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Based in Cape May, Jordan Simone is a wedding & portrait photographer providing natural and timeless imagery for life's most beautiful moments.

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The Ultimate Guide to Coordinating Family Photo Outfits

Hi! I’m Jordan, a New Jersey family photographer based in Cape May. Are you gearing up for a family photoshoot and feeling overwhelmed by the task of coordinating outfits? Choosing what to wear can feel very overwhelming, but I promise it’s not as difficult as you think! In this ultimate guide to coordinating family photo outfits, we’ll show you how to dress to impress and create picture-perfect memories that will last a lifetime.

With our expert tips and tricks, you’ll learn how to strike the perfect balance between matching and complementary outfits for the entire family. Whether you prefer a classic, trendy, or casual style, we’ve got you covered. We’ll also explore different color palettes, patterns, and accessories that will add that extra touch of wow to your photos.

Not only will coordinated outfits enhance the visual appeal of your photos, but they will also create a cohesive look that truly reflects your family’s personality. From selecting the right colors to choosing the right textures and fabrics, our guide will help you navigate the world of family photo fashion effortlessly.

Get ready to make a statement with your family photos and leave a lasting impression with the ultimate guide to coordinating family photo outfits.

Also, to help you feel extra confident, all clients who book a family session with Jordan Simone Photography receive a 14-page Family Session Info & Style Guide that has everything you need to feel ready for your session. Want to book a session? Inquire here for availability!

Importance of Coordinating Family Photo Outfits

Coordinating family photo outfits is more than just a fashion statement – it’s a strategic decision that can make or break the overall look and feel of your family portraits. When everyone in the family is dressed in a cohesive and complementary style, it creates a visually harmonious image.

It not only enhances the aesthetic appeal of your photos but also conveys a sense of unity and togetherness. This attention to detail can also make your family photos stand out from the crowd, ensuring that they are truly one-of-a-kind. When your family photos are thoughtfully coordinated, they help to create a timeless and classic look. So whether you’re planning a formal family portrait or a casual outdoor shoot, coordinating your outfits is an essential step in ensuring that your family’s unique story is captured authentically.

Finding Inspiration for Coordinating Outfits

The key is to find inspiration that aligns with your family’s style and personality. Fortunately, there are countless sources of inspiration available, from fashion magazines and social media to design blogs and Pinterest boards. One of the best places to start is by browsing through family photo galleries online or on Pinterest. Take note of the color schemes, patterns, and overall styling that you like the most. Pay attention to how the outfits complement each other and create a cohesive look. This can help you to identify the aesthetic you want to achieve for your own family photos.

You can check out my Family Photo Outfit Inspo Board on Pinterest here!

Choosing a Color Palette for Your Family Photo Outfits

One of the most important aspects of coordinating family photo outfits is selecting the right color palette. The colors you choose can have a significant impact on the overall mood and feel of your photos, so it’s essential to put careful thought into this decision.

When choosing a color palette, it’s important to consider the location and theme of your photo shoot. If you’re planning an outdoor session, for example, you may want to opt for earthy, natural tones that complement the surrounding environment. Conversely, if you’re going for a more formal, indoor setting, you may want to choose a palette of rich, jewel-toned hues. Another factor to consider is the time of year. During the spring and summer months, you may want to incorporate bright, vibrant colors that evoke a sense of warmth and energy. In the fall and winter, you may prefer a more muted, cozy color scheme that reflects the changing seasons.

As you’re considering the the season or setting, it’s important to choose a color palette that flatters everyone in your family. This may mean selecting a neutral base, such as white, black, or gray, and then incorporating pops of color through accessories or accent pieces. Alternatively, you may opt for a more monochromatic look, with everyone wearing shades of the same color family. The key to choosing the perfect color palette for your family photo outfits is to strike a balance between personal style and practical considerations.

Keep these six practical tips in mind when choosing what outfits to wear for family photos:

  1. Go Neutral: Earth tones and neutrals are perfect for photos and photograph incredibly well. Think whites, tans/browns, greens, light-grayish blues, burnt oranges, light blush pinks, and colors that aren’t too bold or distracting.
  2. Choose Complimentary Colors: A good place to start in choosing colors for your outfits is to choose a color palette that has colors that complement one another, rather than too many of the same or similar colors.
  3. Allow For Movement: During the session, you’ll typically be moving around a lot, so wear something that you can move with. That might be a flowy dress or skirt, or comfortable pants and a nice button-down shirt.
  4. Limit Patterns & Big Logos: This tip is especially crucial, as busy patterns and huge logos can be distracting. Include mostly solid colors, and incorporate some patterns only when the majority of outfits are solid colors.
  5. Start with Mom’s Outfit: Having mom’s outfit as a foundation for all of the other outfits makes it easier to choose a color palette.
  6. Wear Something Comfortable: The most important factor is to wear something that you feel comfortable and confident in.

Here are some color palette options when choosing outfits:

Color palette for portrait session outfits

Coordinating Outfits Based on the Location and Theme of your Photoshoot

When it comes to coordinating family photo outfits, the location and theme of your photo shoot can have a significant impact on your choices. By considering these factors, you can create a look that not only complements the setting but also reflects the overall mood and tone of your family’s portrait.

For outdoor photoshoots, such as a beach session or at a park, you’ll want to opt for lightweight, breathable fabrics and comfortable, casual styles. This could include breezy dresses, button-down shirts, and jeans or shorts. Incorporating natural colors and patterns, like florals or stripes, can also help to create a harmonious look that blends seamlessly with the surroundings.

