If you want to see a perfectly styled wardrobe for extended family photos, you have come to the right place. This family of 19 knocked it out of the park on what turned out to be a very cold family picture day. This family took the information in the style suggestions on my website and worked it to fit a large group.
The primary goal for this session was to take extended family images: extended family, grandchildren only, grandchildren with grandparents, and adults. From there they also wanted to be sure that what I call “nuclear family” photos were incorporated as well. This means that they needed to be cohesive both as a large group, and broken out into smaller groups.
The end result of family photos is custom artwork to be displayed on the walls of your home forever. When I consult with clients before their session, I ask about the room or rooms they see their finished artwork hanging in. I suggest drawing colors from those spaces to coordinate your new decoration.
When planning for an extended family session, one complicating factor to this is there are multiple homes to plan for. This is where neutrals become your friend. Pick a set of neutral colors or shades to plan pops of color around. Did you know that navy is considered a neutral? In the set of images below, the focus is gray and there is a bit of white and tan as well. This way there will always be some piece of the image that coordinates in each individual home.
Planning color really is personal preference for extended family images. It is important to pick something that could fit any style. Technically these photos would match the decor in my home. Though I promise I don’t hang client images in my living room! I suggest one color pop as your main focus. In this example it is the eggplant/purple color you see. Then also find a secondary color to work in, like the mustard yellow here.
This is not typically a good time for colors that apply to unique personal preferences. Bright, bold, neon, and even distinct primary colors (bright red, blue, yellow) fall into this description. My suggestion typically is not for families to wear a “uniform” in family images. Think blue top, khaki pants. While that could certainly be simple to plan and dress everyone for, it fails in allowing everyone to showcase their own personal style.
Accessories are a very large part of pulling any outfit together for pictures. If a person is wearing a neutral, their accessory should be a pop of color. If they are wearing color, their accessory should be a neutral. Not everyone has to have an accessory, as you see the mustard peeking from under a sweater as well. The accessories you see below include vests, hats, scarves, tights, boot socks, and even a blanket to keep one of the babies warm.
Each nuclear family should dress as a group around the color theme that the extended family has agreed upon. This is so that you will look amazing together whether you are broken out into large groups, or smaller family groups.
Perhaps the most important piece of advice is to pick a leader. This person is responsible for brainstorming possible wardrobe colors and making decisions for the group wardrobe with everyone’s opinions in mind. From there the leader can communicate what to wear, then coordinate with the group to collect images of outfits that have been chosen by each family set. They may also need to provide guidance and further suggestions if an outfit or accessory doesn’t quite match.
As with any large group event or activity, you will want to plan ahead. Give yourself at least 2-3 weeks to plan for and shop for clothing. Some guests will be coming in from out of town if pictures are planned near holiday visits so they will also need time to pack for their trip.
To take this a step further, these would look even more amazing together on a canvas gallery wall.
Have you ever had photos taken of your group of 10 or more? Comment below and me about any wardrobe tips that were helpful to you for your photos!