What to Wear for Family Photos (Plus Size edition)


Photo courtesy of Blue Lily Photo

It’s fall! Once all the school supplies have been purchased and my kids are back in school I start to think about our yearly family photos. As a photographer, I often get asked for recommendations on what to wear in family photos. What I’m about to share with you applies not only to plus sized women, but to everyone!

The first rule for deciding what to wear for family photos is to be comfortable. If you’re wearing something that’s a little more formal, or unusual for you it will show in the photos. So, more than anything, be yourself! Choose pieces that fit well and make you happy!

Second, go for color! Bold colors, especially jewel tones, make photographs “pop”. If you’re not comfortable in jewel tones try using a scarf, sweater or jacket to provide the splash of color that will draw your eye to the finished product.

Finally, many people worry about coordinating outfits for the entire family. The good news is that matchy-matchy photos are out! Choose one outfit you love to wear, and get the others to coordinate with them. The colors don’t have to be the same, the palette just needs to contain the similar tones.

Now, let’s be honest. It’s a lot harder to find plus sized women’s clothing than any other person’s. For that reason I always choose my outfit first when planning family photos.  I find a piece, or pieces, that I love then make my family’s wardrobe complement me (see the photo above)!

For a more dressed up look I seek out figure flattering dresses or skirts in eye catching colors. After finding just the right dress I add cute accessories and shoes. Something like the outfit below. Don’t go too short, though, or you’ll face some awkward posing issues.

Wanting a more casual feel for your photos? Grab a pair of flattering jeans and pair them with a jewel toned blouse and a jacket to top it off. Add a pair of dangling earrings and wedges, flats or boots and you’re all set!

Taking photos doesn’t have to be intimidating for the plus sized woman, or anyone! Go with these basic rules when planning what to wear for family photos and you’ll look and feel great.  Find a photographer to capture that feeling, and you’re all set.  Smile big!
(Visited 7,182 times, 87 visits today)


Hello everyone, I’m Carrie. I’m a family photographer, and a mom of three elementary school kids. I grew up on a cattle ranch in Oregon, but I’ve lived on the east coast for the last eight years. I love exploring new places, baking, volunteering at my kids’ school, and reading. You can check out my other work at Cabesh Photography.


  1. Jen Galan :

    I want that green dress. Also, I love your photo. I love that you aren’t hidden in the back, especially.

    • Carrie :

      The dress is from eShakti. And I want it too! If only green worked for me.

      And thank you. I love our photo too. :)

  2. Allana Preston :

    Your family pics turned out completely awesome. :) Thanks so much for writing about this. I am always looking for cool pic opportunities. Keep up the great work.

  3. jamie :

    Do you happen to know what website or seller for the wine maroon colored ruffle jacket. We have a family photo shoot Oct 12th; would love to wear something like that!