Picking Colors for Your Photoshoot

Picking Colors for Your Photoshoot

The biggest struggle and sometimes question that I get is about clothing for your photography session. The truth is, what you wear and the colors you wear can make your photos look totally different. So I decided to write a little bit about picking colors for your photoshoot.

So this blog post isn’t about “What to Wear”. I actually have another blog post on that and you can see that here. That posts will tell you the dos and don’ts on what exactly to think about when it comes to styling and what looks flattering.

This one is really about colors and how it can affect the look you are going for in photos. When you book a session with Memories by Candace, I actually send you a guide that goes even deeper on color schemes and how to pick your colors to wear based on the color wheel. It goes far deeper about color pallet.

But FIRST, let’s dive in on what colors NOT to wear. Okay, slow down. They aren’t what not to wear completely…just don’t wear too much of these colors.


  1. Black. Yes, it’s tempting to dress your family in one color that everyone usually has, but black really dulls the image. You lose so much detail. So a full dress in black is not my recommendation usually. Sometimes it can work, like in year 2021, it was definitely a big maternity trend. However, again, just not my recommendation because I like to show as much detail as possible. Think about it – if you put a whole family in black, you’re just one blob of black. You can’t see buttons, textures, or anything. However, black pants or shorts are okay. Just not a whole attire of it.
  2. Dark Blue. Think the same thing as black. I just don’t love it. I like small amounts of it, but not for the whole outfit. Jeans don’t count in this either.
  3. Neon. Big no no. Just don’t do it. It’s distracting. It never goes well. It can easily also reflect on your skin tone. Avoid neon altogether. Like completely. I’m for real here (and that even includes bright hot pink tops!)
  4. Bright White. Bright white ends up actually looking blue in photos. It’s can be difficult to color correct. And it can make one look washed out. Now of course, the exception is wedding day. Brides, don’t worry – white is necessary if your dress is white. It’s actually the textures of wedding dresses that save the color white. If you have to wear bright white, make it texture like lace. So instead of white, think off-white or cream. Those totally work.
  5. Bright Reds. So I actually love red in the desert sometime. It gives it that pop of color. However, what usually makes this so great is that its usually dark red. So just know there is a difference. Choose dark red over bright red.
  6. Bright Blue. I’m not talking about light baby blue that’s close to a denim color. I actually love that color with tans and browns similar to the photo above. But most blue, I’m just not a big fan of. It just looks unnatural outdoors. I really also love warm images and when someone wears bright blue, it cools the image down quite a bit. And I just don’t like it.

Think about what you want to see hung up in your home. Are you wanting photos to have a seasonal color pop? Are you going for bold looks? Do you like that pop of color? Or maybe you really like neutral or lighter colors. Both of these things can affect the colors or look that you may be going for.


So I wanted to post a couple of examples.

The first photo was taken at sunset (blue hour) where that sun already went over the mountain. But mom was wearing just enough pop of color to not make it too overwhelming. So that leads to the big trick. If you like that pop of color, don’t put the whole family in it. You want to sort of offset it with some lighter and neutral tones.

The second photo was completely neutral at golden hour. This is where you sort of want to match the earthy backgrounds of your location to give a more neutral look. So those tans, creams, browns, and light sage greens will do that if that’s the look that you are going for.

So what’s my recommendation or my opinion? The truth is I LOVE BOTH! I used to really love POP of color only. But through the years, I’ve truly learned that I love both looks. Sorry I am no help. It’s almost like Golden Hour and Blue Hour – I just cannot decide which I like best there either. That’s the fun part of being a photographer, the scene can change even if I am at the same exact location with light and what my subjects are wearing!

So it really comes down to you and what you like. And hopefully I’ve shown you two opposite photos and it shows how it can truly change a photo session vibe. I’ll post a few more looks below that are good color combinations to give neutral and pops of color.

I actually get much more in depth with this and the color wheel and pallets when you book a session with me. I send you a whole guide on what to wear talking about actual color schemes.

Not sure on what I mean about Golden Hour and Blue Hour?