These guidelines are for families but good for individuals as well. The main tip is to coordinate your colors rather than everyone wearing the same, one color. The idea is that when you look at the portrait, you see FACES - not a large expanse of one color.
- In a natural setting, earth tones are great, so are bold bright colors.
- In an urban setting, trendy clothing with bold colors and textures. Layer scarves, sweaters, and jackets. Don't forget hats and heels.
- Solid black should (generally) be avoided.
- White and pastels are great for the beach or a light background but (generally) should be avoided otherwise.
- Avoid loud, larger patterns. Break up bold patterns and plaids with a jacket or scarf.
- Avoid clothes with large logos, cartoon characters, or words.
- Speaking of a large expanse of color... skin. If an expanse of skin is larger than your face, it will demand more attention in the portrait. Avoid low cut tops. Long sleeves or 3/4 length look best.
- Children should be comfortable in their clothes.
- Shoes matter. For children, cute, funky socks and shoes or bright rubber boots can really add to an outfit and bring out their personality. For women, heals are great, but it's a good idea to bring something comfy to wear as we move from location to location (especially if we are tromping through the woods or mud). For guys, clean loafers are fine. If name brand tennis shoes are your style, just make sure they are clean.
- Prefer bare feet? Great!
- Hats. If you want to wear a hat for part of the shoot, let's save it until the end so you don't have "hat hair".
Here are some great examples that I put together on Pinterest.
And some more on my blog.