Tips for Design Worthy Family Photos

Remember the days when your family would trek down to the Olan Mills Studio for your yearly family photo? Oh the backdrops, the lighting and props! We have come a long way with how family photos are taken in just a few short years! Today, family photos are more like a creative extension of the family they represent. Design worthy family photos can be hung in your home as personalized art, filling your home with sentiment and love.

You can have gorgeous family photos to hang in your home, with a little thought and planning. Here are a few tips I use to create design worthy family photos.

Tips for Design Worthy Family Photos

Photo credit Michelle Gifford

Selecting outfit colors that coordinate with your home decor is key! You don’t want to wear red with plaid if your home is decorated in soft neutral colors UNLESS you don’t plan to hang them in your home.

I always start selecting our outfits based on what colors I have going on in our home. This way when you hang your beautiful photos in you home, they flow into the design and look more apart of the room. The photo above was taken one year when we had a lot of black and cream in our home.

We have updated our home recently and have a softer color palette. Last year’s photos reflect that…

Select three colors in your family’s outfits. This gives your photos interest without chaos! Stay away from all black and white or blue and white. Photos start to look one dimensional and drab. That third color livens things up a bit.

A few years ago, we went with a navy, gray and pink color scheme. Cover up my daughter and I. See how boring the photo would have been without that pop of the third color?

This year, I am using blush, gray and navy for the scheme for our photos.

Some of my favorite places to find dressier clothes for my children and adults are..

J Crew

J Crew Factory


Nordstrom Rack

Janie and Jack – they even have adult outfits and family collections so you don’t have to choose on your own!

Layer clothing for more interest and texture to your photos. Just like adding layers in your home decor, layers in photos add depth to your photos.

Notice how some of my boys are wearing sweaters layered over untucked shirts. See my daughter’s cardigan? Little details make a big difference. You can also use ties and scarfs for more layered details.

A beautiful backdrop makes a family photo! Find someplace close to your home and have your photographer shoot there.

My sweet and amazing sister in law, Michelle {check her out here}, has always taken our photos for us. Some years we have been in California and have found gorgeous backdrops that are sentimental places from my childhood.

Below is our photo from last year, taken at the historic Mission Inn from my home town. Other years we have been here in Arizona and have gone out to the mountains in our backyard and taken gorgeous photos.

Bribe your family. This may sounds silly, but trust me it is essential to creating family photos you will be able to hang in your home! No one in my family is happy when I say, “family photos are tonight!” I get moans and groans from everyone, including my husband! Which always puts me in a bad mood. Don’t they realize how much time and effort I have put into creating this priceless keepsake for our family?!!! I finally learned that if I promise something “fun” after the tortuous shoot, they were much happier to comply!

Go to dinner, grab an ice cream, whatever it takes to make them smile!

Wishing you a happy family photo shoot! Use these tips to create design worthy family photos for your home this year! {see our family room tour here}

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4 thoughts on “Tips for Design Worthy Family Photos

  1. Randi~
    Oh my goodness! Where do I even start? To begin with, your family is made up of some beautiful people. You guys take stunning family photos, and girl, you must have bribed them well. Every single person had a perfect smile. 🙂 And your wall gallery is over the top. You have, once again, wowed us with your gorgeous home and family. Love it all!
    Deb 🙂

    1. Deb what a lovely comment! Thank you so much for taking the time to brighten my day! xoxo

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