What to wear | Multi-family sessions

What to wear-
I know this is a big challenge with multi-family groups.  With 20+ people to coordinate, the task can be daunting.  These are my suggestions for multi-groups, as I’ve met over 100 groups over the past years here at Bear Lake and have made some observations.

Definitely give your family some guidelines. When a family says, “come as you are” it will look like a snap shot, and the photos won’t have the level of polish that they could.

So where to start.  I like to tell people to choose a bright color then a coordinating color, and lastly a neutral or two.  I suggest keeping the bright color to a minimum.   It can be an accent piece like a necklace, a kid’s dress or jacket.  But wear mostly neutrals likes, grays, black, whites and tans if you want a timeless portrait.

For example I’ve liked:
Blues, gray and white.
Or red, blues and gray.
Or coral/pink, navy, tan and white.
Or green, navy, white and tan.
Or Yellow, navy, white and tan.

I would steer clear of all people in pastels or all white as the dominate theme.  A balanced photo need lights and darks, and if everyone is wearing something light, then we kind of loose definition and the group becomes washed out.

Don’t be afraid of patterns and textures.  You can coordinate different patterns to make a lovely interesting portrait.  I would steer clear of dressing like twins, like all the kids in the same striped shirt.

Do not choose florescent colors as your bright color.  They just do not photograph well and bounce their color off everything.  Hot pink and magenta are also hard to edit and get to look right.


Don’t forget to pay attention to shoes.  With a big group, it’s easy to forget that the neutral colors should extend to the shoes as well.  Don’t wear colorful shoes that bring attention to your feet.  I leave it up to the family if they want to take off their shoes for pictures or not.  I’m fine either way.

Ultimately these are going to be your photos so wear something you feel good in and it will come through in your photos.  And if you have any other suggestions I’d love to hear.