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What is a good color for family portrait?

What is a good color for family portrait?

When choosing a color scheme for a family portrait, there are a few key considerations to keep in mind. The colors you choose will set the overall tone and feeling of the portrait, so it’s important to select hues that complement your family’s style and personality. Here are some tips on how to pick the perfect color palette for your next family photo shoot.

Neutral Tones

One popular option for family portraits is to stick with neutral tones like black, white, gray, tan, navy or khaki. Neutrals act as a subtle backdrop that won’t compete with the focus of the image – your beautiful family! Neutral colors also tend to be timeless and classic, meaning your portrait will likely stand the test of time.

Black and white portraits have a stylish, elegant feel that works well for families who want a formal, sophisticated look. Shades of gray can create stunning high-contrast images full of dimension. Cream, tan and khaki are softer neutrals that pair nicely with natural woodsy backdrops. Navy blue adds a nautical vibe that’s perfect for beach portraits.

The key is to select neutral shades that complement your family’s coloring and personalities. Stay away from tones that might blend in too much with your skin or clothing. Bold black and stark white isn’t ideal for every family – experiment to see which muted neutrals work best for your family portrait.

Earth Tones

For a warm, natural aesthetic, consider using earth tones like sage green, mossy green, olive green, rusty orange, muted yellow, soft brown and tan. Earthy hues evoke a cozy, organic vibe that’s trendy yet timeless. Greens and browns pair beautifully with woodsy outdoor settings. If you’ll be posing in a field or forest, earth tones are a perfect way to connect your family to the landscape.

Sage greens complement red hair and brown eyes. Golden browns flatter blonde hair and blue eyes. Try to find shades that enhance your family’s natural coloring. Keep the tones muted rather than bright – you want a soft, peaceful feeling rather than loud and overwhelming. Tie everything together by choosing coordinating earth tones for clothing, props and backdrops.

Subtle earth tones allow the natural beauty of your family to shine through while adding a contemporary, nature-inspired look. This is an ideal approach for laid-back families wanting a relaxed, organic portrait.

Cool Tones

Cool tones like light blue, lavender, soft pink, mint green and pale yellow evoke a calming, serene mood. These tranquil hues are perfect for whimsical portraits full of innocence and joy. Pastels also have a dreamy, romantic vibe that works well for couples and siblings photographs.

Cool tones are especially lovely for beach portraits, flower settings and other spring or summer backdrops. They beautifully capture the cool tranquility of water and sky. Light blues and greens complement fair skin, blonde hair and blue eyes. Lavender flatters olive and darker complexions. Use colored clothing or props to tie everything together.

The lightness of cool pastels ensures the portrait won’t look too loud or overwhelming. Keep the tones soft rather than neon bright for a peaceful feeling. This cool color scheme is ideal for fun-loving families who want a bright, cheerful portrait showcasing their playful connections.

Warm Tones

For vibrant, lively family portraits, you can’t go wrong with warm tones like tomato red, burnt orange, mustard yellow, forest green and coral pink. These rich shades convey energy, passion and joy. Warm colors pop against natural backdrops like woods and fields. They also complement colorful fall foliage.

Redheads and those with olive skin look beautiful in warm earthy hues. Yellows and oranges flatter darker complexions. Just avoid tones that are too intense – muted jewel tones work better than bright primaries. Tie everything together through clothing and background elements.

Warm rich tones add excitement and warmth to family portraits. This color scheme is perfect for active, cheerful families who want to showcase their bright, upbeat energy and relationships. Warm tones lend themselves to candid, relaxed portraits full of life.

Complementary Colors

Using complementary colors – hues opposite each other on the color wheel – is a sophisticated approach for family portraits. Common complementary pairings include orange and blue, red and green, or yellow and purple. When used together, they create a visually striking, high-contrast image.

Start by determining the dominant color based on clothing, background, props, etc. Then identify its complement on the color wheel and incorporate strategic pops of that shade throughout the portrait. Keep the dominant color muted and use the complement more sparingly as an accent.

The contrast between bold orange and icy blue makes for an edgy, modern portrait. Red hair and green foliage are a stunning combo. Yellow florals paired with lilac clothing creates a cheerful springtime aesthetic. Just avoid complementary hues that are overly bright and gaudy.

Thoughtfully using complementary colors adds visual interest and depth to family portraits. It’s an artistic approach that works well for stylish modern families seeking something fresh and unexpected.

Black and White with One Color

For a dramatic, elegant look, consider a primarily black and white color scheme with pops of one additional color like red, green or blue. The color contrast makes certain elements stand out boldly from the monochrome backdrop. This creates a contemporary portrait that almost has a fashion photography feel.

Use black and white clothing paired with a brightly colored accessory like a scarf, tie, hat or shoes. Or opt for a muted black and white backdrop with a single brightly colored prop or floral arrangement. Choose a color that complements your family’s skin tones and personal styles.

Vibrant red hair and lips pop against black and white. Blues and greens pair nicely with darker complexions and eyes. Just make sure the accents of color aren’t overwhelming. Black and white should dominate to maintain the contemporary elegance.

This artistic approach works best for stylish, modern families who want high-contrast portraits with lots of visual interest. When done thoughtfully, it results in sophisticated, fashionable images.

Metallic Shades

For a glamorous look, incorporate metallic shades like gold, silver, copper and bronze into your family portraits. Metallics add a touch of sophistication, luxury and modernity. They provide an elegant alternative to traditional colors.

Incorporate metallics through small accessories and clothing details rather than overpowering backgrounds. A metallic tie, hair clip, necklace or shoes will add an intriguing pop. Gold and copper complement warmer skin tones, while silver and bronze work well for cooler complexions.

Metallic colors shouldn’t dominate the portrait. Use them as accents to create interest and shine. Black and white backgrounds allow metallic details to really stand out. This sophisticated color scheme is ideal for fashion-forward families who want a photo with flair and style.


The colors you choose for a family portrait have a huge impact on the overall feel and mood. Neutrals, earth tones, pastels, warm hues, complementary colors, black and white with pops, or metallics may all be appropriate depending on your family’s style. Consider your personalities, the setting, the types of clothing, and how the colors will interact. Whatever palette you choose, the most important thing is that it suits your family so you feel comfortable, confident and full of joy. The right colors will ensure your family portrait reflects your spirit and connections in the most beautiful, harmonious way.

Color Scheme Personality Setting
Neutrals Elegant, sophisticated Studio, urban
Earth tones Organic, laid-back Woods, field
Cool pastels Whimsical, serene Beach, garden
Warm brights Vibrant, cheerful Autumn woods
Complements Artistic, modern Urban, contemporary