What We Wore for Fall Family Pictures

I’ve mentioned a couple times or twenty that we’ve been trying to get together for a family picture this fall, and it’s been a little bit of a challenge. With our conflicting schedules and the unpredictable weather, we scheduled and canceled our family photo session several times.

This is a milestone year for our family for several reasons — our 25th wedding anniversary, a 21st birthday, and an 18th birthday, to name a few! Plus, it’s been 3 years since our last professional family picture. We were due.

We tried to schedule the photo session for a late afternoon right before sunset to take advantage of golden hour, but we finally had to settle for a morning. That means we had to get our three teenagers — who are used to sleeping in and starting their school days sometime around noon — out of bed and in the car by 8:45.

In their defense, they were quite agreeable when we told them that was how it was going to work, and they did get up and get ready (with a bit of prodding), but they weren’t exactly at their best… and that’s putting it mildly.

I also struggled to put outfits together. To have a really nice, pulled-together family photo, it’s best to have a color scheme and use layers and accessories to incorporate those colors into the various outfits so it looks cohesive without being matchy-matchy.

But we are all really plain dressers, and it’s more important that we look like ourselves. We usually end up with a very basic color scheme, and it works out okay… albeit not Pinterest-worthy, but I’m not really going for Pinterest-worthy. I just want to look put-together and happy.

Well, this year, a color scheme wasn’t coming together… and at the last minute, I decided to heck with it. I just let everyone pick what they wanted to wear.

With the encouragement of some of you, I decided it would be better if we all wore something we really like and feel good in, and when we look back at these pictures in 10 or 20 years, we look like ourselves and remember those outfits — instead of thinking, That’s what mom made me wear!

So with all that said, I wasn’t sure I was going to like how they turned, but Alison was a champ, and we powered through.

They aren’t perfect, but they’re us, and I’m happy with them.

As you can see, our outfits are a bit of a mish-mosh. The guys both wore khakis, and D wore a navy Nike hoodie. Paul wore a quarter zip pullover with a button-down underneath, pretty much his daily uniform.

C picked out a pink sweater she got from last year’s #NSale, and she wore it with her favorite Madewell skinny jeans and neutral ballet flats. R wore a stripe sweater she recently got from American Eagle with black skinnies and Converse.

As for me… I ended up wearing my new AllSaints leather moto in the oxblood brown over a grey sweater with my off-black Good American jeans.

We tried to get a few pictures of me alone, but for some reason, most of them turned out really awkward.

But I’m really happy with my outfit… mine might be the only one of the group that I love, but that’s the most important thing, isn’t it? Ha!

Actually, I think I should have worn a necklace, but it’s only noticeable to me in the pictures of me alone. It doesn’t jump out at me in the family pix, plus C was in a rush and forgot jewelry altogether, so at least we’re consistent.

Ahhh, well… Such is life.

I know, you all are going to tell me they look great. And they definitely will do for our holiday Christmas card. But I think I’ll wait until next summer and try for something I can frame for the wall — maybe at the beach. We’ve never done beach photos before.

This time of year in general is so busy and stressful, plus 2020 is in a league of its own, so I’m just glad we’ve got something. The best part is, I can get my holiday cards ordered right away and maybe get ahead of that game.

And hey, if nothing else, we couldn’t have asked for a prettier day… it was also quite comfortable. There was a nip in the air, but it was sunny and bright, and there was no wind to speak of.  And I’m so happy there were some leaves left on the trees.

Hope you all have a great Friday! I’ll be back tomorrow with my Fall/Winter Coat Guide, so stay tuned for that!

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photos: Alison Cornell

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64 Responses

  1. I love that you ended up letting everyone dress how they want, I do that too.  I just think it’s not that important.

  2. They really DO look great. They don’t look too intentional and I think those are the best photos of all. I always feel like it’s a victory if everyone is looking at the camera at the same time!! 🙂

  3. Beautiful family!
    Looking for recommendations for men’s classic fit button down shirts. You recommended Bugatchi in the past, my husband has liked those. Need to get away from Polo Ralph Lauren, think he has had every pattern they have made! Also, looking for men’s light weight sweat pants.
    Thank you.

  4. Let me start by saying I think your family pictures are “hang worthy”! I must be totally out of the swing of things but I don’t understand the obsession to have every family member coordinate their outfit. I get that you don’t wand someone dressed formally and someone else in old cutoffs, but really, does your family coordinate their daily outfits? I think the easy way you appear with each other and the genuine smiles scream loving family. And, 2020, so the fact that you are all together and obviously healthy, couldn’t make for a better picture to document this milestone year.

  5. I think they look AMAZING! I think they’re reflective of each of your styles/personalities and everyone looks great, relaxed, natural smiles and not awkward. I think we’re always too hard on ourselves ( and our own families) I hope you can find peace with the photos the way they are. They really are beautiful.

