Struggling with what to wear for family photos? Some days it’s hard enough to pick out your own outfit, let alone plan outfits for the entire family! But with a little help from our styling tips, we promise it’s a lot easier than you think.
There are really just two things to consider when planning outfits for family portraits, and once you’ve nailed ‘em, everything else will fall into place. Let’s dive into those now.
Consideration #1: What color does everyone look best in?
Ever hear somebody say that blue is totally their color? But they can’t pull off peaches? Or purples? For many people, understanding which colors look best on them has likely come from trial and error. But it really all comes down to one simple thing: your skin’s undertones.
There are three undertones: cool, neutral and warm. Finding the most flattering clothing is just like finding the most flattering makeup or hair color. Your skin's undertones will point to which colors look best on you.
Here’s how to decipher which category you fall under:
If you put on a white shirt and your natural skin appears pink or rosy, you have cool undertones. If you’re uncertain, peep at the subtle veins around your neckline and face. If your veins appear bluish, you have cool undertones. Do you burn in the sun? Burning easily is another indicator of cool undertones.
If you put on a white shirt and your natural skin appears more golden or yellow, you’re part of the warm undertone family. You likely tan easily, and your veins appear more olive than blue.
As the name will suggest, neutral undertones is a mixture of both warm and cool undertones. If it’s hard to tell which category you fall under, you’re likely a neutral undertone.
Now that you understand how to find your undertone try it out for yourself by popping on a white shirt or even holding up a white piece of paper to your face. Then do the same for the rest of your family to get a general idea of their undertones as well.
We'll cover which colors to choose based on the next question to consider.
Consideration #2: What color do you want hanging on your walls?
No matter the season, there’s always color options for your family and ways to flatter everyone’s skin tones without sticking to the traditional seasonal colors. Does your family not feel great in amber colors for autumn? Then ditch ‘em! Try cooler colors that flatter; you can still achieve a feeling of autumn with your surroundings.
With that being said, consider what you want to see on your walls. These portraits are likely going to hang around for some time, so make sure the colors are something you love to have in your home!
Best Colors to Wear for Each Undertone
Once you know your family's undertones and have an idea of the sort of photographs you'd hang on your walls, you're ready to pick your colors.
Here are both warm and cool color options for each type of skin undertone to help get the inspiration flowing:
Best Colors to Wear for Cool Undertones
Bright rose, ruby, cerise or shocking pink (similar to magenta) are must-haves.
Go for blues—bright blue, royal blue, sapphire—as well as emeralds or an array of purples like lavender or amethyst.
Best Colors to Wear for Warm Undertones
Try on reds, oranges, amber, golden yellow, and honey gold.
Opt for warmer greens and blues such as olive, deeper turquoise, magenta and orchid shades.
Best Colors to Wear for Neutral Undertones
Warm Hues: When it comes to warm colors, opt for colors closer to the middle of the color spectrum, such as dusty pinks, light peach, taupes, or vanilla.
Cool Hues: Same goes for cooler colors—try to stick closer to the middle. Think placid blue, jade green, light mint or cameo green.
A Few Final Tips:
- When styling your family, start with the most challenging styling choices first. Or, at the very least, style yourself first as a reward, as you’re probably the one doing all the hard work! From there, pick the next crucial, AKA, any mini fashionistas in your family. For example, Erin always picks her outfit first then helps style her daughter. She then works in the boys with easy, neutral colors that help balance out the photograph and flatter their skin and hair.
- Consider your background. Choose a place that really speaks to your heart. This will not only create authentic, happy photographs for your wall, but it’ll make the whole experience feel really special.
- Be natural with the camera. It won’t matter if everyone is looking at the camera; it’ll show the fun dynamic of your family!
- Don’t sweat the small stuff. Scuffed shoes? Nobody notices. Stained shirt? The photographer can fix that with edits. Son’s pants too short? All the more memories of those skinny, growing legs! Enjoy this special time with your family and watch as the photographs change over the years.
- If you need it, ask for help! At Blond Genius, we love styling families for photo sessions, so pop in anytime for our styling advice and expertise. We'll ensure your photographs are full of smiles and outfits fit to flatter!