This is the most common question I get when planning a fine art family session. Dressing successfully for a group portrait is different than dressing an individual photo. The focus of a great family portrait should be the faces and the emotional connect between family members. When a family dresses too loudly and their clothes grab all the attention then it is hard to feel the emotions over the clothes.
Step 1- Choose 1-2 neutral base colors. The base should be something most people already have in their closets. Black, white, denim, tan, navy, grey etc.
Step 2- Choose 2-3 colors to mix and match around the group. Each color needs to be used on 2-3 different people. Use layers and accessories to accomplish this color combo.
Step 3- Solids are more flattering and timeless than patterns and prints. Remember the people matter more than the clothes so add interest with layers not loud patterns.
Step 4- Lay all clothing on the floor together and see if one piece demands most of the attention. Most of my clients will send me a cell phone photo if they have concerns and questions and I can help them through the process.