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Tips to style your family in Fall of 2020


September 23, 2020

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What to wear for fall family picturesThe cooler weather and beautiful jewel tones of fall make it a favorite time to plan a family portrait session. If you are like most families, the most difficult part is planning what to wear for your fall family pictures. Coordinating family outfits is a challenge all its own. And when you added all the vibrant fall background colors into the equation, that can make planning your family outfits even trickier. If you have a family portrait session coming up and are wondering what to wear for fall family pictures, I’m here to help! Just a note, the tips below are geared specifically toward fall family pictures.Now, onto all things fall!

 Townsend family fall photo session.Photo by Christopher Ginn Photography


I alway start by asking my families how they plan to enjoy their portraits. Is this a yearly family picture for their Christmas Card? Or do they need an updated family portrait to hang in their family room? This helps me know how to select the perfect location for their session as well as how to help them when planning their outfits. If you are planning on hanging your family picture up in your house, let’s talk about: 


Think about the style of your home. Is it formal? Casual? Beachy? Contemporary or Rustic? We want to select a style of clothing that will feel at home in your space. A session at a farm while dressed in cowboy boots and cute sundresses would look perfect in a rustic home. But the same image would feel out of place in a contemporary home. 


Next, take a look at the colors you tend to decorate with. Are they cool and calming? Bold and Vibrant? Or do you lean toward neutrals? This can help you when you start thinking about what colors you plan to wear for your family pictures. Dressing in colors similar to your room’s decor will help your family portrait fit in well with the overall decor. 

If you lean toward cool tones, serene blues and have your heart set on fall family pictures, be sure to work closely with your photographer on what to wear as well as your location. A picture heavy in yellow, orange and reds (fall leave colors) may feel out of place in your home. You will want to select your location carefully. 


Fall is such an amazing time for family pictures because there are photo options that aren’t available the rest of the year. Pumpkin patches and apple orchards tend to be favorite locations. And of course any location with vibrantly colored leaves is always on the list. Deciding where your fall family pictures will take place will help you as you plan what to wear.

Here are the three most popular fall family picture locations and how to plan what to wear around them. 


The challenge of a pumpkin patch is that your background will have a lots of orange. But, planning your family wardrobe with that in mind can help create stunning fall family pictures. Rich jewel toned outfits would look amazing with the oranges of the pumpkins. Plums, wine, and rusty reds would all be great choices. Of course you don’t want everyone dresses head to toe is such rich and vibrant colors. But use these colors paired with neutrals such as tan, camel and navy to create a harmonious color palette for your family pictures. 



If your session falls at the peak of the colorful leaves, you will have a beautiful backdrop of reds, yellows and oranges. To ensure your family stands out in your portraits, avoid wearing colors the same as the leaves. In Delaware, we tend to have lots of bright yellow leaves. I suggest navy blue as wonderful contrast to the golden background (or course a yellow statement necklace or belt would be a perfect tie in to the colorful leaves). Or rusty oranges and tans would look beautiful as well. 


Sessions in the apple orchard tend to take place in early fall. And typically before the leaves begin to change colors. The backdrop of your session will be heavy in greens with pops of red or yellow (from the apples). There are many color options that would look perfect on your family here! You could keep your family’s outfits neutral by dressing in tans, camels, browns and adding a pop of color in your accessories. Or for a little more color a scheme of navy, tan and pops of mustard would look amazing. 

One color I would recommend avoiding at the apple orchard is red. Paired with the green of the trees in the orchard, you picture could accidentally end up with a Christmassy feel. 


When picking what colors to wear for your fall family pictures, think of your family’s clothing choice as one big outfit. Your goal is to look coordinated rather than matching. If you are like me and need a visual of what that looks like, I’ve placed a few examples in this blog.

Start with 2-3 colors and use those colors in various solids, patterns and accessories in your family’s outfits. I usually recommend choosing one patterned piece in your color scheme to be a focal item. This may be a floral dress for your daughter or a plaid shirt for your son. Once you have a focal item selected, pull colors from it for the other outfits. Mom may choose to wear a solid dress and pull colors from her daughter dress into her outfit with a statement necklace, belt or even with shoes that are a pop of color. 



Layers always make an outfit look more polished and put together. But layering in the middle of the summer isn’t always easy. Thankfully fall and layers go together like peanut butter and jelly! But, adding layers can also add bulk. And nobody wants that! Especially in family pictures. So how do you add layers without looking bulky?


I love a slouchy sweater as much as the next person, but in pictures, it won’t love you back. Look for dresses, sweaters and jackets that are tailored to look polished in your pictures. 


While fall is all about cozy cable knit sweaters, you may want to opt for something a little lighter when it comes to your family picture outfit. Light weight sweaters, open weave knits, or light and airy cardigans tend to be more flattering. 


One of my favorite fashion tips is to use a belt to add definition to your waistline. Especially with layers. Throw a belt over a flowy dress or cardigan to keep it from looking bulky in pictures. And, it can double as a pop of color to your outfit. Or help you tie your look into the other members of your family. 


Little Details

I know deciding what to wear for your fall family pictures is a big task. Even though most of the time is spent looking at the big picture and how all the outfits will look together, don’t forget to pay attention to the little details as well. Small touches can make a big difference in the overall look of your outfit. Rolling or cuffing up a sleeve so that a little bit of your forearm shows can make a layer appear less bulky. The same is true for choosing a neckline that shows a little more of your skin. Opt for a v-neck or scoop neck top rather than a turtle neck.


Remember to plan out what shoes each person will wear. (And have your little ones try them on the week before to make sure they still fit). This is a detail that is so easy to over look. And, I know they don’t always seem important because they are so small. But they really do have a huge impact in pictures.


Don’t forget to think about your accessories. Hats, scarves, statement necklaces and earrings are a perfect way to take your outfit to the nest level. They make an outfit look polished, pulled together and complete.  And they are a perfect way to add a pop of color.

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Swag tbh asymmetrical, activated charcoal schlitz tattooed roof party master cleanse shabby chic sSwag tbh asymmetrical, activated charcoal schlitz tattooed roof party master cleanse shabby chic selfies synth taiyaki celiac. Cardigan occupy

I'm alice mason.