  6. Thank you for sharing your photo, Jo-Lynne. I have almost no family photos because my 4 children HATED having their pic taken for any reason. I never forced it because I am so not photogenic that I feel the same way. Now, I wish I had, even though they are still giving me a hard time about a family photo I insisted we take on Thanksgiving ten years ago. I bought everyone thin, 1/4 zip polar fleeces in their favorite colors and “made” them throw them on and we did photos on our front porch. I treasure that photo now.
    Happy Friday!

  7. Ok, two things…(because I love this post!)   First, your son is wearing real pants! that fit! and appear to have met at least once with an iron!  and Two….there is undeniable evidence that your kids showed up and smiled.  YOU TOTALLY WIN!  I legit have an extended family Thanksgiving photo that we didn’t realize for several days that my son was not in.  He went upstairs to take a nap and “didn’t hear” us calling picture time.  
    I’d frame that baby and take a victory lap!
    Happy Friday 😉 

  8. I think the picture is great! I do not even notice the outfits when I look at that photo, and I think it’s good you did NOT wear a necklace. My focus was on smiling faces, a beautiful day, and a cohesive family unit.

  9. The photos are great. There’s a lot to be said for getting 3 teenagers together for a family photo. Been through it myself. Even your dog is cooperating. Everyone looks comfortable, pleasant and as you said, when they look back they won’t hate what they’re wearing.  It’s usable for the Christmas card and yes, suitable for framing. A win all the way around. Yay!

  10. I like your family pictures JoLynne. I see a family who has grown closer this year…you see that in your expressions and physical closeness (even your dog is happy).  Blessings to you and yours!

  11. Pictures came out awesome, you look fantastic…love the outfit….you are so photogenic!  Kids and dad are adorable….good job mom😀

  12. Your pics did turn out nicely. We rarely do photos mainly because I have a really hard time coordinating the 4 of us. Maybe next time, I’ll let my kids pic their outfits. Our session last yr. did not turn out as nicely as I wanted. My oldest wouldn’t smile because of her braces, and she didn’t like the dress I picked for her to coordinate with the rest of us. I gotta figure out what to do for our cards, thanks for the reminder. 

  13. Don’t wait! Frame the photo. You will be glad you did. You can still take the beach photo and frame it too. You have a beautiful family. 

  14. The pictures are beautiful. Kudos to you for letting your kids pick their own outfits. I think that was a great compromise for getting up SOOOOOO  early for them 🙂 You all look happy. cheers!

  15. Love your family pics. This is definitely an achievement with 3 teens during this 2020  pandemic world spinning year. Thanks for sharing !

  16. I agree with the others…frame that baby! Your kids are all there and everyone is smiling…perfection! Couldn’t help but notice that you said three teenagers. 😉It’s SO hard to stop saying when you’ve done it for so long, isn’t it?!😁

  17. They are all great!  I like the one with Caroline in the middle.  The pink being offset with the other colors just works.  But all of these are frame-worthy.  😊

  18. The pictures are great!  We’ve only done professional photo’s once.   I gave the kids a color scheme….blue jeans with gray or black top and whatever accessories they wanted.  Everyone added their own unique spin to their outfits….and I’m thrilled with how they turned out!  

    To me the important thing is to be thankful you all are together, healthy & happy!

  19. Your Family Pictures are Excellent IMO! My favorite one is the last one you showed where you are all spread apart walking toward the camera! You all look so Confident and Bold! You should frame that one and put it above your fireplace in the family room!

  20. All I see is the smiles. It’s a win when everyone has a genuine smile. My favourite is the first picture with Caroline & Becca in the middle. 

  21. They are great! Years from now you may actually look back on these and they may very well be your favorites because they truly are “you”. When my youngest was about 5 all she would wear were these red cowgirl boots – with everything! They were hand me downs. When we went to do our family photos, red didn’t go with them at all. But as we were getting ready she asked if she could wear them and I spontaneously said yes. They are by far our most favorite photos we’ve ever taken. And the red boots show such personality in a way nothing else could have. Treasure the fact that you documented this milestone year!

  22. Jo-Lynne, what a blessing your photos are! Your family looks happy and close. I’d frame that and take photos at the beach too It would be great to have each season, like a family snowman snowball fight photo, and the beach photo. This year will go down in history so having this framed will make you smile and remember the year you all stayed home, ate baked bread, worked and went to school from home, and grew as a family. Its thrilling to witness.

  23. I love all the the photos but I too agree that the last one walking in the woods is the most authentic and deserves a place on the fireplace!


  24. These photos came out great! Everyone looks nice and your eye is not drawn to one particular person or item of clothing! It looks nice and cohesive. Best of all everyone looks happy because they are themselves! Well done!

  25. I love the pictures! But my absolute favorite is the one with all of you walking toward the camera. So different than standard posed photos. Frame-worthy!

  26. I love, love that you  just let everyone dress how they felt comfortable.  It looks great! I’m glad you got it done too. Good job mama!

