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Mixing patterns for a family photo session

Dressing for Family Photos: Mixing Patterns

Written By:

Maryam Salassi

Jul 13, 2020

Mixing patterns for family photo outfits?! I know what you’re thinking—that’s crazy—but trust me, it’s not as crazy as it sounds. In fact, it’s trendier than ever. 

Mixing patterns for a family photo session

It’s totally possible to have fun with your family photo outfits without appearing uncoordinated or distracting. By mixing different patterns in the right way, you’ll end up with unique family portraits that really show your personalities!

Here are some tips to help you mix prints seamlessly in your family photos!

Mixing Patterns Tip #1: Mix Monochromatic Prints

The easiest way to dip your toes in the print-mixing water is to stick with two colors, or monochromatic prints.

A girl jumps with wearing a matching black and white monochromatic print outfit for family photos in the Bay Area

For example, try mixing prints that are just black and white, like my daughter and I did here! Both our family photo outfits are by the same designer, and the matching color palette makes it easy to pair them without clashing.

If you’re still feeling unsure about mixing patterns, go for a top and bottom combo in the same print for a cute look that’s still outside your comfort zone.

A mother and her daughter dress in mixed black and white monochromatic pattern shirts for a fun and trendy family photo session

Mixing Patterns Tip #2: Mix Stripes and Dots

Mastered monochromatic prints? Congratulations! Now try taking things a step further by mixing stripes and dots!

Stripes and polka dots are a perfect pattern mixing duo. They’re both simple enough that they can be paired together without looking messy.

A trendy woman mixing polka dots and stripes for a colorful family photo shoot

A woman with dark hair smiles at the camera while wearing fun polka dot earrings, a colorful polka dot shirt, a striped skirt and a denim jacket, showing tips for mixing patterns

If you’re feeling confident enough to try color, I suggest sticking to the same tones for ease of coordination. Different tones of a color are achieved by adding more gray, so they are in the same color spectrum just a bit softer. 

Mixing Patterns Tip #3: Mix Florals

As long as the tones are similar, you can totally match busier prints like florals! 

A mother and daughter pose goofily while wearing family photo outfits with mixed prints

Want to keep it sweet? Stick to small floral patterns that are more nuanced. Feeling bold? Pick large florals in bright colors that beg to be seen.

This is definitely one of my ways of mixing patterns!

A mom embraces her adorable daughter while posing for family photos and showing tips for mixing patterns in their outfits

Mixing Patterns Tip #4: Lean into it!

It really doesn’t matter how you mix patterns and prints as long as you’re confident in your choices!

I’m a firm believer that anyone can wear anything as long as they have the confidence. People always tell me how much they love the way I dress, but that they could never pull it off. Y’all—the only reason I can wear what I do is because I don’t care what other people think!

A confident family photographer with dark hair poses for a portrait while mixing a camouflage print jacket and leopard print skirt

A woman strikes a fun pose, holding up peace signs while wearing a colorful patterned jumpsuit and pink glasses

A mother and daughter pose for family photographs while mixing patterns in their outifts

So what are you waiting for? Give pattern mixing a shot during your next family photo session!

If you’re looking for a family photographer in the Bay Area, I’d love to chat! I’m all about capturing those authentic, candid moments that show your family’s love for each other.

  1. […] but you got this! Check out some of my other blogs for more tips on how to dress for family photos: mixing patterns, wearing bold colors, and wearing […]

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