How to Plan Outfits for Family Photos

a day in the life, family photos, on my heart, photoshoots, words

We recently got our family photos done by the sweet photographer who captured my maternity photos and our baby’s birth earlier this year. You can see her work at!

Working with her multiple times was really nice for our family because our toddlers got more familiar and comfortable with her. At the maternity shoot in April, my son was literally just running away when we were trying to pose. Hahah but not.

As we planned our family photos this fall, Lauren was amazing in helping plan what colors would be best for our family and skin tones, and she helped get me started in ideas for outfits for the whole family.

Getting familiar with your best colors is a good place to start when planning family photos! The Color Key is a great resource for learning more about this.

These are the main colors we worked with for our family session: warm creams and browns, some forest green on me and more of a faded green on my son, a rusty orange for my daughter’s dress, and some blues.

I’d recommend to start with planning Mom’s outfit first. This will be the anchor that you’ll coordinate all the other outfits to.

From there, choose where to incorporate any patterns and the other coordinating colors for the rest of the family members’ outfits.

Just one person should be wearing a pattern, and you can incorporate more textures and layers for adding visual interest, like lace, or a chunky knit sweater. These add more to the overall look, but won’t be overwhelming or conflicting like another pattern would be.

I had my daughter wear a cute floral patterned dress, and I took up the hem to hit right above her knee. Having the right hem length on a knee length dress makes such a difference!

Our son wore his favorite green pants (leftover from the maternity shoot outfits) and a cable knit sweater. I was torn between a cream colored Henley shirt but I’m glad I went with the sweater.

On a trip to Washington, I found some amazing leather soft-sole moccasins that I had the twins wear again.

I wanted baby boy in overalls, but needed to tie in the blue that I was having Dad wear, so I got a blue top from another outfit for him.

Being the busy mom that I am, I ended up having to last minute shop on Amazon Prime for a few pieces to complete our look (along with some items we already had in our closets!)

I put together a moodboard with shoppable links, in case you’re needing some inspiration for your own family photos!

I’m thankful that Amazon Prime came through for us and we got everything in time. And I’m so happy with how everything came together!

Shop Our Look (or similar), all found on Prime!

For any of my photography clients, creating a moodboard and planning outfits, colors, poses and location is all part of the process I’ll help you with!

Classic Family-Style Thanksgiving Recipes


In just a few weeks, we’ll be celebrating my favorite holiday — my favorite because of the food!

I’m rounding up some recipes from the Christofferson Family Cookbook. Let me know if you try them!

Sweet Potato Casserole

3 cup sweet potatoes, drained and mashed
1 tsp. vanilla
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup melted butter

Mix potatoes, sugar, vanilla and melted cool butter and eggs. Beat until fluffy. Place in a buttered casserole dish. Mix topping to crumb stage and sprinkle on top. Bake 30 minutes at 350º degrees.


1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
4 tsp. cinnamon
½ to 1 cup chopped nuts
1/3 cup butter/not melted

Mix well together with fingers until crumbly. Place on top of sweet potatoes.

Pie Crust

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened

2-⅔ cup flour

1 tsp. salt

7-8 Tbsp. cold water

Measure dry ingredients into a mixing bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry blender until the whole mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Spoon in the cold water, a little at a time, mixing dough together with a fork. Finish forming dough into a ball with your hands. Separate into two equally-sized bowls and roll out the crusts between two pieces of parchment paper. Refrigerate dough before rolling out if it is too soft and warm. Makes two crusts for a 10-inch pie. 

When baking the pie, brush the top crust with milk and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar to make the crust look shiny.

Mulled Cider

2 qts. apple juice

½ cup orange juice

¼ cup lemon juice

2 Tbsp. sugar

2 tsp. whole cloves

1 tsp. ginger powder

3 cinnamon sticks

1 tsp. nutmeg


Cinnamon sticks

2 oranges, sliced

2 lemons, sliced

Mix all ingredients in crock pot and heat. You can let it stay warm there for a while. Strain to serve. May be garnished with fresh orange or lemon slice, or a cinnamon stick in each mug.

Ellie’s Chex Mix

6 Tbsp. butter or margarine

2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce

¾ tsp. garlic powder

½ tsp. onion powder

3 cups corn Chex 

3 cups rice Chex

3 cups wheat Chex

2 cups cheerios

1 cup mixed nuts

1 cup bite-sized pretzels

Heat oven to 250˚. In ungreased large roasting pan, melt butter in oven. Stir in Worcestershire sauce and seasonings. Gradually stir the cereal and nuts until evenly coated. Bake for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Spread on paper towels to cool. Store in airtight container. Makes 12 cups Chex Mix.

from the archives: early photography portfolio


Circa 2012: I shoot portraits, travel, events, and little bits of every day of life, in both film and digital, ever since I could afford to develop rolls of film at the 1 hr photo store.

sister + brother
Sister and brother, from a family portrait session
latifah, in b+w
Latifah Phillips, Page CXVI: in concert at the Prophet Bar in Dallas, 09/27/12. See more from this show here
dallas farmers market : berries
In season berries, Dallas Farmers Market
best friend.
Senior portrait session, historic downtown McKinney Square
more than basic
Self portrait, painted digitally with color
Sister, from a family portrait session
A silhouette
caleb + grandpa
Child and grandfather, at play
Baby feet, from a newborn portrait session

Maternity Photos at Sunset

maternity photos, photos, photoshoots

It’s a wonder this photoshoot even happened, one day AFTER my friend’s due date, and in the middle of a quarantine period (ah, 2020). So, we shot them socially distanced in her backyard during the most beautiful Texas sunset.

This friend is a superhero mama. Her baby was almost 11 pounds y’all.