In family/ style

five tips for fall family photos

We attempted family photos this weekend and one of my children was crying through the first half due to having a sleepover the night before and staying up until 4 am. Then, once he was finally in a happy place the toddler decided it was her turn and refused to take a pic with her brothers or smile for any further photography. Really!?

I joke but it was quite upsetting for this mama who takes family photos just once a year. I don’t print a lot of our photos so these are important for that reason alone.

Sooo…since ours are sure to be quite the hot mess I thought I’d share a few tips with hopes yours go a little smoother.

  1. I recommend picking a favorite piece/outfit – whether for you, the hubs or one of the kids then build the rest from there. I did this by selecting my oldest son’s dress shirt first {example of the boy’s tops + Ella’s below}. It was perfect because I knew we all had great blues in our closets, but none were quite the same. His button-up kind of brought all of them together.

I wore an Eliza J sweater dress I picked up last season. Here are a few similar pieces I like.


  1. Wear your make up a little heavier than usual. For instance, I typically won’t wear under-eye liner if I’m wearing eye shadow, but for photos I’ll wear both. For lips – you don’t have to do a dramatic, bold red if that isn’t normally your vibe, but something a shade darker than the usual will show up better for photos and still look like you. This chanel shadow is my favorite for a little more dramatic eye.

fall family photos eye makeup

  1. Though pattern mixing is hot right now, I recommend forgoing heavy patterns and prints for family portraits. Prints can get “busy” in photos and when there are 2+ kids, mom and dad in the photo you’ll want to limit. If you’re dying to do pull in a print piece then throw a solid sweater or jacket over or put just one child in print/patterns then have everyone else in solid colors. Here’s an example of how I pulled in some gingham, but softened it with a sweater dress.


  1. Timing! By all freakin’ means time your photos for what works around your family’s temperament. Morning light is popular with photographers but if your crew doesn’t like rising before dawn to get dolled up then look for times around dusk to capture that same light.
  1. It may seem obvious, but finding the right photographer is key. I can easily look back over the years and pinpoint to the photos we took with photographers that clicked with our family. I’m guilty of going with whoever is available and convenient, but gosh the end product is so worthwhile when you have someone that ‘gets’ your fam.

Good luck and Godspeed my friends…family portraits are not for the faint at heart!



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