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Artfully Coordinating Your Clothing for Your Family Photography Session

The agony that people go through getting ready for their photo sessions with me is no laughing matter, and I agonize right along with them because I know they want to get it right. I understand the dance and fine balance between coordinating colors and patterns, and it’s the difference between heavenly hues and discordant cartels of color that can make or break an image.

Fortunately, I usually manage to steer people in the right direction, but there have been those moments where deep inside, I know the outcome won’t be as good as it should be, as they’ve strayed from the advice I’ve given. So to save you from beating your pretty little head against a wall while trying to get it right, here are some tips to help you style your session with confidence.


There are lots of different things I could tell you that may leave you more confused than not, so the first and best tip I can give you is to choose a favorite outfit for any person in your group. This may be an outfit you have had in mind for some time and you’re just sure someone will be wearing it because it’s your favorite, after all. Now accessorize it and use the colors from this ensemble to coordinate the rest of the outfits for each person in your group. You can see how well this works in the image below. There were a total of 23 family members in this group; some which aren’t pictured, and they nailed it using the colors of the sand and sea! To demonstrate even further, this is technique is best illustrated with visuals, so I’ve chosen a few outfits below from J. Crew & Boden, my favorite places to shop.

You can use a nifty website such as Coolers.co to help you if you have a hard time visualizing. This fabulous tool works great! Upload a picture of your outfit and click around the picture to choose the colors you prefer. This will add the colors to your palette, which you can then make into a collage and keep on your phone for when you go shopping. This is especially helpful for hard to match colors.

Now if you have multiple colors in your favorite outfit, take a look at a color wheel. If you are working with a primary color, such as blue, another primary color like red or yellow will work with it. Of course, this may be oversimplified since there are often other factors to consider, but you get the gist. You can also take a look at what color sits opposite the color you plan to wear on the color wheel. This would be a complementary color and will also work well. Don’t forget textures are also great and can really make a big difference when you need that little extra zip. Accessorize modestly, but with intention. Meaning, don’t let the accessories be the focus, just the accent.

You’ve got this! Now go style with confidence!


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