We strongly believe that nothing embraces the spirit of home better than lovely, wholesome family photos. Family pictures are much more than just a piece of decor – they are time capsules that capture the essence and personality of each family member, and allow us to relive sweet moments years and years afterwards.

But preparation for a photo shoot can be bothersome – so, to make this process easier for you and your family, here are 5 steps you need to follow to really call it a success. Read them through, or scroll down for some poses & outfit ideas for different occasions!

5 steps to success: location, colors, poses, and cute family outfits for photos

Needless to say, you have to begin the preparation for a photo shoot at least a couple of weeks before the decided date. Here are the key points you’ll have to consider, listed in priority order:

  1. find the best photographer
  2. select a perfect time & location 
  3. coordinate a color palette and choose cute family outfits for photos
  4. take note of picture poses
  5. get everyone up & going

Let’s look closer at each step so that we won’t miss any crucial detail.

1. Don’t save on a talent: a skillful photographer is non-negotiable

Even a perfect shot can be ruined by a wrong camera angle. To avoid an avalanche of expectations crushing you after the final pictures arrive, consider picking up the most masterful photographer you can find. 

It’s not really about saving money – a photo shoot is an investment that will keep returning as years go by, even after your children grow up and move out, or your family settles in a new home. So every coin you save can turn out to be decisive in terms of the quality of the pictures.

So, first of all – pick your budget. You’ll want at least 70% of it to go to the photographer – the rest will come as conjugated spends (on a new matching dress for you, for studio rent, or a million other things that will certainly pop up the moment you’ll think everything is going as planned).

Then the first challenge comes. You’ll need to find the right person – and here are a few key moments you’ll need to consider:

  • their rate (duh)
  • their previous works and the style of their edits
  • their personality – and whether it “vibes” with your family

The key recommendation is deciding what style you want the final pictures to turn out to be – and then find a person (by Insta hashtags in your area, or through friends recommendations) who does something visually similar. Picking up the photographer who works in studio settings, and requesting them to do a beach photo session is a guaranteed fail. The same goes for the mood of pictures – if you want something warm and cute, it’s not the best idea to hire a photographer who mainly does black & white moody portraits (even if they are skillful and gorgeous).

And – a step that is often missed – make sure that the person you hire would bring out the playful, light side of your family members because this would probably be the key ingredient for photos you’ll love. Everyone has to be relaxed, confident, and happy to be there – so take your time to get to know a person behind the camera.

2. Family studio pictures or Golden Hour forest vibes? Select a location!

What’s the weather outside, and how well do your small children behave when it’s cold and snowy? Do you want action, or something more serious and emotional? 

If you want a framed picture to put on a wall – renting a studio would be a great way to get those presentable pics showing the passage of time and the contrast of generations. On the contrary, if you want to get something warm and light to send your grandparents – get outside and find that perfect location!

Some go-to options for an outside photo shoot would be:

  • a thin forest line
  • sunny beach
  • textured background (barn, neutral-colored wall, etc)
  • a field (for those sweet sunflower family pictures)

But really, it’s all about what surrounds you! Go around the familiar locations and try to visualize your family in every setting. If something “clicks” and feels right, then you’ve probably found what you were looking for. 

3. Achieve color harmony and matching family outfits for pictures

There’s no need to beat around the bush – you are probably going to be the one doing the most organizing around this shoot. So it serves right to select the outfit you wish to wear first – and then work from that, to bring the style of your family pictures together.

And here’s how you do that:

  1. If you don’t have a dress in your closet waiting exactly for this opportunity, the best way to start would be to get all of your wardrobe out, and then immediately hide everything sparkly, neon bright, stripy, or casual. Dress up – you need to look great!
  2. Find a color scheme. After you’ve picked up your outfit, run its dominant colors through Color Palette online instruments (such as this one) and get 3-4 matching colors to compliment your look. 
  3. Dive through your family’s garments and find the matching outfits – or plan a good old family shopping day.

Strike for neutral colors and subtle shade variations to add depth to the pictures. And consider your backgrounds – for example, browns and yellows might get lost on family fall pictures, while certain reds on a green forest background might bring up the uninvited Christmas mood.

