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What to wear and How to choose a color scheme for your portraits

1. Decide on a Color Scheme

The first thing I ask when someone seeks advice on colors to wear, I ask where they plan to hang the portraits in their home, and what colors are in that room. For some people, this doesn’t make a difference. But for others, if they plan to hang the prints in their family room that is painted red and black, and you plan to wear orange and brown, it won’t work very well. If your room is neutral and you’d like some color pop from the portraits, and you just need help deciding on colors, here are a few thoughts.

Design Seeds is a site full of fabulous eye candy. The artist finds beautiful images, and pics a color palette out of those images that you might not otherwise notice. It can be applied to home décor or clothing; I think of it when picking out color schemes for portraits. It helps your eye to see color patterns that go together.

My favorite color palettes as it photographs really well during the golden hour or early in the morning session.

You can do a search by color palettes or themes (spring, fall, ocean, edible), and you can sit there for hours drooling over the beautiful photography but find an image/color that resonate with you and go with that! My home is neutral in nature with lots of color accents. I also have our family portraits taken once or twice a year, so I’ve gone through lots of color schemes.

2. Select one focal piece

If you have a color palette in mind, or even if you don’t…shop around to find one patterned piece that you love. It can be a little girls floral dress or a boys plaid shirt, but if you find one central piece, it helps to plan everything around that. Since us moms like our kids to be the focal point, I’d suggest this focus piece to be on one of the children (not an adult). That doesn’t mean that they will stand out the most, after accessorizing (my next point) it will all flow together.

3. Pick 3 colors

Long gone are the days of everyone wearing a white shirt and matching. Instead, pick a couple of colors and choose clothes that will fit in this color scheme. It’s a good idea to pick 3 colors to work with as your main colors, then consider grays, whites, blacks, or browns as freebie’s. Not necessarily all of them together, but one or two that work with the 3 colors you chose. Muted colors are best for the whimsical feel.

4. Layers & Accessories

Cardigan, necklace, headband, scarf, button up shirt, tights, hats, ties. Layers & accessories add dimension, pizazz, fun, texture and therefore richness to the overall look. In the past, I have had the problem of purchasing all of these in my color palette (while keeping the receipts very close by) and once I have the clothing planned out, start throwing in accessories to see what works.

If I have 2 girls (Our family picture above), they don’t both don't wear the same color dress, but one is in a light blue dress and one in a cream color dress. If you notice on my boys in the image above, they both have undershirts to provide another layer. Boys have fever options when it comes to layers (and seem more difficult to dress). I often try to put my 2 boys in two types of shirts and layer them differently. One a button up with t-shirt underneath, the other a polo type with T underneath and maybe sleeves rolled up into each other. Below, I found a vest that fit.

5. Patterns

Limit patterns. I am not oppose to patterns but if everyone is wearing clothes with patterns, it can make your photos look pretty busy. Please stay away from wearing anything with Logos. If you want your photos to be timeless, it is best not to time stamp your photo with wearing stuff with logos.

5. Plan ahead

Once you book your session, start thinking of the clothes right away. You may think certain clothes will fit your kids or that one dress is clean. If you wait until the day of or day before you may run into an issue of clothes not fitting, being dirty or need to be dry cleaned.

6. Avoid all white or all black clothing

If you are wearing an all-white shirt, then it is very easy to blow out parts of your shirt causing it to lose its detail. White tends to cast a blue color tone to your skin. Same can be said with all black, it’s easy to have clipping on black clothing and the detail is lost. Avoid being to matchy with your outfits. It is okay to play with your colors.


Some of my favorite boutiques.

1. Style by Soluna - Check out the Instagram page. This store is located in San Pedro. The Store does not have an online shop so you have to go there. Is such cute boutique and I love the color scheme the owner of the store sticks with. Lot of muted colors that photographs well if you are going for the whimsical feel for your photos.

2. Tj Maxx and Marshalls are my favorite local shops as I am big on price shopping.

3. If you have plenty of time to shop. My next go to is The green dress I am wearing in the photo above is from Shein. Shipping usually takes about 1.5 weeks if you spend a certain amount, it comes a lot faster. I have ordered from this site many times and the best thing to do is read the review before buying.

4. Another one of my favorite online store is The cream dress I am wearing in the photo above it from Lulus

5. Here is another online store


Check out my Pinterest board for more ideas Family Ideas


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