Many of you are gearing up to have your family photos taken this fall. As a photographer, I often get asked, “What should we wear?” While each family has their own individual style, I thought I could put together some tips to help get you started and to create a cohesive, pleasing look in your family photos.

1. Have a color theme

Gone are the days of everyone wearing one color in family photos. You want to show individuality and dimension, not look like you are in a uniform. Picking 2-3 colors and adding in neutrals as necessary (think denim and khaki) is a good starting point. In the fall in the Midwest we have a lot of oranges, browns and yellows as the backdrop. Sticking with a warm color palette, and adding some pops of color are my favorite. This mom chose a warm rust color that ties in with the fall foliage, but put her husband in son in neutrals so they don’t all blend into the background.

fall family photography springfield il

autumn color palette fall photography springfield il

fall color palette springfield il photos

2. Don’t forget a pattern

This family incorporated pattern in mom’s dress, and her son’s checkered shirt. Patterns make the photo more dimensional. If looking for something classic, go with stripes or prints. Floral and polka dots can be a fun pop as well!

springfield il outdoor fall family portraits

3. Layers!!

Layering in outfits totally elevates your look. Just like adding a piece of jewerly, adding a layer can bring out the wow factor to your look. Easy ways to layer are sweaters over a patterned shirt, vests or cardigans, or a cute jacket or scarf.

fall family portraits springfield il

4. Include some texture

Texture can come from a sweater, a wool or quilted jacket, or maybe a fur vest. You don’t need to go crazy with this, at least one textured item will do!

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Some additional things you can think about when putting your outfits together are to add accessories such  as jewelry, scarves,  hats, even bow ties!  Just remember a little goes a long way!    Remember the words of Coco Chanel-  “Before you leave the house, look into the mirror and remove one accessory.”

Also try switching up what people are wearing on the bottom.   A mix of denim and khaki, skirts and pants, all brings different levels to your photo.

I’d like to say at the end of the day, what you wear doesn’t matter, but the truth is, photos are visual art, so taking the extra moment to put together something that is cohesive will make all the difference in the final outcome of your photos.   Remember to pick something you all feel comfortable in, and suits your family’s style.  And if you need a hand, that is what I am here for!