Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014

Trying to catch up on posting sessions from this year! How is it October already?

We had such a fun time with this family in the summer. Mom had a specific look she wanted and I think we nailed it. She brought along these giant letters and I may have tried to take them home they were so cute. Loving the neutral tones and pop of color.
Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014

This was one of our “Preppy” Session. One location up to one hour with a print credit. Taken at a Chesterfield, MO area park. Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014 Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014 Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014 Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014 Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014 Family Photos by Resa Design Photography ©2014

Trying to decide what to wear in your family pictures? Let Mom be the center of attention in your next photos. I love this look of everyone matching (Wearing all white, because what other color can you find for everyone? Plus it always looks fresh.) Then letting mom’s outfit pop in a BIG way. This dress also comes in a beautiful blue, and a few other colors. I had a hard time choosing which to show you.

All clothes are from TARGET! (A mom’s favorite one stop shop.)

Where to take family photos?
  • A long road (dirt or other) with fields on either side.
  • A open field of tall grasses.
  • The beach is always a great location. Try finding a place that give you the beach, without the water in all your photos. We love the seagrass dunes at our favorite beach. Or the snow fences.
  • A flower garden or botanical garden. We have a lovely one here in St.Louis
  • A bridge.
  • A tunnel.
  • I also had this fun idea of somewhere that’s really crazy- like a park, where the children are running playing in the background (all blurred out) and mom is sitting calm and poised for the camera in the foreground. (If you shoot this, please share asap!)

What to wear in photos, COUPLE edition!! I’m so excited about this one. These two pieces were found at H&M and are under $100 together (only $85 actually!).

Women’s Dress @ H&M
Men’s Jacket @ H&M
Where to take photos with your love?
  • a tall grass field would be romantic,
  • restaurant patio tables, you know the black iron kind, would be sophisticated,
  • under an umbrella in a spring rain would be fun and creative,
  • on a busy street would be modern and could even become elegant with the right scenery,
  • on a blanket, under a big tree, with a picnic basket and loaf of bread and fruit would be lovely and classic.


One of the questions clients ask the most is, “What should we wear?” Here’s one suggestion for a spring family photo shoot. I choose all these items from Old Navy. All you need to do is add a few of your own basics and accessories. Best part, these pieces come in under $100.

My best advice for what to wear for family photos is this:

  1. We want to wear matching polos and jeans. Is that okay? Please don’t match! It seems like a good (and maybe even easy) idea at first, but the photos turn out less interesting. Most of the time, the matching outfit, is not what someone would normally wear, and it’s obvious that they are uncomfortable. Not really what you want your face to say in a photo that will hang on the wall for a while. ((I am re-reading this and want to add, I have seen matching clothes (i.e. all white) successful when #5 is applied))
  2. Can you do my hair and makeup? No! And neatness counts! Go ahead and iron and remove those grass stains. Hair cuts are good too. Fresh skin and hair are a must. Photoshop can only do so much :)
  3. Is it okay if we try something new? Keep your style consistent with what you would normally wear. If you are not a leather jacket kind of person, family photos is not really the time to experiment with this look. Likewise, if you are not a pearls and ballet flat’s kind of mom, don’t force yourself into that either.
  4. What colors should we wear? Have you visited Pinterest? There are all kinds of great color scheme ideas there (for photos and otherwise). Again, this is not the time to experiment with colors you don’t normally wear. I think a good rule of thumb is to pick 3 coordinating colors, and one accent. For example my family’s last photo shoot we wore: Navy, white, khaki, and our accent was apple green. Check out my board on what to wear in photos on Pinterest. And this other color board might give you some inspiration too.
  5. Are simple outfits best? Layer, layer, layer. Some of my favorite photo shoots include styling where kids are dressed in layers and/or include multiple textures in their clothing. For fall and winter this is a bit easier, i.e. a t-shirt with button down shirt on top, covered with a sweater vest and a blazer. For spring or summer try layering with accessories, i.e. a hat and a scarf. Another idea: layer tank tops and skirts with leggings underneath. If you check out your favorite store’s home page or catalog, you’ll see great examples of how their stylists put the brand’s clothes together for their own photo shoots.
  6. Should I dress for the location? Depending on where you are taking your photos, the weather does not have to dictate your clothing. My family took our family photos on the beach every year. Sometimes we took a “summer” themed shot in November. Yes it was freezing, and we would grab our coats between shots, but my mother would have us wear summer clothes. We laugh about it now (and we cried about it then), but the photos look like it was a beautiful summer day. Same goes for using a more urban or industrial location. Free yourself up to choose clothing for the family that you like, and don’t limit yourself by the current season or weather conditions.
  7. Can we wear prints? You don’t really want your clothes to over power the subjects in the photos. This can happen with prints. Some people have amazing style sense and can pull prints off really well in ways I would never expect. Most of us don’t fall into that category. If you are going to put a few people in prints (stripes, plaids, patterns, flowers) Keep the prints varied in size. And try keeping some of them under layers of other things (i.e. a plaid shirt on dad, under a blazer. AND a printed shirt on your little guy with a solid tee underneath.)

Have any tips on what to wear in family photos? Or what NOT to wear? Would you like me to talk about this more often?

I found this shot on Pinterest the other day and I thought it was a great example of working your family’s style. Plus, how well did they rock the stripes? I love the little guy in the suspenders with the red stripes, right next to the girls in the stripped leggings. I personally don’t have the guts to rock such fun outfits, but you can totally tell they are comfortable, this is totally normal for them, and that they must be a super fun family. Props to Simplicity Photography for a great image.

Source: via Resa on Pinterest

I have quite a few family photo sessions on the books in the next few weeks. I always get asked, “What should we wear?” Not being a huge fan of matching outfits, I try to suggest coordinating instead. This is easy for some, and harder for others. But isn’t this chart of suggestions fantastic! And you could outfit your whole family for your photo shoot from the Gap and Old Navy. You may even have a few of the pieces already.

I found this chart via Pinterest from here. I’m totally impressed. Maybe I’ll get up the courage to make a few of my own style boards here soon, since a few of my clients aren’t quite the Gap or Old Navy type. (Although I totally am!)

A few other styling tips of my own and a few I’ve picked up recently:
• Dress in colors you have in your house. (These are usually your favorites. If you live with grandma, maybe pass on that suggestion. Or not!)
• Layer. This is especially easy for fall and winter photos. A sweater with a jacket. Hats. Boots with knee socks sticking out.
• Mix textures. Again this is especially easy for fall. One kid in denim, another in corduroy. Blazers, sweaters, Oxford shirts…. You get the point?
• Don’t be afraid to pop some color in if you must go with white shirts and jeans. Just a pair of colorful shoes, or a chunky bracelet will take a basic outfit a long way.
• BE COMFORTABLE! Unless you are aiming for a Royal Wedding style shoot, wear what you would wear on an “above average” day. (i.e. Grandma’s birthday party or a lunch date with your besties) You will like this photos more and look natural. If you have kids to include, this will help them ease into the shoot faster, and be more cooperative.

What tips do you have for “what to wear for family photos”?