Best Color Combinations for Photography to Enhance Photos

Colorful canvas prints with wedding portrait and landscape photos

Choosing colors and color combinations for photography requires planning if not effort. Use of color in photography is an Art as old as photography itself but most of us don’t realize the importance of co-ordination and planning. In this guide, we will consider some tips to get the best color combinations when posing for photos. But first: we will consider the best color combinations for decorative landscape photos especially from the point of view of wall art and interior design.

Photo colors for wall art

A portrait on the wall is a memory that keeps flashing every time you turn around or enter the room. If you have light colored walls, you could hang a photograph that blends in or one that pops out. If, on the other hand, you have dark colored walls, a photograph with light colors and a light background will help create a pleasant contrast and lighten the room. It will also help small spaces look bigger than they are. You could also set the mood through such selective use of color in photography. For example: a black and white photograph or a photograph in grey scale can be mounted on a plain wall or a dark colored wall to create a somber or a solemn mood. Conversely, a light wall and a photograph with a spring/bright background or contrasting colors can set a positively happy mood.

Best color combinations for photography in family portraits

A family portrait is a memory forever. Once you decide upon a date to get photographed, choose an appropriate location as well as the colors of clothes you wear. Both these factors are as important as ensuring that everyone is present for the photo session.Here are some tips to get the best color combinations for family photographs.

  • Choose few main colors and match pairs in the family.
  • If you are getting a picture taken in your living room, use the soft morning light, bright, cheerful colors and add blacks or whites to complete outfits. Coordinate colors among members of your family and disperse members wearing same or similar colors. (An important rule to remember when coordinating is “Complement but not matchy matchy!”)
  • Choose two spring colors or brighter shades to complete outfits with blacks and greys.
  • Match colors that contrast each other. Some ideas for contrast are muddy pink and black, orange and indigo, dark red and white, gold and silver (suitable for wedding photographs), purple and green, yellow and grey.
  • Accessories are an important part of adding the best color combinations in family pictures. Think outside the box: select hats, scarves, jewelry, sweaters, vests and anything else that can take the photo from ‘ho-hum’ to complete.Choose accent colors and fill in clothing having punches of these accessories. For example: if a little girl is wearing a patterned dress with tons of aqua and coral, her sister or mother could be given a coral headband while her little brother could wear an aqua bow tie.
  • When photographing babies and toddlers- the rule is to just let them be. With their sweet purity and innocence, they can become the star of the show.
  • Complimentary colors work great too in a warm sunny setting like shades of green in a park, or shades of orange in an orange tulip plantation, or shades of red in a rose garden.
  • Use of color in photography outdoors sounds daunting but it really isn’t. Survey the area and dress accordingly.
  • If you are on a picnic for instance, color coordinate everything including your picnic cutlery and create a pleasant harmony with the background. Bright floral colors or greens or pastel shades of floral colors work best based on your own complexion and vegetation.
  • If you are out in the woods where the light is scant and soft, wear light colors, avoid blacks and grays and wear light makeup. If it is hot and humid, avoid whites.
  • Choose variegated fabric for one central character in the photograph and work around the colors to create harmony while maintaining the tone of the final image.
  • Use of color in photography helps creates a flow. Choose bright or variegated clothing for one central character, and then create a pattern so that each character catches the eye as in a flow or harmony. Place the characters in that order and there you have a perfect portrait that isn’t jarred or distracted by the central figure.

Use of color in photography is not just about wearing what suits you best or choosing a stunning background but it is very much about combining colors and creating eye catching combinations that do not distract the overall picture. We hope these tips for best color combinations for photography help you get the best photos.