If you’re planning an indoor, studio-style photo shoot, you may want to consider a more formal or polished approach to your outfits. This could involve coordinating everyone in complementary shades of the same color, or opting for a classic, monochromatic look with tailored pieces like button-down shirts, slacks, and blazers. Accessorizing with statement jewelry or a pop of color can also help to elevate the overall aesthetic.

Mixing Patterns and Textures for Visual Interest

Mixing patterns and textures can be a powerful way to add visual interest and depth to your images. By carefully combining different elements, you can create a look that is both cohesive and different.

One of the keys to successfully mixing patterns and textures is to choose a unifying color palette. This can help to ensure that the different elements work together, rather than creating a cluttered or disjointed appearance. For example, you might opt for a palette of soft neutrals, like beige, gray, and white, and then incorporate pops of color through patterned pieces or textured accessories.

Your main consideration is the scale and placement of the patterns and textures. Larger, bolder patterns can be balanced by smaller, more subtle textures, while delicate, intricate patterns can be complemented by chunky, textured fabrics. This can help to create a visually interesting and well-balanced look.

Shopping for Coordinated Outfits

Coordinating family photo outfits can be a significant investment, but it doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little creativity and strategic shopping, you can achieve a cohesive and stylish look for your family photos without sacrificing your budget.

One of the best ways to save money on coordinated outfits is to shop during off-season sales or clearance events. Many retailers offer deep discounts on clothing and accessories during the transition between seasons, which can be the perfect opportunity to stock up on pieces that will work for your family photo shoot.

One budget-friendly strategy is to mix and match pieces from your existing wardrobes. Take the time to go through each family member’s closet and identify items that can be easily coordinated with the rest of the group. This can help you to create a cohesive look without having to purchase entirely new outfits.

Here are some recommended stores when shopping for clothes:

  • H&M: Have lots of budget-friendly options for adults and children.
  • Happy Baby Boutique: If you’re in the Cape May area and still haven’t found an outfit, this boutique in Cape May has a TON of options for clothes for babies and young children.
  • J Crew: They often times have sales and have a great selection of neutrals.
  • Rylee & Cru: Beautiful clothes for women and children! Lots of cute neutral options to choose from.
  • Bowfish Kids: Local to OC, NJ and has lots of great options for kids.
  • Baltic Born: Lots of dresses – both solid colors and patterns!
  • Pink Blush: More dress options! Maternity and non-maternity options.
  • Doen: Beautiful neutral clothing. On the pricier side but great quality.
  • Bohme: Reasonably priced and lots of great options for dresses, skirts, tops, etc.
  • Christy Dawn: Gorgeous flowy dresses. Also on the pricier side but great quality.
  • Sezane: Beautifully made clothing. Lots of options for dresses, tops, sweaters, skirts, etc.
  • & Other Stories: Lots of neutrals and basics

Preparing for the Photoshoot Day

As the big day of your family photo shoot approaches, it’s important to take the time to properly prepare and ensure that everything is ready to go. From finalizing your outfits to packing the necessary supplies, a little bit of pre-planning can go a long way in making your photo session a smooth and stress-free experience.

One of the first things to consider is ensuring that all of your coordinated outfits are clean, wrinkle-free, and ready to go. It’s a good idea to pack a small emergency kit with items like safety pins, double-sided tape, and a sewing kit. This can be a lifesaver if any last-minute wardrobe malfunctions or adjustments are needed during the photo shoot.

An important consideration is packing any necessary accessories, such as jewelry, belts, or hair accessories. Make sure to keep these items organized and easily accessible so that you can quickly and efficiently make any changes or adjustments during the shoot.

Another good idea is to have a plan in place for how you’ll handle any unexpected situations or challenges that may arise during the photo shoot. This could include having a backup location in case of inclement weather, or having a plan for keeping young children engaged and entertained throughout the session. As your photographer, I’m always checking the local weather and making sure the day of your photo session has ideal weather. I’ll always provide alternative options if we need to reschedule or change location!

Wrap Up

By taking the time to consider the importance of coordinated outfits, finding inspiration, and carefully selecting a color palette and accessories, you can create a family photo that truly captures the essence of your loved ones. I hope you enjoyed this ultimate guide to coordinating family photo outfits and found it helpful to plan for your next session!

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behind the lens

MEET Jordan

Photography has stuck with me ever since I first looked through a plastic Fisher Price viewfinder as a child. Like a “wise” young adult, I talked myself out of studying it in college. But like a true artist, I made my way back to it soon enough.  

Despite working in Exercise Science and Occupational Therapy, my camera came with me everywhere I went—family gatherings, friends’ parties, vacations, or just a walk on the beach. It wasn’t long before I officially photographed my first family; falling in love with their stories and the affection between them. Wedding photography quickly became my primary focus. Through the years and working with over 400 clients, I’ve refined my artistic eye, honed my process, and remained just as passionate about people and the connections that form between us. 

Whatever you’re planning or celebrating, I’d be honored to artfully and intentionally capture meaningful moments you’ll treasure forever. 

an easy-going and detail focused creative who brings an enthusiastic and poised energy to every session and wedding day.


Jordan Simone is a coastal wedding & portrait photographer providing natural and timeless imagery for life’s most beautiful moments. Based in Cape May, NJ & destination.