Family Photo Session Tips from a Professional Photographer!

We all feel an urge to take great photos around the holidays. The pressure for the perfect greeting card photo is real… And one of the biggest stressors is figuring out what the heck everyone is going to wear! For some people, this comes effortlessly. But if you are like me, and you go trough your whole closet before choosing something that might work, I hope this little guide will help make choosing your holiday photo outfits a bit easier!

If you want to create frame-worthy holiday pictures, it helps to put some time and effort into deciding what you want to wear. Your outfits will help set the tone for your portraits, so it’s important to choose wisely.
If you are feeling concerned about what to wear, stick to these dos and don’ts and you’ll be just fine.

Holiday Photo Outfit Dos:

  • Do consider the backdrop. Whether your shoot is in a studio or in a specific location that you love, think about the backgrounds you’ll be posing in front of before you settle on outfits for your session. Busier backgrounds require simpler outfits.
  • Do coordinate. But don’t make your outfits match 100%. Coordination doesn’t mean that everyone in the shot should look the same, it simply means that the colors, patterns, outfit style matches. One of the mot difficult things for people is choosing and coordinating color. If you book a session with me, I send out a guide with some great color combinations to give you a good starting point.
  • Do incorporate something cozy. Winter is about cozying up to the people you love, so try and add a cozy item of clothing to your outfit. Think textured sweaters or a scarf with an interesting knit. And I always love wrapping up in a blanket, it’s such a cute way to get the family all snuggled up. A chunky knit or luxury faux fur fabric look amazing in photos.
  • Do have fun with it! If you want to go over the top with your holiday photo outfits, whether that means ugly Christmas sweaters, get everyone super glammed up, dress like elves, put on the Christmas pjs, go for it! The most important thing to remember is, there are no real rules. This is a time for spreading joy and happiness. So whatever that means for you, embrace it.

Below is a bit of inspo. Scroll down for tips on holiday photo outfit “Don’ts”!

holiday photo outfits inspo
holiday photo outfits inspo
holiday photo outfits inspo
holiday photo outfits inspo
holiday photo dad with sons
holiday photo outfits inspo

Holiday Photo Outfit Don’ts:

  • Don’t overthink it. Christmas is the one time you don’t need to be overly realistic. Yes, you wouldn’t normally wear a jacket and snow boots indoors but this is definitely the one time you can, particularly if you’re posing in front of a fun backdrop.
  • Don’t over-accessorize. There are a lot of fun accessories and props that you can add to a Christmas-themed shoot but it’s also easy to overdo it. If you are going to wear gloves, hats, and your favorite coat, make sure the patterns don’t take away from the people in the photo and that the coats don’t make you look too frumpy. If it’s freezing out, I recommend having a big cozy coat within arms reach, but not in the photo so you can grab it and wrap up in between takes.
  • Don’t make them feel uncomfortable. If the people in the photo feel uncomfortable in their clothing, it’s going to show in your photos. Pick outfits that everyone feels comfortable in as this will result in the most natural smiles and an array of fun shots. Another important note on this, make sure everyone tries on every piece of clothing. Make sure it fits well and is free of wrinkles.
holiday photo inspo
festive holiday photo outfits
holiday photo inspo newborn

And of course Pinterest is a great source of inspiration if you want to look at a few color schemes that you can use for your upcoming Holiday photo shoot.

Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

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Tina Thomas is an award-winning Professional Personal Branding and Family Photographer & filmmaker in Chesterfield, Virginia. RVA. With a passion for capturing real, intimate and joyful moments, and over a decade photographing everyone from babies to news anchors, my experience allows me to take a laid-back approach where I can guide, observe and record genuine connection and celebrate individuality.