Blog Family and Children Photography | Maureen Stuart Photography

choosing the best colour clothes for a family photo…

When composing a photo there are a number elements to consider.  Colour is one of the primary ones.  In my chat with my clients before our photoshoot we discuss an approach to clothing selection which ensures that the people rather than the clothes are the focus of the image.  One part of this discussion covers the colour of the clothes.  I usually suggest that the mother chooses a colour which she feels looks good on her as the starting point for colour selection as most colours look good on children and the dads are normally flexible or maybe more unaware!

The best colour in the whole world is the one that looks good on you.
— Coco Chanel

The most important thing to remember when choosing the colour of the rest of family’s outfits  is that the colours worn by the family members work well together.  Once you have achieved this it is ideal if the colour in the clothes complements the colours in the location.  

This can be difficult to achieve though as the strength or intensity (saturation) of the colours in the clothes and the lightness or darkness of the colours can affect how this works in practise.  However, the mother of these lovely girls achieved this perfectly. I love that the twin’s outfits which are the same are different to the older sister’s clothes.  The outfits are harmonious rather than matching.  As this was an autumn shoot there were lots of oranges and browns in the leaves on the ground.  One of the colours that looks particularly good with orange is its complementary colour blue.  Complementary colours are supposed to be especially pleasing to the eye and I think you can see that here with the way the blue clothes look with the autumn leaves.  I also love the way the mum has chosen brown boots which I think also brings out the brown of the girl’s hair.

For my clients in preparation for their photoshoots I offer assistance in their clothing selection as I feel it can make a big difference to the final images.  I suggest to my clients that they lay out all the clothes which will be worn by the family on a large bed so that they may see all the clothes together and that they send me a photo so that we may discuss.  Even the process of laying out the clothes on the bed is something which often highlights where colours are not working together. 

For a more detailed explanation of colours in relation to clothing  is an interesting read.