With the holidays basically at our door step I figured now was as good a time as any to share some fun tips I’ve learned over the years to help you get the most bang for your buck with your next family portrait.  The way I see it, is if you’re going to take the time and spend the money to have a professional photographer do your family portraits (SEARS doesn’t count! J/K…kinda) then make sure you do your homework before hand so that you love your images for years to come!


I used my good friends the Smiths as examples for a lot of the tips because they do a great job brainstorming, being creative and color coordinating (not matching…very different).  These days there are so many resources out there to help you come up with fun, silly, adorable memories so use them.


Your clothes represent your style and personality so make sure that comes into play when your choosing you and your families outfits.  I don’t recommend “matching” as much as I encourage coordinating (see the image above).  But like I said this is all a personal preference and my goal is to help you create your personal memories…so do what feels right to you!

Wear your favorite color! You want to look like yourself in your photos so let your personality shine through! Slightly darker shades will ensure that the focus is on your face, not on the bright shades in the photos. But be careful of large or bold patterns, they can be distracting, as can text on shirts.

Wear something that flatters the part of your body you love the most. If body conscious, try wearing shirts with sleeves instead of tank tops and tube tops. Avoid clothes that are too tight, show panty lines, etc.

Girls, accentuating your waist with an accent belt or A-line shirt/dress can be very flattering.

You want your pictures to appear timeless, so try not to be too trendy.

Layers can be flattering on both girls and guys.

Wear something you are OK with getting dirty (you never know!)

Makeup looks best when natural, especially when it comes to foundation and bronzer. It’s best to accentuate your eyes and lips with some great eyeliner, mascara, and lipstick.

Avoid clothes that look too casual, fraying, tears, etc.

Oranage Park

There are so many fun ideas out there but you can’t depend on your photographer to know what they all are so do your research.  You may have heard of this new website called Pinterest?  It’s amazing for helping you brainstorm ideas (it can also get overwhelming so be careful not to over do it!).

Ask your friends for fun ideas (we all have that really creative friend…this is a great time to use them!)

Palace of Fine Art

I always encourage parents to let their kids bring the thing they are really into that year because it’s all part of making great memories.  It doesn’t have to be in every picture either, just a few.  Plus it can help be used as great bribery!


I had a stuffed bunny when I was kid and I LOVED her but alas I lost her, and I would love to have a picture of it somewhere.  So whether is a bunny, a truck, a crown or guitar bring it, so you can pull out the picture when your kids bring home their first boyfriend or girlfriend and really embarrass them! 🙂

Orange Park 2

Bring fun props with you, if you’d like. Anything that represents you! I’m always up for any ideas you have to make your session unique!

Props and costumes can be a fun way to break the ice and help get everyone out of the awkward stage of stale smiles and personally I think that fun/funny pictures make the best memories anyways!

Old Mill Park

Remember this!  Maybe you don’t need to family pictures every year once your kids are in their teens and early twenties, but I totally recommend doing it every couple years…it’s memories people…this is your life flashing before your eyes so make sure that when you’re old a grey you have something to look back at to help you remember how good your life was!


I hope this has been helpful and I really, really, really look forward to helping you make some amazing memories with your family this year…it’s never too late to start!