What colors wear for your family session?

What colors wear for your family session?

You’ve booked your outdoor family photo shoot, and can’t wait to finally have some photographs of everyone together that you’re proud to display at home. But which colors pick up?

Whether you are taking a family portrait for a special gift or you want to update your photo to include new family members, formal pictures of all the relatives together are treasured possessions for most people. However, nothing can ruin a group shot quicker than lack of color coordination.

Unfortunately, no single rule exists that determines the best colors to wear for group shots, but you can improve your odds of success by asking some questions before the session. Find out what the background color will be, for example or the location where the photos will be taken.

As a general rule of thumb:

  • Have everyone wear colors that are complementary in shade.
  • Avoid fabrics with large prints, patterns or plaids.

Typically medium shades of blues, greens or purples are flattering to most skin tones, but stay away from vivid shades of red or orange or stark neutrals like black or white. In addition to these basic tips, there are a number of other factors that come into play when deciding colors for family portraits.

When deciding what to wear for photos, pick a palette of 3-4 colors. Let this be your starting place. Think in terms of tones: blue tones, earth tones, neutrals, pastels, etc. Everyone in the family can express their own sense of style within the chosen color palette, and the whole group will coordinate beautifully.

Neutral colors are not typically found on the color wheel, they include black, white, grays, and browns (blue and green are often included as well). Neutral colors are sometimes referred to as “earth tones” due to the fact they are colors you’re most likely to see in rocks, sand, dirt, and clay. 

I consider blue to be a neutral color because of its prominence in a wardrobe. I do not consider green to be a neutral color for the opposite reason, green is not a fundamental color within a wardrobe.

 Use the color wheel

Colors Have Meanings

Once you learn the common meanings of colors, you’ll never look at branding the same ever again! You’ll also be pickier with what you wear on an interview or a first date! 

  1. Red: Passion, energy, intensity, determination
  2. Orange: Optimism, sociability
  3. Yellow: Cheerful, intellectual
  4. Green: Balance, growth
  5. Blue: Trust, peace, loyalty
  6. Purple: Imaginative, creative
  7. Pink: Girly, nurturing, loving
  8. Brown: Comfort, security
  9. Gray: Unemotional, transitional
  10. Gold: Success, triumph, luxury
  11. White: Pure, perfect, innocent
  12. Black: Mysterious, hidden

Great Color Combinations

Pick Colors For Photos To Wear For Seasonal Images

If you’re trying to pick colors to wear for your portraits that match the season or a holiday, then check the below lists! Try to pick colors that fit your color palette for the ultimate color scheme.

Spring Portrait Colors

  • Pale pink
  • Mint green
  • Baby blue
  • Cream
  • Light gray
  • Soft yellow
  • Spring green
  • Lavender

Summer Portrait Colors

  • White
  • Yellow
  • Bold red
  • Bright orange
  • Bold pink
  • Turquoise
  • Royal blue

Fall Portrait Colors

  • Browns
  • Mustard yellow
  • Burnt orange
  • Dark shades of green
  • Dark purple
  • Neutrals

Winter Portrait Colors

  • White
  • Cream
  • Brown
  • Black
  • Medium to dark gray
  • Ruby red
  • Dark purple
  • Emerald green
  • Blue
My top tip here would be to keep the overall look smart-casual and
  • Keep it simple and comfy.
  • Skip the logos.
  • Choose neutral clothing.
  • Fit your style to your location.
  • Coordinate patterns and colors.

Keep It Simple

So here’s the color wheel. You can use it to pick out colors that go together. If you look at the last row of the image below, you’ll see a bunch of different ways to pick out colors that will look good together. You can use any of these color relationships on the color wheel to find harmonious colors. Just start with one color, and check out what colors will work based on the different patterns.  color wheel, color theory diagram

Mix and match

The easiest thing you can do to ensure you get great photos is to bring options to your session. Bring your favorite colors and other variations. It’s easy to bring more clothes and let your photographer help you figure out which looks the best on camera. This will help make sure you get the best look. Some colors that always flatter no matter what are deep reds, shades in the blue-green family, and grays. I also suggest using complementary colors when layering.

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