Colours to Wear for your Photoshoot

Posted on 23rd October 2017 by Michelle under Q&As about Photo Shoots

Choosing which colours to wear for your photoshoot can turn a snap shot into a professional family portrait.

There is no point in having a perfectly posed photo with everyone looking and smiling at the camera if the colour of your clothes clash!    We want everyone to notice YOU in the photos, so in a way, you actually want to take the attention away from what you’re wearing!  So deciding in advance which colours to wear for your photoshoot (or which style of clothing) will turn your images from lovely to outstanding!


The next time you pick up a magazine featuring a ‘celebrity at home’ style shoot where the famous mum is holding her baby and being cuddled by her husband in and around the stunning rooms in their mansion, check out what they’re wearing.   They could be wearing jeans but I can guarantee the colours of their tops will either be the same or similar & complimentary colours.

To be honest if you pick the right patterns & colours, people won’t even notice what you’re wearing.

And this is a good thing as you’re having your photos taken to capture you and your beautiful family.  You’re not booking a family photo shoot with me to show off your wardrobe choices!   However, pick colours or patterns that clash with each other or dress one of you in shorts and another in a suit or evening dress and the clothes will be the first thing you and other people will notice.   I love photography for making time stand still for you by capturing your faces and it’s your faces I want everyone to notice straight away!

So, where do you start?

First are you booking an indoor studio shoot where the temperature won’t be an issue or an outdoor shoot where it could be baking in the summer or freezing in winter?  (for details on which photo shoot to book click here)

Lets start with a studio shoot where you have the largest choice of clothing as you’re not weather dependent.   Decide what look you’re going for – a fun casual family shoot where you can all be relaxed in jeans and t-shirts  / shirts or maybe you fancy all dressing up in your smart gear.   As long as the whole family are in the same style, that’s the first step.    The colours don’t have to be the same as each other.  Yes of course you can all wear white tops in various styles,  or how about all in blue tops but a variety of shades from baby blue to navy?    What time of year is it?  In spring and summer you may wish to go for bright colours or more rustic browns and oranges if it is Autumn.

Okay so you’ve decided on your style and colours for everyone.  But is everyone comfortable?

That last thing anyone wants is a photo taken of them in an outfit that no longer fits or they’ve been asked to wear against their will (insert ‘teenagers’ here… I have my own so know how important clothing choices are).   As a photographer I want to spend the shoot capturing the relationship between you all, the hugging, the laughing, the tender holding hands and smiles at each other…  If someone is pre-occupied by their outfit, they won’t be comfortable during the photos.

Do you want a themed photo shoot?   Is it coming up to Christmas?     Do you all want to come in your bright knitted Christmas jumpers and pop on Christmas hats?   Do you want to ‘photo booth’ fun shoot where you all put on funny hats, wigs and glasses?   How about re-creating a retro 1970’s or 1980’s  photo and come in old fashioned clothes?   The studio time is yours and a small amount of preparation can have a massive impact on your day.



Choosing what colours to wear for your photoshoot outdoors: 

This is exactly the same unless its really cold… not may families all happen to have warm coats that happen to match each in style and colour.  Therefore if you will be chilly, think about ditching the coats and putting on lots of cosy jumpers.   Add snuggly hats and scarves to the mix and suddenly you have the opportunity to compliment each others outfits.  I have a large variety of woolly hats you can borrow in autumnal colours.

Colour wheels – you probably learnt about these in Art lessons at school or if you have a passion for interior design you may have used one to match carpet colours to your furniture.   colour wheel, photo, colours to wear for your photoshoot, what colours to wear, chelmsford photographer, essex photographer, The wheel helps pick shades of the same colour and complimentary shades which are positioned opposite each other in the circle.  It shows the warmer colours on one side and cooler colours on the opposite side. You can also pick a colour, example orange, and see that its neighbours of yellow and red are similar enough to go together too.   I always say that black or white go with all colours as would dark grey.


Alternatively check out these colour palettes which show you how a brighter colour can have a impact on neutral colours:


What about patterns?

When thinking about what colours to wear for your photoshoot, you may all have red tops but some are spotty, some are striped and some are floral.  When I take and edit my photos I do it with the intention of the photos being in colour.           

However, if a customer lets me know in advance that they are after black and white portraits, then all this talk of colour can go out of the window and patterns become important.

Patterns in black and white images take the place of colours but adding variety.



The final point I would like to make about what colours to wear for your photoshoot is that if in doubt, chat to me in advance of your shoot or bring a change of outfit with you on the day.   This guide is to help you with advance preparation so you consider everyone’s outfits.   If it starts to get stressful, however, then keep it simple.



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