 4. Strike a pose: prepare some ideas for duo and group photos

Since we’re talking full preparation, don’t leave the picture poses to chance. Create a board on Pinterest or simply save some lovely pics from this article in order to not get “camera stun”. Go with this list:

  • 5-10 poses for a group photo, including 2 serious and 3-5 action poses (walking, running around, playing with kids, etc.)
  • 2-5 poses for a couple photo – for you and your spouse only
  • 2-5 poses for kids (if you’ll be able to make them stay still for a few seconds needed to take a shot)

Having an arranged list of poses, you’ll be able to get all the necessary shots without missing important ones – and then simply have fun. You will love those relaxed country family pictures – probably even more than the coordinated ones!

5. Go have fun – and make sure everyone does as well

It’s really about spending some quality time together. Let the spirit of your family fly as it wishes – you don’t want to get the plastic, mannequin-like pics after all this burdensome preparation. Let kids be kids, let all the specter of your emotions – love, joy, surprise, wonder – get captured by a camera. All in all, don’t put too high standards and expectations – and we promise, you will be surprised with the result. 

As for the practical advice – everything will go much smoother if you bring some favorite snacks and get enough rest beforehand :)

Family poses & outfits inspiration board

We’ve put together some of our favorite picks from the family photo shoots – scroll through to find something perfect for your special day!

Poses and outfits for family beach pictures

Get ready to find sand in your hair and car rug weeks afterward! Still, we guarantee these would be some of the most heartwarming pictures in your family album. 

Looking cute in those family autumn pictures

Let the colors pop and warm light shine through your autumn family pictures. And don’t forget to dress accordingly – what an occasion to take out cute cardigans, favorite sweaters, accent scarves, and jeans vests for the small ones. 

Capture the spirit of the holiday in family Christmas pictures

No need to dress like a Christmas tree to look spectacular in the winter family pictures! Knitted sweaters, neutral-colored or navy blue shirts, or even pajamas if you want some extra-cozy mood. And while reds aren’t mandatory, they are certainly an old-time classic!

Lively and bright outfits for spring family pictures

As spring finally claims its rule, we put away bulky warm clothes and dress light and fresh – just like the breeze that’s going to put in motion your free-falling dress! But don’t forget about hot tea and plaids, just in case this breeze gets too chilly. 

outfits poses for spring family photos

Shining brighter than the Sun on summer family pictures

Your family smiles must be absolutely radiant in those pics! Just don’t throw in too much color: beige, white, and light gray should perfectly balance the vibrant summer palette around you.

Preserving the sweetest moments in black family pictures

Get a base of nude colors and throw in those deep jewel tones (emerald green, royal navy, or rich plum) – this way you’ll get a striking color scheme that will suit practically any background. A great idea would be to have all your family members dress in neutral colors and get yourself a contrasting dress (because hey, aren’t you the jewel of this family?)

Cuteness overload in easter family pictures

We doubt there is something cuter than your small ones in rabbit costumes. Get those rented, or simply get some flower crowns and rabbit ears ready! As for adults, think light yet bright – blush pink, sky blue, mint green, and pale yellows. 

Getting everything ready for family newborn pictures

Such a special occasion requires extra care: we don’t want to tire momma and infant with millions of shots and different outfits. Dress super comfortably; plan the photo shoot after a hearty feed, and don’t be afraid to ask for a pause if you or your small one feels too overwhelmed. 

Some poses and outfit ideas for family studio pictures

Studio settings are usually mono-colored (unless we’re talking about special rented apartments), so find out what background you’ll need to rock in advance. From that, the logic is simple: no matching colors, so that you won’t get lost around; for white, choose anything bright; for bright, choose anything light. 

Unforgettable memories for wedding family pictures

This might be the most challenging and significant photo shoot of your life, so the efforts for every preparation step have to be at least doubled. And while it gets easier, since the outfits are (kind of) pre-selected, you’ll need to do some extra research for poses – especially if they will include your relatives and kids.