“Our family photo shoots for holiday cards are this month”. That is the phrase that can ensue fear in most moms and dads. Life is busy enough without having to think about what to dress your family of 3, 4, 5, 7 for your fall or winter family pictures and cards that will likely be sent out to all of your friends and family. In some cases you can also chose what location you would like for the shoot. It all depends on you.
If you want to all dress in some form of denim and flannel- great but then pick a location that works for that like a tall grass field or a local farm with a rustic barn. You can pick something that is truly you and your perfect family. If you don’t want to do the same thing you’ve done every other year, check out some of my ideas for your upcoming pictures.
We try to change up the colors, style and setting each years so that not only our pictures vary but our holidays cards do too!
Generally it is easier to start with a patterned dress or skirt and from there pick the solid pieces that can coordinate. You’ll see in some of these pictures that either the adult female or little girl is wearing a dress that is multicolored. Then the men and boys have solid clothing that match but aren’t exactly the same. This provides each child to be an individual and the pictures more natural. My boys use to dress alike but now they can’t think of anything worse. For example you could have one boy wear an open vest or blazer and the other wear a crewneck sweater or button down. One boy could wear jeans and the other could wear cords in a color that coordinates with a dress either worn by mom or a sister.
Unique Family Photo Ideas
ONE – Casual Denim Looks
Lots of people I have worked with in the past want a laid-back casual feel for their pictures. Morgan and her family chose casual looks with each person wearing some denim. Check out more of her pictures here.
TWO – Gray and Pastels
This family picture is one of my absolute favorites! I fell in love with this dress the minute I saw it and knew that it would be stunning in our family pictures. Hollins dress was the next piece I found and it worked by tying in the light pink from my dress. Her dress also had some light gray so that is where I pulled in Jackson, Nat and Allen’s outfits.
THREE – Black & White
I have been dying to do family pictures in Uptown Charlotte with the five of us dressed to the nines in all black and white. Think suits and elegant dresses with a beautiful skyline in the background. Very dramatic. It would be completely different for every other holiday pictures we have done. I can just see it now….
Here are some from (former) photographer Kristin Vining that I just adore. What a creative family!
FOUR – Sparkle
Throw in just a touch of sparkle like this adorable mother daughter picture. There is the traditional Christmas red and green and then her fun skirt kicks it up a notch making this picture anything but traditional. How fun!
FIVE – Bright Reds + Blues
Here’s my friend Mallory, of Style Your Senses and her adorable family pictures. She styled her red and blue in a completely different way than I did and stepped in front of a white wall and it looks terrific. Also, I love her pop of red for her lips too and I just wish I could pull that off!
Check out all of her pictures here.
SIX – White or Cream
You could pull a Kardashian and go this route.
But for me, Sara from Haute and Humid has a better idea. I just love all of theses neutrals together. It certainly helps that they are a stunning family!
This stunning one on the beach is a beautiful option. If you have an upcoming vacation to somewhere with white sandy beaches perfect for a pose, why not? We are planning some vacations next year and I’m thinking this might be great option for next years family photo shoot. Maybe the beaches of Turks & Caicos? Or beaches on the Mediterranean? Hmmmm… we shall see 🙂
SEVEN – Purple + Green
Purple with a touch of green just seemed to fit for this casual setting in the woods. The earth tones are different from what I normally gravitate to for Christmas cards but it just worked for us and this beautiful background. That’s why knowing your setting is so important for your family pictures. No matter wha,t you what is to look natural and not out of place but certainly unique.
Here’s Mallory again and in an idelic pumpkin patch perfect for fall. Her floral maxi dress pulls in the colors that her daughter and husband and wearing and the range pumpkins in the background. See more of her pictures here.
EIGHT – Burgundy
In our pictures from 2016, I found this amazing maxi dress from Anthropologie that just screamed fall to me. The deep reds and purple were exactly what I wanted for that year’s family pictures. Allen’s sweater, Nat’s vest and Jackson’s pants pulled in the purple from my dress and Hollins jumper pulled out the rusty red. I wore a gold statement necklace and Hollins had a boho headband from Willow crowns that pulled in a little gold sparkle for the holiday season.
I put together a style board for this family that also included deep reds and burgundy. The color is absolutely stunning on my friend, McCay and her daughters dress pulls in the red for McCay’s dress and the brown from her dad’s blazer. It’s a great versatile look for fall family protraits or holiday cards
Emily Jackson, from Ivory Lane, did a spectacular job with burgundy in her family pictures from 2015. The simple white background with the wreath allowed their outfits to pop. Her daughter’s plaid dress the focus and then the other outfits are in the colors from the pattern-burgundy and gray. Check out all of her pictures here.
NINE – Blue/ Black
Blues and black certainly isn’t traditional but I think they are two colors that most everyone looks good in. Once again I had Hollins precious dress from Persnickety and then found me dress and Allen and the boys outfits. In addition, her dress had so many colors that it was easy to have plenty to pull from.
TEN – Traditional Christmas colors: Red + Green + Cream
Last, but certainly not least, is sporting traditional Christmas colors for your holiday cards. This is far from an ordinary family picture. The red and greens are there but in a unique way. Also, it doesn’t have to be matching red sweaters and jeans to still capture the holiday spirit in your family pictures. Everyone coordinates and doesn’t overpower each other and yet remains an individual with their on bit of style.