As a professional photographer for over twenty years, one of the questions I am asked most often is, "What should my family wear for our portrait session?" It is a question I love! It gives me an opportunity to understand my client’s overall vision for their photoshoot, and a chance to offer suggestions so that together, we can create eye-pleasing portraits they will love for years to come.
Spring & Summer 2023 Color Trends
One of the easiest ways to achieve a harmonious aesthetic within your portraits, is to color-coordinate the outfits of everyone to be photographed. You don’t need to be “matchy-matchy” with all your loved ones, and you don’t need to dress in head-to-toe black (unless you like that!). With just a bit of thought into the color palette you choose, you are guaranteed to be satisfied with the product your photographer delivers.​​​​​​​​​​​​​​
Consider the overall vision for your finished portrait collection: for example, a light and airy aesthetic is best achieved by wearing fabrics in muted or softer tones. If you prefer images with more contrast and pop, lean towards something vibrant. A moody aesthetic can be achieved with predominantly darker hues in the color scheme of your choice. 
Build a simple, but lovely, color palette by combining your favorite neutrals with any number of hues from your preferred tones. To help guide you in choosing the perfect portrait-day wardrobe, I have assembled a handful of timeless color palettes that I love, all inspired by Pantone's 2023 Color Trend report. ​​​​​​​
Classic Neutrals
First, start with your neutrals-- basic grays, whites, beige and khakis, navy, and denim. Choose just one, or mix in a couple different neutrals for variety. When choosing your neutrals keep in mind the overall vision that you would like to achieve: for a light and airy collection, I recommend lighter- types of the fabrics mentioned above; if you prefer images with more contrast and vibrance, or one with a moodier look, darker tones and black is a wonderful choice.​​​​​​​
An example of a family who chose neutral tones for their portrait session.
Muted & Soft Classics
Next, determine which color scheme works best for you. Combine one two, or even a handful of hues from a single palette. Lighter, and more subtle tones, are less contrasty and best lend themselves to the light and airy portraits that are trending right now. 
Ene's choice of a muted palette helped to create a collection of stunning, as well as as timeless, family portraits that will be cherished for decades.
Vibrant Classics
A vibrant scheme is perfect for those clients who love pops of brilliant, saturated color. Combine with dark neutrals to create a collection with a bit more moodiness, or with bright neutrals for a cheery, modern look.
Hadeer's hot pink jumper was a fun and sophisticated color choice, perfect for this golden hour garden session!
Don't be scared to mix it up!
Want to add a touch of sophistication and a fun pop of color?  Combe contrasting hues from the same palette!
For example, start with a predominantly cool color scheme, then choose a single, cooler tone, or vice verse-- just remember to stay within the same color palette to avoid unattractive color clashes.
The Housemans' outfit choices are a wonderful example of combining contrasting colors, and it made for really beautiful,  eye-catching portraits!
Once you’ve settled on a color scheme, don’t be afraid to mix in a pattern—  or even two! When used as an accent within an overall theme, stripes, florals, polka dots, plaids, and ginghams will bring even more interest to your portraits.
Small floral patterns can also be used alongside other patterns, like a simple stripe or a plaid. You might even mix florals with gingham for a playful, relaxed look.
Love polka dots, like I do? Throw some in! Polka dots and a simple stripe, plaid, or even a gingham pattern, mixed with a bold (or pastel!) color palette, make a striking combination!
Creating portraits with a cohesive look doesn’t need to be complicated, so please don’t over think it!  Choose a basic color palette, throw in a contrasting color for some snap, and maybe a fun pattern (or two!), and you can be confident that your portraits will be ones you enjoy looking at, for many years!
Have more questions about building a classic, cohesive look for your portrait session? Please don't hesitate to reach out! Message Jennifer for  more style advice or to schedule a free consultation!
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