a lovely living

Styling Family Photos

About a month or so ago, one of my good friends, Danielle, reached out to me asking if I would mind helping to style outfits for family photos she was having done. I was flattered of course, and was more than happy to help. She already knew that she wanted to use blues or greens for her family of four, but other than that she was open to anything. I ultimately went with a blue (once I found out the photos would be shot at the beach) and white palette and offered accents of orange or pink. Here’s what I sent to her and I’ll explain my selections in more detail below.


My advice was to use coordinating colors while keeping some pieces solid and adding pattern to others. I chose to add pattern to the girls’ outfits in my example, especially the little one, because there were so many fun options to choose from. I paired the guys’ tops with grey bottoms which seemed like a fresh change from the typical khaki color which could have also been used. I also thought it would be a great touch to add an accessory to my girlfriend’s dress, pulling out a pop of color from her daughters outfit.

Her family could make anything look beautiful because they’re all gorgeous, but look how she seamlessly pulled it all together:




Photography by Jeri Houseworth

Stunning, aren’t they?? And the shots of the kids melt my heart. Well done Danielle!

If you’re planning photos in the future, I recommend you create a coordinating color palette, keep some outfits solid and add prints/patterns to others while throwing in an accent color when appropriate. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to help!



  • Danielle says:

    I could not have pulled it off without you, Marisa!! To all who read this, notice that I used pretty much exactly what Marisa suggested because she is so creative and talented and has a great eye for fashion!! I also loved that she chose outfits that were fairly casual and that fit our family. I am beyond happy with our pictures and credit Marisa and my photographer….. we just showed up with Swedish fish to bribe the kids!!
    Thank you to my wonderful friend for all your help!! xo

  • Amanda says:

    Wonderful post Marisa! I couldn’t have said it better myself! I will refer clients to this post when they ask , “what should we wear?!?” It’s well said and includes the visual!

    Love ya, and I’m counting on seeing you all this fall when we are in town for game days!! Yay for fall in State College!

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