Having everyone dress in similar outfits helps to visually unify the group and makes exposure and retouching easier. We've all seen those photos of laid-back families dressed casually in jeans and white shirts, barefoot on the beach. The look works for some families, but if your brood needs to allow for a bit more individuality, don't despair. Simply ask for everyone to choose an outfit in a neutral palette or in similar tones, in either dark or bright colors. Stay away from brightly patterned or trendy clothing that might provide a distraction to the viewer or date the photo too quickly.
Look for ways to capture common interests. Does your family love baseball or hiking? Have them wear T-shirts representing their favorite teams, or dress casually in hiking clothes and pose by a stream. Everyone will be happy and comfortable -- and the smiles will be genuine.
Tempted to make a special shopping trip to find something new for your son or daughter to wear? Don't. You'll want to them to look relaxed and natural, and brand-new clothing can look stiff and uncomfortable on film.