• Rachel

Everything You Need to Know about Choosing Colors to Wear

Updated: Nov 18, 2020

Scientists believe that we can see around a million different shades of color, so what colors should you use for your photo session outfits???


Great question. How much time do you have?


Just kidding. It is pretty simple.


I have talked briefly about this topic in previous blog posts, but this is a post dedicated solely to the choosing of colors to wear for your photos, especially how to incorporate BOLD colors. I'm no fashion designer, just a photographer who wants to help!


1. Please please please choose colors that compliment your skin and hair tones! There is not much editing that can fix this.


2. Use your background scenery in your color scheme! For example, if you are taking pictures in a field with light browns and light greens, find color schemes that include those colors. Taking your pictures in an evergreen forest or in the mountains? Find a scheme that has dark greens and browns. Taking pictures at the beach? You get the idea.



Pinterest is a good resource to use to find color schemes like this. You could ask your photographer to send you some recommendations if you are unfamiliar with your location or follow me for some inspiration!


One thing that I think stresses people out about choosing outfits (because let's be honest, this is probably the hardest part) is that they choose a color scheme, start looking for clothes, find outfits that will work, but then they keep looking even after they are all set! There is almost a little bit of FOMO (fear of missing out) that comes into it, but once you have something that works that you are happy with, stick with it.


3. Don't be afraid of the bold colors. These are fun photo shoots that don't happen very often, so don't be afraid to wear your mustard yellow blouse or your bright red dress. The tip that I have that accompanies this is to balance out your popping colors with neutral colors like white, grey, black, brown, or blue. Maybe a black leather jacket can be included, or a cute hat, maybe a blazer, etc. Same goes for men and their clothing. If there are other people in your photo, use them to balance your bright colors!



I have seen some fun bold colors used in shoots, like bright reds or purples used in winter sessions with snow, mustards in the desert or urban locations, etc! Don't be afraid of those bright colors. Use them to your advantage!


Let's dive a little deeper into how to add bold colors into your wardrobe. Bold doesn't necessarily mean big and bright, it can also just be something that really makes that outfit/wardrobe stand out.


First of all, this could be done in two ways: A statement piece or an accent piece.


A statement piece would be a shirt, dress, or shawl that is your bold color and/or pattern. Use this piece to build your wardrobe around! Find a color scheme that includes that color and balance it with neutrals.


If your wardrobe is made up of all neutrals, don't forget the statement piece! This could be a necklace, tie, hair bow, suspenders, bow tie, hat, shawl, shoes, etc. Something that adds that POP! to your pictures.


Lets look at a couple examples of color schemes and what the bold colors would be.


  1. When I look at these colors, I imagine a family wearing jeans, maybe someone wearing a green romper, the boys wearing grey or maroon or even a light pink, with some pink added in. Most of these are bold colors when used all together, but the jeans and the light pink bring it all together. The maroon will stand out the most, but in a good way.

  2. I imagine this color scheme used during the fall or winter for an engagement shoot or a small family session. If it were formal, the man could wear a dark suit, either dark grey or navy, while the woman wears a maroon or brown or cream colored dress. It could also be for a more informal shoot where the men/women wear khakis with cream colored shirts or polos, with one or two people wearing grey or maroon.

  3. This one I imagine could be for any session. If it were used for senior pictures, I imagine the location would be by a body of water to give those blues and greys a place, with the subject wearing dark jeans with a lighter shirt or a pink dress or pink blouse with some light colored pants, shorts, or a skirt.

As you can see, it is not too hard to incorporate some splash of color into your wardrobe!


It is pretty simple when it really comes down to it. If you have more questions that this blog post or the post about what to wear for your session, talk to your photographer, or contact me.


If you are interested in booking a shoot with me or if you have any questions, you can contact me here!


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