As a family photographer, the most common question I get from families is ‘What should we wear?’ And as a mom myself, I get it! The idea of selecting color schemes for family photos and finding coordinating outfits can make my head spin too! That’s why I’ve put together a blog series with information from general tips for what to wear to the best colors for outside family pictures.
BEST COLORS FOR OUTSIDE FAMILY PICTURES
NAVY, CREAM AND TAN
Navy, cream and tan is a classic color scheme for family photos that works well for any season. The navy and cream pair beautifully with the pastel florals and bright greens of spring. They also look perfect among green grass and leaves at a park for summer family pictures. And these ‘neutral tones’ compliment the bright yellows and oranges of fall foliage.
GRAY, PINK AND GOLD
AQUA AND NAVY
CORAL AND NAVY
You will find most color schemes have one or two bright or vibrant colors paired with one or two ‘neutral’ tones. In this outfit the coral is a bold focal color. Navy, gray and white all act as neutral tones that help balance out the vibrant coral and ground the outfit.
NAVY AND YELLOW
Another example of a color scheme for family pictures that uses a bright color (yellow) in small amounts. And then balances it with neutrals (gray and navy).
AQUA, GRAY AND YELLOW
Aqua, gray and yellow are a perfect color scheme for spring or summer family photos.
TURQUOISE AND TAN
BURNT ORANGE, TAN AND NAVY
Fall is such a popular time for family pictures. In Northeast Ohio, we tend to have parks full of beautiful golden yellow fall foliage. This family outfit has the perfect color scheme for golden fall leaves.
PINK, WINE AND GRAY
WINE, CREAM AND GOLD
I love this color scheme for holiday family photos. So often we think red and green for Christmas pictures. But using a color scheme of wine, cream and gold still gives a festive feel if you plan to use them for Christmas cards. But it is also classic and traditional enough to hang in your home year round.
PINK, TAN AND CREAM
Tan, cream and pink are one of the best set of colors for family pictures outside at the beach. This would be a perfect family outfit if you were looking for a very understated and monochromatic look. The pink used in this family outfit is so soft and pale that it almost acts as a neutral itself. And the tans and creams echo the tones of the sand on the beach.
* Just be sure to skip the shoes if you use an outfit like this for a beach photo session. Barefoot on the beach always looks best *
PEACH, BLUE AND DENIM
Peach, blue and denim is a favorite color scheme for spring family pictures. The peach blends perfectly with pastel toned spring flowers of Northeast Ohio. While the denim help act as a neutral to keep the outfit from competing with all the amazing colors nature has to offer in the spring.
RED, MUSTARD AND GRAY
RED, WHITE AND BLUE
This red, white and blue color scheme just feels right for a 4th of July family photos. Red can be a tricky color to use in pictures because it can really demand attention. But, it can also help create a striking family portrait. If you plan to use red as part of your color scheme be sure to consider your session location. The neutral tones of a beach or urban downtown session would be a perfect backdrop for this color scheme. While a grassy park with lots of green, may leave your picture feeling a little more Christmassy than you expected.
GRAY, BLUE AND TAN
HOW TO PICK YOUR PERFECT COLOR SCHEME
Maybe you found a color scheme above that you fell in love with. Great! Before you raid your closet or hit the store, let’s look a few tips to help you make sure that color scheme is a perfect fit. Or help you narrow your favorites down to the best one for your family.
When selecting color schemes for your family photos, be sure to keep the location of your session in mind. While bright and vibrant colors my look perfect for a downtown urban style session, they may feel a tad out of place nestled in a field of tall wispy grasses. Or, if your setting is full of lush green foliage, wearing lots of red could accidentally leave your portrait looking Christmassy.
2. YOUR HOME
When you are selecting the best colors for your outside family pictures, start by looking inside your home. Where do you plan to hang your final portraits? You may want to pull colors from your decor so that your final artwork looks like it was made for your walls. If your style is soft and muted tones, outfits in the same soft and muted style would be a perfect choice. Decorate in cooler tones? Be sure to dress in cooler tones as well.
3. SKIN TONES
We all have that favorite color. You know. The one that everyone compliments you in when you wear it. We usually gravitate toward colors that work well with our skin tone without even realizing it. For example, if you have a warm skin tone, you will tend to gravitate towards and look best in warm colors like brown, gold, oranges and reds.
And if you look best in and find yourself always wearing cool colors such as grays, purple, and blues, then you most likely have a cool skin tone.
But when you have a family, there can be multiple skin tones. And you still want to make sure the colors you choose compliment everyone. While that may sound impossible if you have some members of your family that are cool tones and some that are warm, there is an easy solution.
4.MAKING SURE YOUR COLOR SCHEME LOOKS GREAT ON EVERYONE
Maybe you love the aqua and blue color scheme above. But aqua doesn’t look great on your daughter. You could dress her more dominantly in the neutral anchor color. In this case navy blue. Then add an aqua belt to tie her outfit in. That way the aqua in her belt is resting on the navy dress and not up against the skin tone of her face.
5. TAKE YOUR FREE WHAT TO WEAR GUIDE WITH YOU WHEN YOU SHOP
Download your free what to wear guide below. Full of outfit examples and inspiration as well as my 5 favorite tips for coordinating your family outfits, it is perfect to keep on your phone when you go shopping. Or reference when you are combing through your closet at home. Enjoy!
And now it’s time to go raid your closet and hit the stores!
I’d love to hear what color scheme you wore for your family photo session. Drop me a comment below.