Family Photos: What to Wear (Clothes and Makeup)

I’m no professional stylist, but I got TONS of compliments on our family photos.  After I posted them to Facebook, my notifications blew up.  So many people complimented me on my outfit and makeup…so I wanted to post some of my tips for what to wear in family photos.
Mix colors and textures in your family photo outfits
This was advice from our photographer. When I talked with him about clothes, he told me he didn’t love solids, so he told me to mix colors and textures…so that’s what I tried to do.
Let’s take a look…
For this look, I chose a shirt that was a lightweight sweater.  Now, leopard print is my favorite color…so I went with that.  But I think any medium-size print would work.  I wouldn’t go for tiny prints (like a little polka dot or tiny flowers) as they don’t translate as well for the camera.  I also would take a good look in the mirror while wearing the shirt. Is it too tight? Will it show any bumps or bulges?  I tried sitting in my shirt because I figured we would sit at some point.  I was happy with the fit and fabric of that shirt. Pick something that makes you feel good, and for me, that’s an animal print sweater.
Next, I wanted to wear denim for my pants.  I chose a dark denim skinny jean for the slenderizing effects. I also compared the color to Tyler’s jeans because we didn’t want to be matchy…so I made sure my jeans were darker than his.
I chose the brown boots for another texture.  The shiny leather was good, and it added another color.  The tan in the boots was close in color to my sweater, but not a perfect match…so it gave the outfit more dimension.
The last piece was my scarf.  I chose it for the texture and color. I liked the thought of a bright color close to my face.  This draws the eyes to your face (instead of my unflattering areas). The scarf had a great crocheted texture, too. I would go for a chunky knit scarf or even a fringe scarf for some texture and interest.
Now, for Tyler’s outfit…there wasn’t much hope. He has three clothing items in his closet: jeans, t-shirts, and button ups.  He just doesn’t like wearing fancy stuff.  He doesn’t even like polo shirts. So….my husband who only wears jeans and t-shirts wore jeans a t-shirt for pictures. We DID, however, find a dressier t-shirt that had a TINY bit of sheen to it. It’s a dress T-shirt.  For him, I just made sure he wore his accessories, like his watch. And make sure he is well-groomed.  It is sort of nasty sounding, but the camera catches stuff like nose hairs.  Trim that stuff up, fellas.  Grab your nose hair trimmer and your electric razor.  Time for some man scaping.
As for makeup, I do know about that!  For pictures, you want to steer clear of shimmer.  You want a nice matte look (but not TOO matte) for photos.  You want to look fresh.  I applied my usual makeup (concealer, foundation, powder) and then some blush and bronzer.  I don’t wear bronzer every day, but I wanted to look fresh for photos.
I used neutral eyeshadows, eyeliner, mascara…and here is the key for makeup for professional photos: eyebrow pencil.
Yes, ladies.  Eyebrow pencil.  Now, I use it every day, but even if you don’t, you should use it for photos. It just defines your eye area. Choose a color your brow color (or just a smidge darker) and then just pencil in your brows.  Define the edges and fill in any blank spots.  It really does make a difference.
For lips, I did a neutral/pink gloss…but if you will be outside and your hair is long enough, stay away from gloss.  Your hair will get stuck in gloss if the wind blows.
So those are my tips for what to wear for family photos and how to do your makeup for professional photos. I hope that helps you as you take your family photos!


  1. Okay, I SO NEEDED this post BEFORE we had our family photos taken! I think I broke most of the rules, but I had no clue. 🙁 Your makeup is flawless and you look beautiful! I’ll need to remember that tip about the bright scarf near my face. Great idea!

    It won’t matter anyway, because next year, you are coming to Texas to style us. So there. 🙂

    And also, I need that leopard print shirt in my life.

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