19 Tips about Styling, Outfits & Makeup To Rock Your Family Pictures!

February 22, 2021 Estimated reading time: 4 min

Thinking about outfits for your family photos can be overwhelming, so many options. Today I'll help you solve the styling puzzle with 19 helpful tips that work regardless of the season and location. Before we get started, I wanted to give you peace of mind, I promise that 1 outfit is all you need. Changing can kill the kids' mood and it goes downhill from there. The gallery variety will come from the moments captured. If your kids are happy and engaged, magic will happen!

Tip # 1. Avoid matching outfits

It's all about v
isually breaking the colors, mixing dominant, accent, and neutral colors. That's how an image really pops and reaches its full potential. We've all been there, I've been guilty myself of wanting to be matchy-matchy with my girls for photos. I even have PROOF of it... haha.

  • On the left, we're all dressed the same. I love the photo yet we get lost and blended, nothing pops. At least their tops were blue (haha) but still! The same photo with mixed outfits would have felt more powerful and emotional.
  • In the right, we're mixing it up. There is a dominant color, there is a neutral one, and the is a fabric with patterns. Even the bows are different colors. Everyone gets to shine with a unique signature look, making it cohesive and beautiful. The color break, the different fabrics add texture and emotion.

styling matchy

Tip # 2. Textures.

Mix fabrics to add texture, this will add a gorgeous dimension to your photos. 

Alessandro - Fall 2019 - Final Gallery-32

Tip #3. Optimize for color

Pick the color palette you love, then choose outfits types that your family will feel great in. You know your tribe best. One might like shorts, other suspenders, another a dress, maybe your son loves long sleeves?

Andre Toro Photography - Carissas Beach Session 2020-17

Tip #4. Choose clothes that fit your body shape

Listen to all advice but follow your heart. If you feel gorgeous, you'll look gorgeous. You know what looks great on you, embrace it!

beach summer girls-1 copy

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Tip # 5. Think about movement

Lightweight fabrics work wonders. The wind will blow and your skirt will fly, adding movement to the photo


Tip #6. Maxi or midi skirts rock

You should be able to sit down and not worry about your skirt. It's all about being comfortable with your outfit while enjoying time with family in between cuddles, hugs, and laughter.

Andre Toro Photography 2020-25

Tip #7. Layers are your friends

Keep the kids warm. Warm kids, happy kids. You can always take a layer off or all of them! Start with the sweater on and eventually they'll be warm enough to embrace the no layers look. This little one was without his sweater when he warmed up :)

Andre Toro Photography 2020-5

Tip # 8. Have a spare set of clothes for the kids

Yes, disaster can happen. Have a spare look in the car in case you need it. Unless we're hiking to the top of a mountain, you'll be able to access your car :)

Shallan - Andre Toro Photography 2020-25

Tip # 9. Accessories are welcomed

It can be a hat, a crown, a scarf, a head bandana, a necklace, or a gorgeous pair of earrings. You know your style best, you might have a signature accessory to rock on session day.

Beach Boston Family Photography (tiny)-36-1

Tip # 10. Glasses are OK

Anti-reflective coating helps. Avoid those that go dark with light. If you can take them off and still enjoy the session, go for it :)

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Tip # 11. Bring flats for you

You can use the flats while walking to the specific location or even during the photo shoot if your feet need it :)

Pregnancy Maternity Photo Sessions Boston

Tip # 12. Avoid athletic shoes - barefoot is AWESOME instead

If you can't decide on shoes, go barefoot. Unless it is winter ;)

Pregnancy Maternity Photo Session Boston-25-1

Tip # 13. Avoid logos or graphics

Yes! brand names, logos, graphics distract tons and take the attention from the moment captured.

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Tip # 14. Avoid neon colors

Neon colors give a color cast to the skin that is not flattering. 

Beach Photo Session Boston Family Photography-6

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Tip #15. Try your clothes in advance

Avoid surprises on session day! Kids grow up SO fast.

Duxbury Beach Family Photography-1

Tip #16. Wear makeup

Apply make up just slightly heavier than you normally apply it. Avoid moisturizer with sunscreen, it reflects making skin look shiny.

Boston Beach Family Session - Fine Art -7

Tip # 17. Avoid phones/wallets in pockets

Please pretty please. Your photographer will thank you! In many shots, you will not be facing the photographer so the phone/wallet would show in a pant's back pocket. We can take it off with Photoshop BUT always better to leave the phone/wallet in the car ;)


Tip # 18. Love white?

 Go for beige, ivory, or off-white instead.

Duxbury Beach Family Photo Session -1

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Tip # 19. Patterns work but with caution

Do you love that top of yours with prints? go for it! Do you love a dress with big pattern fabric? go for it! If your kid is into shirts with a thousand squares, go for it! Patterns absolutely work, the key is to mix them up with solid colors. 1-2 people in the family can rock patterns, then have the rest in solid colors. The patterns can help bring an image to life, you just have to make sure it doesn't run the show, complement with solids and neutral colors.

Fall Family Photo Sessions Boston-Oct-15-2020-06-53-31-46-PM

Styling can be so fun if you know how to think about it and what works for pictures! I hope this list is useful as you start to plan your family photos. My biggest advice is to let your photographer guide you, he/she will have very helpful tips. The photographer might have access to styling tools like Style Select or even have a client closet available to you. Rely on your photographer and have fun! Make sure your photographer has seen your outfits in advance, no surprises on session day is key :)

If you want to dig a bit more into styling, I've written a blog that will walk you through color palettes, tools, and advice such as who to style first. You can also read more about what to wear to your Spring Photo Session.

Have fun and enjoy the styling journey!





Andre Toro is an award-winning family photographer based in Lexington, MA. She calls her style Real Art Photography, which she defines as Fine Art inspired by candid moments. Andre is a passionate soul, obsessed with human connection, and emotive storytelling. She believes love is raw, messy, and beautiful. She specialized in Family, Maternity, Newborn, and Birth Photography. To inquire about booking a photo session, please contact her at andre@andretorophotography.com 


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About Andre Toro Photography

Andre Toro is an award-winning family and published photographer based in Boston, MA. She calls her style Real Art Photography, which she defines as Fine Art inspired by candid moments. Andre is a passionate soul, obsessed with human connection, and emotive storytelling. She believes love is raw, messy, and beautiful. To inquiry about booking a photo session, please contact her at andre@andretorophotography.com

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