How To Use Color And Pattern In A Photo Shoot

October 3, 2017


When you are hired to style a photo shoot, your client is looking to you for advice on how to make her photos the absolute best they can be. Understanding how certain colors and patterns work together is essential to helping your client achieve the quality of images she desires. The following tips can be applied to a range of photos from family portraits to business head shots.



First, always consider the background. Where does your client wish to take her portraits? If they are outside, make sure the clothing she wears doesn’t blend into the background. Your client(s) should stand out against the chosen setting whether that’s a park, a brick wall, or her living room.



The colors chosen must be right for your client’s skin tone. You should understand which colors look best on your client and why. If you don’t, consider taking our on-demand course on color analysis to get a better grasp of color. The colors you choose should brighten the face ensuring no one looks washed-out in their photos. If you’re not sure where to start with colors that flatter,  try colors like blush, emerald and plum which tend to look great on most skin tones. If you are working with a family, offer one to two secondary colors as accents once the main color has been decided. Accent colors will add more interest and depth to photos versus everyone wearing the same color.



Pieces with texture or pattern go a long way to adding visual interest in photos. You can easily incorporate texture by adding a vest, a light jacket, a blazer, necklaces, pocket square, etc. When it comes to adding pattern, remember that patterns in a medium-size are best for photos. Prints that are too small (such as  tiny polka dots or gingham) can appear blurry while prints that are too large (bold florals or graphic tee) can be overwhelming in an image.


Remember that your ultimate goal is to relieve your client of stress and help her feel her absolute best during her photo shoot.



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