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29 Oct

five tips for creating beautiful family photos.

with the holidays just around the corner, i thought i’d share my tips for styling & taking family photos since so many of you send out holiday and Christmas cards! my family and i took these beautiful photos in Orange County at the San Clemente Pier with Alia Steele Photography and we all loved how they came out! probably our favorite family photo session to date {this is my side of the family, by the way!}. at the time, many people asked about our outfits and tips for shooting family photos, so i thought i’d share a few! for obvious reasons, i was automatically designated by my family to be in charge of finding the photographer, location, and coordinating all of our outfits {comes with the territory of being a style blogger i guess, haha!}. i loved getting the chance to style a shoot with my family. it’s fun for me to share with all of you the most important people in my life, too!

many people automatically think of matching denim + white tops and cheesy poses when it comes to family photos. but it doesn’t have to be! keep scrolling for my top five tips for styling a family photoshoot that is stylish, flattering, and creates beautiful images that you’ll cherish for years to come.

1. find inspo
the very first thing i did when we decided to take family photos this summer was hop on Pinterest. i wanted to get inspo for poses, location, and what colors to wear. it can seem overwhelming on Pinterest sometimes, but in this case i simply searched ‘beach family photos’ and it ended up being super helpful! share this inspo with your family members! having this visual template helps everyone get on the same page before you even get to the shoot.

2. lighting & timing is key
the best lighting will always, always be at sunrise and sunset, when the light is soft and golden. it’s also important to consider when kids will do best taking photos! by sunset, they might be done for the day, especially in the summer when that might be 8pm. if you’re taking photos this fall/winter, just remember that the days are short and sunset can be at 5pm or earlier! we actually took ours in the mid-morning, since it’s Orange County and usually a little overcast until about noon. but robbie and i always shoot our couple photos at magic hour {sunrise or sunset} in general!

3. coordinate, don’t match
choosing the right outfit is probably the most important task when it comes to styling family photos, which is why so many stress over it. the key is to coordinate, but not be too matchy. coordination is stylish while matching can come across as tacky. after searching on Pinterest, i decided to go with blue/teal hues for our photos. pick a color scheme and stick with it! i made sure we all had a great mixture of hues that were distinct from one another yet still coordinated. it’s fun to include pops of prints to break up the solids too. i liked that my sister-in-law wore a long skirt and i wore a dress, so we also had different lengths as well. it’s all about mixing it up within the color palette to allow everyone their own style while still keeping it cohesive. for example, robbie is not a plain, solid shirt type of guy so i got him this fun palm print polo that still worked perfectly with the color scheme and stayed true to his style. choose a theme and then have fun within it!

4. comfort & candids 
our photographer was so great at helping us feel comfortable! that’s the mark of any good photographer; try and find someone who you know your family can connect with and be at ease. being in front of the camera isn’t easy for those who don’t do it a lot, so having someone behind the camera who makes them feel comfortable is key. our photographer has three young boys so getting my cute nephew to laugh and smile was a breeze. some of the cutest shots we got are candids she took of us strolling or playing along the beach! not everything has to be posed. remember to laugh and joke so you can get some good shots of you genuinely interacting with those you love.

5. tell your photographer ahead of time specific shots you want
if there’s something specific you have in mind, speak up and let your photographer know! they can’t read your mind! if you’re wanting specific photos, like all the girls, all the guys, grandma and grandpa with grandkids, siblings, or anything else for memory’s sake, be sure to let your photographer know so it’s not forgotten. photoshoots go by fast, so relaying specific info to your photographer is a great way to make sure you get every shot you want and have a positive experience.

mint wrap dress
rose gold bangle
pink and rose gold watch
Pink Nouveau lipstick

photos by Alia Steele Photography