Client Tips

What to Wear for Family Christmas Photos

December 19, 2019

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children dresses in matching christmas pajamas

What to Wear for Family Christmas Photos

The #1 biggest question I receive from my clients before their family Christmas card photos session is always this: “What should wear?” Today I’m sharing with you my expert advice on which colors, patterns and textures look best on camera during the Christmas season, as well as some tips to help you coordinate outfits for your family portrait session. 

Down below, you’ll also find my studio’s Pinterest board where we pin ideas on what to wear for family Christmas photos. 

6 Tips on What to Wear for Your Family Christmas Photos 

Opt for Rich, Fall Colors

You can’t go wrong with a deep red, burgundy or navy. I typically say to stay away from green but a pop of dark, holiday green can look lovely with the rich fall foliage.

Family Christmas Outfits: The Beaufort Bonnet Company and Monday’s Child Classics

Pick Neutral Colors like Gold, Cream, Navy and Black

Autumn neutrals like gold, cream, navy and black look best in the Fall months with pastel blush pinks and light creamy blues looking best in the spring and summer. 
christmas outfits and family photo with Helena Woods Photography

Find Pops of Color

I typically suggest sticking to neutrals for family pictures but honestly, I love pops of color for family Christmas and holiday photos! Just nothing too bold, bright and patterned that it takes away from your beautiful faces and the natural connection shared between you and your loved ones. A big exception to the rule is holiday stripes and argyle patterns – those make for a classic Christmas look, especially if you’re planning to order holiday cards!
children dresses in matching christmas pajamas at home with lifestyle family photographer Helena Woods

Sweaters, Knit, and Navy

Sweaters are always a good idea for the holiday season. The more texture, the better! Also, patterns like tartan, argyle and checkers can look beautiful in the Fall months. Navy is always an ideal color for the Fall and Winter months, and pops of color and stripes can look super cute for families in matching pajamas!

children siblings dressed in Beaufort Bonnet and Monday's Child Classics Dresses in Alexandria Virginia

Family Christmas Outfits: The Beaufort Bonnet Company and Monday’s Child Classics


Pairing an accessory or two with your Christmas outfit can really help bring some extra dimension to your images, and be a nice tie-in when you’re coordinating with your family.

Big statement necklaces bring a lot of pop to the photos, while the smaller, delicate ones are not as noticeable on camera. Belts, bracelets, and earrings bring some visual interest, so choose one or two that don’t compete for attention.

Big holiday bows are timeless and a classic way to add some girly timelessness to your portraits. 

Create a Christmas Family Photo Tradition

Christmas is such a perfect time to create an annual family tradition with your photos. Want some lifestyle documentary photographs of your family making pancakes in the morning or opening their Christmas stockings – with some matching Christmas pajamas on? Or rather your daughters wearing holiday dresses in front of the family Christmas tree? 
This is the time to get creative! 
I just adore this annual tradition that the F. family has: For their yearly Christmas cards, they have their children reading the Polar Express in matching striped Christmas onesies. How adorable is that?!
sibling children reading The Polar Express in matching christmas pajama outfits

Christmas Outfit Ideas for Family Photos on Pinterest 

Just to give you a visual representation, you can find our studio’s full Pinterest account here. We have outfit ideas and inspiration for moms, dads, toddlers, and different family combinations.

Browse My Full Outfit Guide on the Blog

You can find my full blog post on tips for coordinating outfits here.

Planning to Order Family Christmas Cards?

Use my code HOLPHOTOHWOODS to receive 20% off your holiday cards at Minted!
In the U.S.? You can also get 40% off Save-the-Dates and birth announcement cards year-round at Basic Invite using my code at checkout: HelenaW

children matching christmas pajamas at home with lifestyle family photographer Helena Woods

Looking for a Family Photographer in Connecticut or New England?

If you are a New England / Connecticut based client of mine or plan to be and you want to be the very first to know my availability and travel calendar in 2020, so that you can reserve your session spot before anyone else, please subscribe to our studio’s updates using this link. I only send booking details and calendar availability when you sign up on this list.

Be the first to know about any upcoming session openings

I always give email list subscribers first pick of any session openings, so it’s the place to be if you’re looking to book a session or mini-session! These dates are not shared publicly on social media.

Have some questions? Contact us by sending our studio team an email and we’ll respond within 24 hours. 

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I'm Helena, your new kindred spirit.

Sunny free-spirit, writer and creator in love with documenting the simple joys of life. I am passionate about noticing light and truth around me and reflecting it back to others.

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