Ashlie Behm


Fall Photo Guide: The Best Colors For Family Pictures Outside

Vision board with rust and gold color palette for fall family photo inspiration.

As a family portrait photographer, I love helping you select the best colors for family pictures outside. I’m here to help guide you through the entire portrait experience, which includes helping you plan your outfits. Before your session, we’ll hop on a quick pre-session planning call to go over outfits for the entire family. I’ll put together some vision boards for inspiration and send you all the links to shop the looks. I even have a collection of over 60 dresses in my feminine client wardrobe that you can borrow from.

There are multiple factors I take into consideration when pulling together vision boards for you and your family. One of those considerations, is utilizing the color palette’s you selected in your questionnaire. I wanted to share a little bit more about color palette’s and what to consider when choosing colors for your family photos. In this post we are going to talk about how to make the most of the fall season and choosing the best colors for family pictures outside.

While every time of the year has its unique charm, there’s something truly enchanting about family pictures outside in the autumn. The fall season provides a stunning backdrop for family pictures, with its vibrant foliage, warm hues, and soft lighting. To make the most of this beautiful season, it’s essential to understand the best colors for family pictures outside.

I am participating in a blog circle this month and am sharing a link to photographer in Minneapolis! Be sure to check out her link at the end of this blog post.

In this blog post, we will explore the best colors for family pictures outside as well as other textures and accessories to add into your outfits for your fall family photo session.

1. Embracing Earth Tones

When you think of fall, earthy tones immediately come to mind. These colors seamlessly blend with the natural surroundings and create a warm and cozy atmosphere. Think rich browns, deep reds, warm oranges, forest greens and golden yellows. Outfits in these earthy hues will not only complement the autumn landscape but also enhance the overall feel of your family portraits outside.

For example, dressing family members in deep brown or warm rust-colored sweaters paired with light colored pants or khakis can create a classic and timeless look. Earthy tones work well for everyone, as they flatter various skin tones and are perfect for outdoor settings.

Vision board with rust and gold color palette for fall family photo inspiration.

Toddler Dress

Toddler Pants

Toddler Shirt

Mens tan pants

Mens Gold Sweater

Mens white pants

Mens tan blazer

best colors for family photos outside - neutral color palette vision board


Toddler Shirt

Toddler Pants

Mens Shirt

Mens Pants

2. Jewel Tones for a Splash of Color

While earthy tones dominate fall palettes, you can also add a pop of vibrant color to your family pictures to make them stand out. Jewel tones like emerald green, sapphire blue, and deep purple can add an elegant and eye-catching contrast to the warm backdrop of autumn foliage.

You might consider having one family member wear a jewel-toned outfit while the rest stick to earthy hues. This can create a striking focal point and draw the viewer’s attention to the individual, making for a unique and visually appealing portrait.

Vision Board with color scheme of taupe, green and beige for blog post about best colors for family pictures outside.

Women’s Floral Dress

Women’s Taupe Dress

Baby Dress

Baby Leather Shoes

Toddler Pants

Toddler Shirt

Toddler Sweater

Vision Board for fall family portraits with a green and gold and beige color scheme.

Women’s Dress

Toddler Dress

Toddler Pants

Toddler Sweater

Men’s Pants

Men’s Sweater

3. Neutrals

A neutral base is the foundation of any color scheme. It can be white, ivory, beige, or gray. A neutral base will allow your family’s clothing to stand out, while also providing a cohesive look to your photos. Neutral colors are timeless and will never go out of style.


Toddler Dress

Khaki Pants


Neutral color palette for fall family photo inspiration


Toddler Sweater

Toddler Khakis

Women’s Tan Pants

Women’s Pointelle Henley

Now that we’ve talked a bit about color, let’s talk about other elements to consider when styling your family for your outdoor portrait session.

1. Coordinating without Matching

The key to creating visually pleasing family portraits is to coordinate outfits without making everyone look too matchy-matchy. Avoid the cliché of matching outfits and instead opt for a color scheme that complements one another. A combination of earthy and jewel tones can be an excellent choice.

For instance, you can have the adults wear earthy tones, while the children sport jewel-toned accessories like scarves or hats. This adds a playful and harmonious touch to the overall look. The idea is to create a visual balance that allows individual personalities to shine through while still appearing cohesive.

2. Seasonal Textures and Layers

Autumn brings with it the perfect weather for layering and adding different textures to outfits. Sweaters, cardigans, scarves, and jackets not only keep you and your family warm but also add depth and interest to your family pictures outside.

Fuzzy knit sweaters, long cardigans, hats, scarves and flannel shirts are great options for fall family photos. These textures not only add a tactile dimension to your photos but also create a sense of coziness that’s synonymous with the season.

3. Accessorize with Nature-Inspired Elements

To complete the fall look, consider incorporating nature-inspired accessories. Tuck a small bouquet of fall flowers into your little girl’s hair or consider wearing wooden or leaf-shaped jewelry. Such details can infuse your portraits with a touch of nature’s own artistry.

4. Socks and Shoes

I always recommend neutral colored shoe options. Brown leather shoes work really well for the types of color palettes we are going for here. Avoid bright colors, black or anything too dark. We really want your shoes to match your color palette and not stand out too much. Also, make sure your kids have tried their shoes on before your session and have walked around in them a bit. There will be a lot of play at your session, so you want to make sure they aren’t tripping over their feet during our time together.

Please remember to have your kids wear neutral socks – free of logos and graphics. We want to make sure they aren’t an eye-sore when you are holding your kiddos and their pants creep up a bit.

5. Finding the Right Background

The best colors for fall family pictures outside not only depend on what you and your family are wearing but also on the backdrop you choose. Look for locations with trees that display the vibrant colors of fall foliage. Golden leaves, rusty oranges, and deep reds can provide a stunning contrast to your family’s clothing choices. When you book your session with me, I have a location guide of my pre-approved locations in the area that you can choose from for your fall family photos.


Capturing the beauty of autumn in your family portraits is all about selecting the best colors for family pictures outside. Colors that complement the season’s rich palette and coordinating everyone’s outfits for a cohesive look. By embracing earth tones, adding splashes of jewel colors, and coordinating outfits creatively, we will create some timeless and heartwarming images that you and your family will cherish for years and years to come.

If you plan on visiting Minnepolis anytime soon, be sure to check out this blog post by a fellow photographer who is talking all about indoor photo shoot locations in Minneapolis.

Choosing the best colors for family pictures outside.

Remember, it’s not just about the clothes; but about documenting your family’s love for one another. At family photo sessions, we laugh, play games and have a ton of fun. Click here to read more about my top tips for a fun-filled family photo session.

Want to learn more about working with me? Click here for some more information about working with me, Ashlie Behm, your portland family photographer.

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Leave A Comment

  1. I love the mood boards. Did you make them? They help so much visualize the whole thing.

  2. I love your color choices! They would all make for gorgeous fall photos.

  3. Oh I absolutely love how you have this layed out. The style boards are great and the colors fabulous!

  4. Alison Bell says:

    Love these mood boards for wardrobe! How did you do them??

  5. Charis says:

    Love these combination ideas!

  6. Oh wow. I love these colors and tips. I’m going to have to come back to reference this blog later!

  7. Christy says:

    Love these mood boards for fall family portraits!

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