Here are my top tips for putting together the wardrobe for your family portraits:
1. No busy patterns! Stripes on one person, flowers on another, polka dots on a third.... you'll look like your having your pictures taken to apply to clown school, not for a beautiful portrait to put on your walls. Solids always work best, or a subtle pattern.
2. Think of the colors that are most flattering. Many families like to wear white on top and jeans or khakis on the bottom, I personally like this look, it's classic, but it's not for everyone. White can really wash out skin tones, especially when taken with artificial light in a studio setting. Jewel tones are flattering to most everyone, and really give a pop of color to your portrait.
3. Think long term, we've all seen those pictures from the 70's with the wild patterns and orange/gold/brown colors, or worse, the pictures from the 80's (can you say big hair and blue eye shadow). Try to stick with the classics, and not what is "in style" at this very moment. You don't want to date your portraits before they are even hung on the wall.
4. This tip is mostly for the Mom's, since I find women are most critical of themselves in pictures (myself included), wear something that you feel good in! If you have a color you love on yourself, dress the family around it. If you have a top that you feel pretty in every time you put it on, then that's the one for you. Put on your clothes and sit in them, make sure your happy with how your body looks in them, sitting and standing, you want to feel good.
5. This may be the most obvious, but make sure everyone is wrinkle and stain free, if you've got a child that can't go more then 5 minutes without getting a stain, it may be best to bring the clothes to the photo shoot to change into.
And most of all, just have fun with it!