shoots aren’t cheap, so there’s pressure (and good reason) to get things just right, while feeling like you at your best. It wasn’t until this last photo shoot of ours I really learned the basics of perfecting the outfits for our crew. I thought I’d pass on the top 5 tips worth sharing.


When it comes to color schemes, it’s important to consider pops of color, how much color, or really no color at all. Our photographer uses an app that really helped us called Style and Select. If you work a photographer, definitely ask them if they use this tool to help their clients prepare for the photo session. It’s a game changer. In our case, we started off with a color scheme that pulled in pops of jewel tones, but Sarai came back and recommended more of a neutral vibe with pops of black. I LOVED her suggestion. Once you pick the scheme, the tool actually generates outfits ideas for the whole family, keeping selections to about 6 items per person.


I learned this go round to incorporate many textures, your dog included. Seriously though, your dog brings in an element of texture that’s really fun. In our case, we brought in a fur vest and a lace dress for Shelby, a lace overlay dress for me, Black denim for Summer paired with a striped sweater, and a couple of wool hats. The mixture of textures creates a fun vibe and keeps your shoot interesting.


Similar to textures, accessories play a fun role in keeping things fun and interesting. I think this is where you can play around with things you wouldn’t normally wear day to day, but have always wanted to try. For me, I hardly wear hats day to day (with the exception of summer time by the pool for sun protection) so pulling them into the last couple of family photo shoots was really fun. Sarai brought a fun grey hat for Summer, which really helped Summer feel better about her outfit. (She always wants to wear something similar to what I am wearing so given I had a dress and she didn’t, that was “a thing” for sure. When Sarai brought out the hat, it instantly connected her outfit to mine and voila!) Shelby of course had on the vest, with the knee high socks which was super fun. Ty had his sweater. Wyatt was the only one that could have used an accessory, and Style and Select recommended a vest but we just couldn’t find one we liked.


Sarai was so good at reminding us to consider the weather in our selections given we were originally supposed to shoot in Feb/early March. Lucky for us, the weather was ready for us and the outfits worked well given the cooler temps around sunset. We were still looking at 50 degrees or so at 6pm which was great for us. There’s nothing worse than getting super cute outfits together for outdoor pics to find yourselves being too hot, or too cold.


Send your photographer all of your outfits laid out on your bed so they can see the outfits together and the colors, textures,  and accessories all in one view. They will be able to see what outfit might need changing up in order to better balance with the others. Sarai and I went back and forth a bit, swapping and changing things out with both my outfit and Ty’s to make sure they all jammed together. Going into the session prepared made such a huge difference in how we all felt. Each of us had tried our outfits on to make sure there wouldn’t be any surprises the day of. As our kids get older, they get more opinionated about their outfits so the prep was huge for the day of.

I’m sure there’s more so if there are any experts out there willing to share their ideas for what might make style selections simple, share away.