There’s nothing quite like a family get together, and there’s nothing like trying to organise a family photo. Believe me, my extended family has over 60 people in it, and it gets harder every time! It’s always a fun challenge when I’m asked to photograph multi-generational family photos, so here’s a few hints and tips to help you plan your family photo shoot.

My number one tip (There’s plenty more) is to make sure you colour coordinate (compliment each other and your environment, don’t be identical). Once that’s done I can work my magic and show off your family looking their best. The alternative is me having to worry about clashing colours and mismatched outfits that draw more attention to themselves over my subjects.

Below are just a few of the thousands of photos I’ve taken over the last year, showing some of the better coordinated families I’ve photographed over the year. So when planning your family photo shoot, like these families, take your time. Think about and plan what will work best for you, and then work around that theme.

Complimentary colours:

For example, the family below have chosen pastel colours as their theme, everyone got to choose their own colour so we have a collection of different colours, and bar one exception, everyone works well together.

Large family group photo, with multi a generational focus


Matching and contrasting colours:

Below is another great example of a family photo, I took this family for a walk, during which time we stopped in a few different places around the woods that provided nice lighting and suitable space for family photos. They dressed casually, in simple white tops all around, the dad’s hooded top, although not matching, is black and trimmed with white and so works. It would have drawn way too much attention if it was blue (for example!)

Small family photo of a mum, dad and daughter


Identical colours:

This lovely family took one of my studio portrait photography tips “If in doubt a white top and blue jeans works well for almost everyone” to heart and came dressed to match. And apart from the logo on the dad’s t-shirt (which got airbrushed in the more formal photos) they work perfectly together.

A family photo of a family of four, focused on the subjects feet


Matching patterns and colours:

I don’t usually encourage people to wear chequered shirts, mostly because you guarantee that someone in your family won’t want to wear it, but if everyone is up for it…then why not! I also love the attention to detail that the mum in this family photo gave to making sure she and her daughter’s outfits worked well together for this gorgeous family portrait.

Family photograph of a family with three young kids


Match your outfit to your environment:

The following family actually agreed to re-arrange and re-locate a shoot, as when I arrived at our designated location, their garden at home, the heavens opened. They had originally asked for the shoot to take place at home so the kids could relax, but we agreed to relocate when we discussed that the outfits they’d chosen (which are perfectly gorgeous) were much more suited to an open and bright field, by comparison with the heavily shaded garden.

Location family portrait of a young family walking in a field of flowers