  27. Don’t know what I can add to the comments. Those are lovely photos!
    It’s been a couple of years since I was able to get the fam all together for a photo. I was under the weather due to springtime allergies & not looking my best, but I treasure those pictures anyway. They’re a piece of history I can look at whenever I want!

  28. Love the photos! Thank you for sharing with all of us. It warms my heart to see your lovely family. Beautiful photos and beautiful family. I echo the other comments: the photo with the sun behind you with you all walking to the camera is very special 😍
    So glad you got everyone together for this shoot. Its worth it. David looks great in his khakis! You look terrific in your oxblood moto jacket and front dip booties (my fav). A photo at the beach would also be lovely: something to look forward to in 2021. We all need things to look forward to. Someone told me today its 50 days to Christmas! Yikes.

  29. Your family is adorable. I think both your guys look great. And your girls are gorgeous. But to be honest,  I would have balked at the striped sweater. I would have been fine with any plain blue gray or pink. But that’s hardly the biggest problem in the world. 

  30. To each their own, but when things are too coordinated/contrived I feel a family photo can be in jeopardy of losing real meaning. So, to me, what you ended up with here is kind of perfection and I love it. You look like the very, very best versions of your real and true selves. Each and every one of you looks fantastic, and I’m sure there will be fun memories of that morning for everyone (even the teens) when looking back at these pictures because you will truly recognize yourselves. And I agree with everything Aimee Spencer said in her comment–Confident and Bold!! Alison knocked it out of the park! Thanks for sharing these with us.

  31. Wow! This pictures turned out great! I don’t really know how they could be any better. You all look happy and very well in the moment. Love Love them! 💕

  32. I love the real life photos. And totally agree to wear what you love and feel good in. Nowadays there is so much perfectionism with everything. It’s a breath of fresh air to see real families and real photos.

  33. These pictures are stunning! And kudos to your kids for cooperating with this project. You have a beautiful family.

  34. The pictures are great!  I must say, your dog (Savannah?) is an excellent poser.  It looks like she knew exactly what she was doing.  

  35. Hi Jo-Lynne, I think the photos are lovely- my favourite is the last one of all of you on a stroll. I can’t believe how good Savannah is- we can hardly ever get our dog to look at the camera at the right time and not be sniffing or looking at something more interesting! Well done all of you!

  36. OMGOODNESS.  They are great!!!!  I think the pic is a home run and of course the star is impeccably dressed, 😉.  When I first saw the picture my eyes gravitated to everyone’s faces – and you all look happy, not strained.  I also think the outfits are perfect, maybe because each one is happy with what they picked out.  You have one good looking family!  #familyblessed

  37. Oh my!! You all look great!! But HOW DID YOU GET THE DOG to cooperate?? We have soooo many family pictures where the dog ruins it by not looking at the camera!! 

  38. Such a beautiful family. The struggle is real on getting all on the same page for a family photo. Nice job. 

  39. I love it! Letting go of control is so feeing. Your eldest daughter is your twin, while the youngest looks like your husband. Your son is a mix. Everyone looks great! 

  40. These family pictures are PERFECT! I love how each outfit captures every family member’s personality & I personally think the color scheme worked out so well! The pink sweater is in the same color family of your Oxblood jacket & the blues & neutrals all compliment each other so nicely too. I think this one is most definitely worth an enlarged picture on the wall! 

  41. I love all these pictures!  Everyone looks happy and at ease.  And even Savannah was looking at the camera!  Any of these are frame worthy.  I especially like the one of you all walking towards the camera.   I like the other suggestions of framing one of these and then taking a beach photo, too.  Nancy had a good idea about one for every season.  

  42. Great photos! I love the first one, lit from behind, everyone has a glow!  How did you get Savannah to pose so properly?? 😍.   They all cooperated with sincere smiles ( I was going to say “lovely” but I didn’t think the 2 men would appreciate that!! 

  43. You all look great and like yourselves and you will be happy about that for sure. I think family photos are stressful. Glad you made it happen. 

  44. Keepers! Frame-worthy….and the shot of you all walking is my fave. 
    Beautiful family, Jo-Lynne and thank you for sharing them with us 💗

  45. I agree with those that suggested letting your children wear what they are comfortable in and what really represents who they are now.  I think the pictures look great and even Ms. Savannah is perfectly posed.  The photo session was all about her, right😉!  And there’s nothing wrong with your solo pictures!

  46. Oh my gosh! I love your family pics! They’re so “unposed” if that makes sense. You all look like you were just out for a nice family outing, just hanging out. 

  47. JO Lynne ,  I loved your family pictures.  And considering everyone had to get up early and get out the door  the smiles and happy faces were abundant.  Beautiful family and thanks for sharing with us.   I always had trouble getting my 2 boys and husband in a picture    It didn’t happen very often.     I hope you enjoy your weekend with your parents.  Have a great weekend.  

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