Over the years I have taken thousands of family portraits. The number one question people always ask is "What do I wear for my group family portrait?" Really there are no steadfast hard rules for a family portrait. But I have gathered some really helpful tips from my experience.
First don't wear anything distracting or loud. You may love that Hawaiian print shirt from last years vacation to Maui, but your family may think otherwise. Keep it simple.
Also consider what type of portrait you want. Formal or casual is the first question. This will determine the answer to the next question, Indoors or Outdoors? Times have changed and people are looking to get outside for a more natural setting. Something we at Erik R. Soto Photography specialize in. If you will be shooting in a park, maybe the formal suits and cocktail gowns may not be the best option for you.
Generally speaking try to stay within the same color or tonal range in your group portrait. Have everyone choose the same color top and bottom. i.e. blue tops and khaki bottoms or jeans and white shirts. Not everyone has to wear the EXACT same shirt but try and stick to something that doesn't clash. Clothing that blends harmoniously creates unified portraits and a classic style because the viewer's eye will go directly to the faces and not the clothing.
Talk to your family. Communication about your wardrobe is key here. You don't want to show up wearing the exact same dress as your aunt Mary. This will save you an potentially embarrassing moment later.
Lastly, be comfortable. If you are struggling with a top or pair of pants, it will show in your photos. If you feel good, you will look good.