How To Coordinate A Family Photo Outfit, According To A Photographer

Whether you're trying to get the perfect pic for a holiday card or just want to preserve your family's image in a photo where everyone is looking at the camera, you may be wondering how to coordinate a family outfit so an “Awkward Family Photo” situation doesn’t happen.

I know I certainly was when my family posed for a portrait. Though clashing outfits on families in pics can be hilarious, you don’t want to spend a ton of money on photos only to have them be unusable or end up as a meme. And even though my family wasn't completely coordinating, I think not being so matchy-matchy worked out for us.

Keisha Robertson, a maternity, newborn, and family photographer, tells Romper that she always tells her clients "to stay away from the latest fashion prints. In my opinion it ages your images. Always go solid or neutral-color plaids. Your images will remain timeless this way. Nobody has to match, but everyone should coordinate!” She adds, “If one person has a plaid shirt with different colors, you can pull a color for each family member from that one plaid shirt. And never mix patterns, it is too busy on film.” (Her most important tip, in my opinion, is to make sure your clothing isn’t see-through. That wouldn’t end well.)

Since so many family pics are taken outside, I asked Robertson about whether outfit choices differed between inside photos and outside photos.

"If you are going to be outside, consider the season during which you are photographing," she advises. "Fall pictures should include deeper colors — burgundy, mustard yellows, navy, greens, and creams. These colors will compliment the colors of fall. For spring and summer, go lighter in color.”

Photo Courtesy of Abi Berwager Schreier and Samantha Davis Photography

As far as the colors that photograph the best, Robertson classic, neutral colors tend to work best... and she tends to "stay away from purple because the camera doesn’t recognize the color purple and it looks blue on film.”

So for your family photos this year, consider picking solids, or neutral-color plaids, and coordinate, but you don't have to match. And for the love of god make sure your clothing isn't see-through. Unless you're doing a boudoir shoot — then that's a totally different story.