Haselhorst Photography | How a photgrapher prepares for family photos.

How a photgrapher prepares for family photos.

September 20, 2015  •  Leave a Comment

I have written blog posts about what to wear and how to do your makeup for photos on the blog before.  I thought I would review a bit about these topics in a different way.  I want to talk through the process I used to get my family of four ready for our family pictures.  First, here are links to my previous posts about what to wear and makeup

I decided to get our family photo done in early Sept before the change of colors.  I wanted to do this for two reasons: 1) it was my birthday present, and 2) most of our family photos are taken in the fall and I want a little variety.  Our backdrop was a great park a few towns over with lots of gardens and green space.  I decided I wanted more of a summer look to this photo.  My first thought as a primary color was blue (Just an FYI, blue is the best color choice for families that have large differences in skin tones.  Blue looks great on everyone).

Following my own rules about how to pick outfits, I started with my toughest costumer...me.  I have this great electric blue open cardigan.    I decided to pair the cardigan with a white tank and jeans. I then raided the rest of my family's closets to get things that went together.  I did go buy my daughter a shirt with the same color blue as my cardigan.  I laid everything out and took a picture with my phone. 

I was not sold on the look.   I  felt like the look was just too blue.  I decided to add an accent color like orange or maybe a mustard yellow.  I went with orange and this is what I can up with.

I did not like the bold look of the orange on me.  I felt like I would be the center of every photo.  I decided to start from scratch. 

I went looking online at family photos to get some ideas (Pinterest is great for this).  I decided I wanted a less matchy look with an overall softer color pallet.  My daughter has this great cream long sleeve shirt with a dusty purple vest and army green pants.  This became my inspiration.  I took this outfit with me to Old Navy and T.J.Maxx.  I like both of these stores for shopping for family looks.  They have clothing for everyone there and you can take things from each department and put things together.  Old Navy does tend to go with color schemes for each season, so it is easy to fill in a family look there.  In the end I only wound up buy a dusty purple shirt with a gentle floral pattern for myself and a cream polo for my son.  The rest of the clothes we already owned.  Once I had everything I asked my friend to look at it and she swapped out my husband's shirt for another one with a pattern.  I would not have thought to do this.  I do recommend once you are happy with the look to have a fresh set of eyes take a look.  They can either confirm you are all set or help with small tweaks that can make a big difference.  Here is our final look.


I love the way they turned out.  I think we look coordinated without being too matchy.  The layers give a more polished look.  Yes putting this look together took a bit of effort on my part and two trips to the store.  However, I am paying someone to take my families picture.  We are giving up a good chunk of the day to get ready and have the session.  Why would I not put in an extra bit of effort to love the look of our photo?  I hope reading about my process helps you with yours.


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