Family Photos: My Top Six Tips

It’s the time of year when you start adding pumpkin to EVERYTHING, (what’s that hubby? You don’t like pumpkin in your cereal?) you start leaving your windows open, and you notice that you are in desperate need of some new family pictures. As in, your son has grown four inches since last year’s pictures, your daughter has gone from the baby tooth look to her grown up teeth, and mama has a new hairstyle! Lucky for you, it’s fall…the most popular time for family photos!

I have compiled a brief list with some styling tips for your next family photo sesh! I don’t consider myself an expert AT ALL, but I do think I have learned some things along the way! I included some ideas for the whole family.

For my mommy friends: I know you’re usually the one picking out the clothes, and it can be a challenge to think about what you’ll wear. We have some of the cutest options for you at Jules & James Boutique! As I shopped for our fall line, I was very aware of thinking of items that can be put together for things like this. We have tons and tons of choices for you! Check out our app, website or Facebook group to shop!

Okay, girl, so are you ready? Here we go!

Alison’s Family Photo Shoot Ideas

Coordinate Colors without Matching

Please, I beg you…do not wear matching white shirts with jeans! The idea is to coordinate your colors without being exact matches! Choose a color palette – there are so many ideas out there! My personal favorites for fall are burgundy, navy blue and gold tones. I also like a gray color palette, adding in some rose tones & creams. Look at Pinterest & magazines for inspiration!

Choose Mostly Solids

I love solids in family pictures – as long as you adhere to my earlier statement about matching. When all family members have on a solid within the same color family, the results are a cohesive image. Which brings me to my next tip…

Have One Wildcard

I recommend choosing one, and only one, wildcard! Choose a stripe or a plaid for one family member. A shimmery skirt on one of the females in the family is super cute, and I love maxi dresses in family pictures. The key is to go as classic as possible, since these will be hanging in your house!

Consider the Time of Day

Shoot for sunrise or sunset. You will get the BEST light at those times! Plus, it won’t be too warm if your location experiences a warmer fall. If you’re using a photographer, make sure you find one that is willing to make your appointment for either early morning or early evening. If they know how to take the best lit images, they will recommend this, too!

Choose an Unexpected Location

I know you’ve seen all the family pictures in the fields with long grass. Don’t get me wrong – those are beautiful pictures! I have had our family photos in a similar setting before, but what I am currently loving is getting your pictures taken in an unexpected location. We recently had our pictures done at the fair! The background of the carousel added a fun flair to the images. Think of your family’s personality; what do you love to do together? Are you a family that loves to go fishing together? Choose the lake as your backdrop! Choose a backdrop that shows your personality. Everyone else has their pictures in the field or at the beach. Branch out and be creative.

Expect the Meltdown

I like to let the photographs happen as naturally as possible. Yes, there will be at least one kid (or husband) that will experience a meltdown. I am not above bribing my kids for a good photo! If my promise of candy or a treat doesn’t do the trick, then I don’t stress. There might be a whole year of pictures where Jameson isn’t smiling, but he will outgrow that. In the future, when I look back on those photos, I will remember that stage of his life, and I will laugh. Then, of course, I will shed some tears because I won’t remember the moment he started smiling in pictures, and I will realize they are growing up way too fast!

Capture the moments! Don’t worry too much about the perfect picture. The goal is to have a family photo to look back on for years to come. Allow your family’s personality to show through, and you’ll be happy with the outcome!


  • Thank you for posting this. I think this is why my family and I have not done pics in over 3 years because I get so stressed on these tips. So great to know you always have us mommas at heart. Thank you again. Maybe now we can get an updated family pic now. Xoxo Alison 😘

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