mini sessions

What to wear for family photos

I will be the first to admit that planning coordinating outfits for family photos is not for the faint of heart. But I do know that putting in a little extra effort to make sure you all look great will go a long way in how your final photos turn out, and ensure that you love your photos for many years to come! Here are some of my best tips!

1) Dress Mom First

Choose what Mom will wear first (or if two moms — choose your outfits together first). Moms are most critical of how they look and what they wear, so I recommend carefully selecting an outfit that you feel comfortable in and that you can coordinate everyone else’s outfits around. I assure you I do this with my own family’s photos! Mama knows what Mama likes! ;)


2) Coordinate but (please) don’t match!

The days of everyone in crisp white shirts/black tees and khakis/jeans are mostly gone (thankful to see that trend go bye-bye!). My best advice is to choose a 2-3 color scheme that will help everyone find something that they already own to work within the color scheme. I even coordinated my husband’s extended family (50+ people) in this exact way and it worked like a charm! Everyone was instructed to wear anything in a green/blue/grey color scheme, with whatever neutral bottoms they chose. Easy peasy!


3) Accessorize & layer.

This is especially good for fall photos because the cooler temps allow us to add things like jackets, scarves, sweater layers, cardigans, etc. and still look authentic. Everyone wearing too much navy? Add a pop of an accent color with your scarf. Daughter’s shirt is too plain? Add in a coordinating vest. Texture can add an extra layer of dimension too — sweaters, denim, fringe, lace, ruffles, leather, etc in small doses are great ways to add a bit of texture to a plain outfit. Jewelry and cute shoes can also add points of interest to your photos. It’s all in the details!

4) Don’t forget about the shoes!

I’m guilty of forgetting about the shoes on occasion, but luckily we can usually find something classy and netural enough to still look nice and work with the color scheme. The fall season also allows for boots and chunkier shoes, or canvas shoes like Toms or Converse can work too. Avoid athletic shoes and anything with non-coordinating neon colors that will stick out like a sore thumb.

5) Lay it all out.

I find it helpful to lay everything out (including the shoes!) on a bed while I’m planning out the outfits. That way I can see it all together and if it looks something is too matchy-matchy or missing, I can grab something to fix it before it’s time to do the session.

There you have it! Plan ahead and go through these steps, and I promise you will love your photos more than if you threw something together or didn’t go in with a game plan. As always, you can shoot me a message if you’re having trouble deciding on your outfits or aren’t sure if outfits go together. I’m here to help and want your session to be a success also!

Family Mini Sessions | Nov. 8 in Champaign


Are you looking to get a few shots of your immediate family (and maybe your pets too?) for your 2015 holiday cards? Look no further than the Holly Birch Photography mini sessions (this is one of only a couple times per year that I offer family sessions!). For $175, you get a 15 minute session at a Champaign park (to be determined within the next couple weeks), an online gallery, and 3 high-resolution digital images of your choice with print release (so you can use them in your cards, holiday letters, print for your home or gifts, etc). To book, just text Holly at 217.737.0971 or email I can't wait to see you there!family pictures for holiday Christmas cards