3 Big No-Nos to help You Pick Out Family PIcture Outfits

I love family pictures, and we try to take one every year. I typically use the photos to make a New Year’s card to mail to family and friends, but I also use them to print a family calendar and a large canvas for above our fireplace.

Here is a peak at the inspiration board I’ve created for our 2013 family photos.

Three Tips for Better Family Pictures PagingSupermom.com #familypictures #inspiration #phototips

:: 1. The stripe dress was from Baby Gap’s summer collection and provided inspiration for the retro-carnival feel. :: 2. I am so in love with this Twirl Party Dress from Tea Collection. Piper loves how the skirt ruffles around when she spins, and it was the perfect vermillion color of one of the stripes in Modette’s dress. :: 3. I found Attalie’s sunshine yellow dress last summer at Crewcuts by J. Crew. It has lots of lovely tailored details that give a polished, retro vibe. :: 4. My cousin and gifted seamstress whipped together a pencil skirt for me to wear from a blue polka dot fabric. :: 5. I saw a tutorial for making these cool vintage-y marquee letters which seemed to be the perfect touch for our photos.

I prefer family pictures that have a relaxed but pulled-together feel. I don’t like things to be too matchy, but I want everything to go together. Usually I don’t really have a theme, but there is typically one outfit that the rest center around. To date my favorite pictures were the year I found a killer, black-and-white chevron shift dress for Piper. EEK!! I can’t wait to see how this year’s pictures turn out! (UPDATE: You can now see our family pictures here!)

How To Pick Outfits For Family Pictures

I don’t want to boast, but I think I have a bit of a knack for putting family picture outfits together. I’m often asked for advice so I thought I’d share my three biggest rules to help you look your best:

– We always take our photos in the Fall, and I start looking for my inspiration piece in summertime, which gives me plenty of time to shop around. I snap photos with my phone of the pieces that I like so I have everything handy and can see how things are coming together. All year long I’m on the lookout for locations that would lend themselves to family photos.

2. DON’T MATCH – Sure it’s simple to buy everyone the same color shirt and jeans and call it a day, but just don’t. If you need an easy way out (because Rule No. 1 is hard!), you are honestly better off giving each family member two to three colors and letting them pick an outfit from their existing wardrobes.

3. DON’T WEAR BLACK – It’s true that black is slimming in real life, but in the two-dimensional world of photography, black doesn’t show definition and shadow lines, which means you’ll end up looking like a BIG, FAT BLOB! Who wants that? Same goes for any dark colors akin to black (like navy). If you must wear black limit it to the bottom half of your outfit and preferably in something that is slim fitting like a pencil skirt or skinny jeans (and then try to stand with your legs slightly apart). This rule can be a little more lenient for guys unless they are sensitive about their weight. It’s absolute truth though — black is guaranteed to make you look chubby in photos.

Bettijo Bridges

Administrator at Paging Supermom
Bettijo is the founder and designer of Paging Supermom where she shares creative ideas for family fun. Known for practical and kid-friendly activities, free printables and holiday entertainment. Bettijo was a guest on the Martha Stewart Show and has frequently appeared on local TV. Her work has also been featured in national magazines including Real Simple, O, Redbook, Parents, Family Circle, and Health. She enjoys art, retro-modern design, photography and making new things. Mom of 4 kids.

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