Use Colors to Your Advantage in Your Photos—4 Tips

What type of person are you? Neon or pastel?

In a recent survey it was found the world’s favorite color is green. Of course different people love different shades of this color. That’s just more proof that we’re all different and our preferences drive our decisions.

I only need to view a few of your personal photographs to see what your preference is. It will show in the colors you wear or—if you’re a photographer—in the décor around your subjects.

But are you using color to its full potential in photos?

Let’s help you be a little more diverse. Note: This is not to change you, but to enhance the images you’ll create in future.

Limit Those Colors

Wisdom is finding balance in life and it’s no different when it comes to photography.

Using one or two dominant hues will have more impact in pictures than using different colors all together. The latter can create a chaotic scene which will distract from the subject or the message you’re trying to send via the image. The saying is true: Less is more.

This is especially true in corporate headshots. You want the viewers to notice and remember your face so you become familiar. A multi colored shirt will draw people’s attention automatically since the human eye will have to process all these visual impulses. What your face looks like may get lost in the mix.

Blue & Gold

If you’re still figuring out which colors to use, it’s wise to start with blue and gold. Sunrise & sunsets are perfect examples of how beautifully these two colors go together. With just two hues a simple yet intriguing landscape is formed.

If you’re planning a family photoshoot, why not use this as foundation for everyone’s clothing and jewelry?

Back to Basics

Do you notice how many black & white photos are taken and advertised even in an age where vivid colors can be printed or shown on digital media? Once again the reason for this is simplicity.

As long as you have a good quality photo you can’t really go wrong with old fashioned black and white. It draws everything together so nothing distracts the viewer from the subject of the image. Don’t be afraid to go old school now and then.

The Color Wheel

Did you learn about the color wheel in your school art class? Guess what: That knowledge can still serve a purpose.

The wheel can guide you in creating a certain atmosphere or send a message with your photos:

  • Complementing colors are situated close to each other on this wheel. Using some of them together will create a calm feel.
  • When contrasting colors—hues situated across from each other—are used you create some conflict. But it has the amazing effect of having a subject stand out against a background.
  • The warm colors on the wheel will usually appear more prominent than cooler colors.

I bet you’re already thinking how your last few photos could have been a bit better if you just used color correctly. So go make some new ones!

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