When it comes to group and family photos, the question of 'Should we match?' always comes up.
My suggestion is to color coordinate, not necessarily match.
Matching isn't a bad thing, at all. If you have a large group getting together (think family reunion or co-worker celebration) and you're wanting a large group photo of everyone in a special shirt, definitely go for it. If you want to keep things simple and classic with all black or all white, do it.
However if you don't want to match, but you're not sure what to do, I would suggest color coordinating your outfits.
What's color coordination? It's choosing colors that match while still styling everyone in the photo uniquely and bringing out their own personality.
In order to help you visualize color combinations, I've put together a few samples. Basing outfits off of these color palettes will allow you to build outfits around your group or family photos while still bringing out each individual's own unique, personal style.
A few tips on styling group and family photos:
Don't tell everyone to wear red (or any color), then expect all the reds to be the same color. It's a lot more common than you think. Clothing manufacturer's all use slightly different dye, so you'll never get just one shade of red.
Black and brown can be combined and look good. Think black tights with brown boots. It shouldn't work but does.
Let's face it, young kids look cute when they match. Older kids, not so much. Older kids want to stand out from the crowd and be themselves.
If you're uncomfortable in an outfit, don't wear it and choose something else. If you're uncomfortable in your clothes, it will show up in your photos.
Pick a neutral (white, brown, black, cream), and then start choosing colors off of your neutral.
Think of your setting and background. Have a warm background, choose cooler colors to stand out. Cool background, choose warmer colors. Bright colors really pop with neutral backgrounds!
When in doubt, ask for help. As photographers, we can tell you if an outfit will photograph well. Plus, we love to see families and groups rock their photo sessions! Send us a picture! We'd love to help!