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3 Tips For Styling Your Family Photos

Struggling with what to wear for your family photos? Fear not. Help is on the way dear* (cue Robin William's Mrs. Doubtfire voice*)! Here are three of the best tips and tricks to get you and your beautiful family in the best wardrobe pieces.


Neutral colors are often considered the best choice for family portraits due to several reasons:

  1. Timelessness: Neutral colors such as whites, grays, creams, and earth tones tend to be timeless and classic. They don't easily go out of style and can withstand changing fashion trends. This ensures that your family portraits will still look appealing and relevant even years down the line.

  2. Focus on the Family: Neutral colors allow the focus to remain on the family members themselves rather than on loud or distracting clothing. By choosing neutral tones, you create a cohesive and harmonious look that enhances the connection and interaction between family members in the photographs.

  3. Versatility and Coordination: Neutral colors are versatile and easy to coordinate with each other. They can be mixed and matched effortlessly, allowing each family member to express their individual style while still maintaining a unified aesthetic. This coordination helps create a visually pleasing composition and a cohesive overall look in the portraits.

  4. Timeless Backgrounds: When shooting family portraits, photographers often consider the background scenery. Neutral colors complement a wide range of environments, whether it's a natural outdoor setting, a classic indoor studio, or a more urban backdrop. This flexibility ensures that the family remains the central focus, while the background serves as a complementary element.

  5. Emphasis on Skin Tones: Neutral colors tend to flatter various skin tones and bring out the natural beauty of the family members. They create a soft and balanced palette that complements different complexions, ensuring that everyone looks their best in the photographs.

It's worth noting that while neutral colors are often preferred, there's still room for personal style and individuality. Accessories or pops of color can be added sparingly to create visual interest and add personality to the portraits while maintaining an overall neutral palette. Ultimately, the choice of colors should align with your family's preferences and the overall aesthetic you want to achieve in your portraits.


Soft pastel colors can be a great choice for family portraits for several reasons:

  1. Subtle and Gentle Aesthetic: Soft pastel colors, such as light pinks, blues, greens, and yellows, have a gentle and subtle aesthetic. They create a soothing and harmonious atmosphere in the photographs, evoking a sense of calmness and tenderness. These colors can add a touch of warmth and softness to the overall look of the portraits, enhancing the emotional connection and intimacy between family members.

  2. Flattering and Universally Appealing: Soft pastel colors have a flattering effect on skin tones, often giving a natural and radiant look to individuals in the photographs. These colors tend to create a soft and even light reflection, minimizing harsh shadows and creating a pleasing overall appearance. Additionally, pastel colors are generally well-received and appealing to a wide range of viewers, making them a popular choice for family portraits.

  3. Timeless Elegance: Soft pastel colors have a timeless quality that can endure changing trends. They are not overly bold or trendy, which means your family portraits will remain visually pleasing and relevant for years to come. Pastels have a classic appeal that transcends time, allowing the focus to remain on the family and their relationships rather than on distracting or dated clothing choices.

  4. Coordinated and Harmonious Look: Soft pastel colors naturally coordinate with each other, allowing for a harmonious and cohesive look in family portraits. When each family member wears a different pastel shade, it creates a visually appealing composition while maintaining a unified aesthetic. The coordination of pastel colors adds an element of elegance and balance to the overall portrait.

  5. Versatility and Adaptability: Soft pastel colors can be versatile and adaptable to various settings and backgrounds. Whether you're shooting indoors or outdoors, in a natural environment or against a plain backdrop, pastel colors can complement the surroundings without overwhelming or clashing with them. This flexibility allows the family to be the focal point while creating a pleasing visual balance with the environment.

While soft pastel colors can be a wonderful choice for family portraits, it's important to consider personal preferences, skin tones, and the overall mood or theme you want to convey. Ultimately, the goal is to choose colors that reflect your family's style, personalities, and the emotions you wish to capture in the portraits.


It is generally recommended to avoid wearing small patterns in family portraits for several reasons:

  1. Distraction and Visual Noise: Small patterns, such as tiny stripes, checks, or intricate designs, can create visual noise and distractions in the photograph. They draw attention away from the main focus, which is the connection and interaction between family members. This can detract from the overall impact and cohesiveness of the portrait.

  2. Clashing and Conflicting Patterns: When multiple family members wear small patterns, it increases the likelihood of clashing or conflicting patterns within the frame. This can create a busy and chaotic appearance, making it difficult for viewers to concentrate on the family as a whole. The patterns may compete for attention and create visual dissonance.

  3. Potential Moiré Effect: In some cases, when small patterns are captured by the camera, they can produce an unwanted moiré effect. This occurs when the pattern on the clothing interacts with the camera's sensor, resulting in interference patterns or a shimmering effect. It can degrade the overall quality of the image and lead to distracting visual artifacts.

  4. Timelessness and Aesthetic Appeal: Family portraits are often intended to be timeless, capturing the love and connection among family members for years to come. Choosing solid colors or larger, more classic patterns ensures a timeless and enduring aesthetic that won't appear dated or distract from the emotional impact of the photograph.

  5. Coordinated Look: Family portraits are enhanced when there is a coordinated and harmonious visual appearance among family members. Opting for solid colors or larger patterns that complement each other creates a more cohesive and balanced composition. It allows the focus to remain on the family and their relationships rather than on the individual clothing patterns.

While small patterns can work in certain situations or for specific artistic purposes, they tend to be more challenging to manage effectively in family portraits. It's generally recommended to choose solid colors, larger patterns, or textures that create a unified and visually pleasing look, allowing the family to be the central focus of the portrait.



Thank you for stopping by my blog and interest in working together. My name is Kayla and I am a Lifestyle Motherhood, Family & Newborn Photographer serving Traverse City, Michigan.

If you're looking for love-filled, genuine and authentic imagery you've come to the right place, Mama. My sessions are dictated by you and your family's unique story. Through every session, I use visual storytelling to let these elements of your love shine through. If this sounds like something you're interested in, please click here. I would absolutely love to meet and photograph your beautiful family.


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