Colour Coordinating Outfits for Portraits

Colour Coordinating Outfits for Portraits

Ottawa Family and Maternity Photographer

Colours: Welcome to my blog post to help with colour coordinating outfits for portraits. First, let me say that I never way my clients to wear matching outfits. You know, the 90s sort of outfits that people wore:  either all jeans or khakis with white shirts. Bleh! The best way to coordinate outfits is to choose one or two main colours and one accent colour to add the pop factor to your outfits. The accent colour will also help tie in everyone’s outfits. For example, the two main colours could be navy blue, plum with a pop of gold (dark yellow–not metallic gold.) One person could wear a gold shirt or sweater, while another person could wear a gold scarf. Another person could wear a navy blue and plum pattern with gold flecks in it.


I know that trying to choose two colours with one pop of colour may be challenging for many people. So, here’s some colour combo ideas for each season:

Spring:  (Bright & pastel colours work well)

  • turquoise, navy blue, with a pop of yellow
  • Coral or peach with a navy blue accent
  • Light blue, mauve, with a pop of white
Spring colour palette.

Summer:  (Bright, deep & pastel colours work well)

what to wear summer colour palette
Summer colour palette.

Fall:  (Rich colours work well. No pastels.)

  • dark blues, burgundy and golden colours
  • rust, tan, and a pop of blue
  • grey, plum, navy blue
Fall colour palette.

Winter: (Rich colours work well. No pastels and little, if any, white/cream.)

  • blues, maroon, with a hint of cream
  • Medium green, brown with a hint of cream
  • navy blue and yellow
what-to-wear-winter-colour-palette A
Winter colour palette.

Dos and Don’ts

Dos:  Fabrics with texture photograph beautifully.


Don’ts:  Don’t wear all white or cream as the details of the outfit will be lost in digital. If your location has a lot of greenery, avoid wearing green as your main colour, or else you’ll blend in with your background.


Final Words

White and cream don’t photograph very well, so use these two colours sparingly when making outfit choices. Also, remember that darker colours are more slimming. So, if you have thicker legs (like I do) avoid wearing white or cream pants. If you have a tummy, no worries. Just avoid wearing a light coloured shirt or one that’s too tight. With that said, it doesn’t mean that you need to have your entire outfit be black or super dark colours. Add an accent colour to add some interest to your outfit.


I love shooting outdoor portraits. If you’re looking for a photographer to shoot family photos, kids photos, maternity or engagement portraits, I’d love to hear from you! Contact me today to book your outdoor portrait session.