I realized early on in my photography journey that one of my favorite side effects of expanding my hobby into a business was reconnecting with old friends. This sentiment was highlighted once again when a college friend of mine welcomed her third baby girl this March. What started as a maternity and newborn photo shoot bundle quickly became a solo newborn photo session when mama gave birth the day before our scheduled maternity session.

With the last-minute whirlwind changes, I was especially impressed with the outfit coordination the family had for our session. Their outfits worked so well together because they all stemmed from a bold color palette inspired by a simply patterned dress. Patterns work well because you can pull a variety of colors for the rest of the family to wear so everyone is coordinated without being matchy matchy. Besides that, who doesn’t love seeing twin toddlers in matching dresses?

So how does that work when you’re trying to plan outfits for your family photos? Start with a specific color palette, maybe something that represents the time of year it is. For example, pastels for spring or rich, bold colors for winter. While keeping patterns to a minimum, choose a subtle print for one person to wear. Pull one or two colors from the pattern that other family members can wear. Throw in a neutral color to tie everything together and you have the recipe for beautiful family photos with a cohesive look.

Can’t wait to see the outfit combinations you come up with when I see you on the other side of the lens!

*Bonus tip: Try to avoid stripes that are thin and close together, as they can sometimes make the apparel look pixelated.