Now, I am probably the last person my girlfriends go to with that question when we are going out for the night. But, when it comes to taking a family photo I could go on and on.
As far as clothing goes, first priority is making sure everyone feels confident and comfortable in their outfits. You have proved to be great at dressing your family on a daily basis, but in the case you need some inspiration:
1. Try to stay away from just one color as your theme. Everyone wearing one solid color makes people blend in to one another. I recommend staying away from all solid whites or all solid blacks. White tends to reflect light and can drain a person of color in a photo. Black gets lost in the backgrounds and other people.
2. Pick a color palate that has one or two colors as your base. The goal is coordination, not specifically matching. What I mean by coordination over perfect matching is having a few different colors/shades of colors and even a pattern thrown in with the same color scheme. This can really pull interest into a photo. And make you all look more natural as a family.
3. While patterns can make the photo pop, avoid graphics and logos unless your theme is along the lines of a sports team.
4. Coordinate the style and color of your clothing with your location in mind. If you are going to be surrounded by outdoors and fall colors, you may not want to have everyone in yellow or they may get lost in the foliage instead of popping.
5. Think about Layers. Adding layers to your outfit adds texture and can change up looks throughout the shoot. This can also help you do a quick change if you have a different shirt you want to throw on the kids or yourself.
Last Tip: Remember, these are not rules, just things I have come to pick up over the years of practice, so feel free to revert to the first tip as the most important. Comfort is key!!
A few more examples of large family photos with awesome color coordination: