If you’re planning on family reunion pictures while everyone is together, I have some tips to make your session go smoother!
Deciding what to wear in family pictures can feel like a daunting task, but it’s a lot easier when not left to the last minute. Be sure to communicate with each family group on clothing choices at least two weeks ahead! This way everyone has time to go shopping if needed.
How to Decide What To Wear For Family Reunion Pictures in 2023
The first thing I ask when someone seeks advice on what to wear is where they plan to hang the portraits in their home, and what colors are in that room. For example, if you are planning to hang your prints in a family room painted red and black and you plan to wear orange and brown, it will clash with your walls!
Instead, is your home decorated with a lot of white and some accent colors? Consider pulling those accent colors into your family outfits for portraits you are proud to display in your home!
In the case of family reunions, the likelihood of everyone having their homes painted in similar color schemes is quite low, so the best thing I can recommend is to plan clothing that you can all agree on, and preferably in neutrals, blues, or browns.
When planning your family outfits, remember there is a difference between matching and coordinating.
Ten years ago for family pictures everyone matched – think white button down shirts and khakis, etc. Most people don’t match their family on a daily basis, and if they do match for their session they change out of those clothes as soon as pictures are over because it doesn’t feel like “them.”
The key? Coordinate colors, don’t match with a “family uniform.”
How To Coordinate What To Wear For Family Reunion Pictures
First, I highly recommend you try on your clothes well before the holiday week/weekend to make sure you feel comfortable and that everything fits.
As you select your outfits, keep the following points in mind:
- Pick a color or two and then coordinate one of those into each person’s outfit.
- Everyone doesn’t need to wear all the colors you choose. You can incorporate the colors with scarfs, sweaters, hair bows, or even shoes.
- Split up the colors where possible. If I have six people in my family and have selected three main colors to wear, I don’t want all of the color on top. Instead, I want to split the colors up – make sure all of the kids don’t have matching shirts, and make sure not everyone ends up in tan shorts. Balance your outfits by including some color towards the bottom, perhaps including pastel capris or some quirky shoes. (This is the most common way to coordinate for your family pictures.)
- Another option for larger family groups is to plan an overall color palette with each sub-family planning to match. For instance, everyone wearing khakis, and then each family group wearing a different shade of pastel shirt.
- Speaking from years of experience, often moms have the most difficulty finding an outfit to match the rest of their family. If mom can find a dress she likes first, it becomes infinitely easier to dress the rest of the family around what she is wearing!
Ultimately the decision on what to wear is up to your family, not me! I strive to give enough ideas to help you find what works for you.
The most important suggestion I can offer is this:
Be yourself, but be the BEST VERSION of yourself. Take the time to plan your clothing, don’t just throw something on. Elevate your outfits beyond the everyday so that you’ll have family photos that you’ll want to show off for years to come!
I have an entire Pinterest board with ideas on what to wear for your session!
What NOT to wear for your family reunion pictures?
While it varies by location, the Keweenaw Peninsula has a lot of dark pine trees. Because of this, I recommend staying away from black tops – you will blend into any dark trees behind! I have included an example of this I found on Pinterest below.
You’re having family pictures taken as a way to make your family stand out, so don’t blend in by accident!
Other thoughts along with what to wear for your family reunion:
- When scheduling your family photographs, late afternoon is a great time. The light is beautiful, and by planning it before dinner, you don’t have to worry about any food getting on your clothes. Another bonus? Everyone is motivated to get it right the first time so they can get it over and eat!
- Note: This time period is not advised for beach portraits, but we will come up with a time that works best for your individual situation!
- Sunscreen is very important the week before. Photoshop can correct minor skin issues but is not a magic wand, especially for sunburns and peeling!
- Please remember to try on clothing ahead of time! There is nothing worse than realizing the day of that you do not have the proper/necessary undergarments, etc! This includes colored bras under light colored shirts (as well as the same issues with bottoms).
- In addition, if you’re not comfortable in what you are wearing there is a very good chance this will come across in your pictures. Take your time selecting the perfect outfit for you!
If you found these tips helpful, make sure to share this post with the rest of your family so you are all on the same page!
Finally, remember: you’re never fully dressed without a smile! 😉
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Ellie Davis says
I liked that you mentioned picking a color and coordinate before your family reunion to take the best photograph. My husband and I are planning a family reunion, and we are looking for advice to coordinate everything properly. I will let him know about the benefits of coordinate clothing colors to take the best photograph.
I’m so glad this post was helpful to you Ellie! I hope your family reunion goes smoothly 🙂