What to wear is a question that comes up often with my cilents.  I don’t claim to be a fashionista (unlike my oldest daughter), but after 3 years of seeing what colors work and how they work, I can give you a few pointers that can guide you to create your own wardrobe.

Gone are the days of matching white tops and blue denim.  When you are too matchy-matchy, your photos will look like you’re still living in that era!  For more tips on the basic guidelines for coordinating a family photo shoot wardrobe, go here.

COLOR: Navy (blue)


If you’re looking for classic and timelessness, navy (and blue) is the way to go! What comes to mind is men in their navy uniforms. (Yes, I totally enjoyed googling ‘men in uniform’ for this research LOL.) According to Art Therapy Blog, blue evokes

  • wisdom
  • loyalty
  • truth

It’s safe to say that’s why you probably already have a lot of these pieces in your closet- jeans, a navy sweater, navy shirt, navy shoes.  It’s a safe color that’s easy to match with, and is treated kind of like black, a base color.


You never want to match completely for a family photo shoot.  You always want to have at least 4 colors that you’re playing with.  You can use different shades of navy/blue to vary and differentiate each person.  Lighter base colors like cream, ivory, white, and greys will allow for greater contrast with navy/blue.  Khakis, jeans, black dress pants, leather or camel-colored boots are common pairings for navy.


Adding textures and patterns gives the entire wardrobe a modern feel.  It also gives the eyes more places to go.  You’ll compliment each other while also standing out individually.  Navy is great for fall and winter shoots.  Mixing textures such as cable-knit sweaters, velvet, corduroy, ruffles, and leather shoes will look great for outdoor shoots.


Navy can also seem aloof and cool, so too much navy will be too uniform, which can be boring.  You will also blend into one another, which is why pairing with a lighter color will break this up.

Below I’ve created mood boards for navy as the main color.  Consider adding an element of your own style, whether you’re going for a little bit more of a playful, romantic, funky, bohemian, or dramatic/formal feel.


Adding soft pink and ruffles gives the look a sweet, playful, feel.

But what if mom wants to wear some florals??


Adding a hint of floral and playing around with the contrasting texture of knits gives it an earthy, warm feel.  Knits give a sense of warmth and comfort.



In this mood board I included more light pink and a light blue.  Do you see how the contrast of colors help each family member stand out?  And, each outfit says a little bit about their personality.  That’s fun!


I hope these mood boards inspire you to play around with the styling of your photo session!  Add your own personality, play around and email me if you’re unsure of what looks good!  It doesn’t have to be perfect, nor does it need to be Pinterest-worthy.  It just has to be comfortable and reflect your family.  And, keep in mind that these photos will be possibly up on your walls, or in your photo albums for years to come!

I’ll add more to this blog post in part II of the navy series!  In the next month or so I’ll begin a newsletter where you can join me for more simple and fun style series inspirations.  Come back and check out the style series!