family photo with Kate Unicorn Carousel Backdrop Dreams Designed by Mandy Ringe Photography

What Are the Best Colors for Family Pictures Outside?

October 15, 2022

The dilemma that comes with finding the right colors for family portraits is a complicated one. We want them to stand out but don't want them to be jarring or overpowering.

All too often, these two goals are at odds, which is why in this article, we'll help you find the best colors for family pictures outside.

Understanding Color Scheme and Its Importance

To choose the best colors for family pictures outside, it's essential to know why certain colors work well together rather than just picking them out of a hat. This is called a color scheme. The concept of color scheme is used in photography because it helps the photographer accurately capture the mood of a scene.

The goal is to take different colors or hues and put them together to create a certain mood. For example, when bright and light colors are used together, they will create a lively scheme. If dark and dull are chosen, they will create a drab scheme.

Colors that go well together help create a harmonious feeling within the viewer. Understanding this will help you choose colors for your family pictures outside.

What Determines Colors to Wear to a Family Photoshoot?

Although understanding color schemes is important, there are other factors to consider before choosing the best colors. These include;

1. Skin Tone

When choosing colors to wear for your family photoshoot, it's important to take this aspect into consideration.

siblings photo with Open media 1 in modal Kate Graffiti 80th Photography Backdrop No Wrinkle Hip Hop 80's Party Decoration Photo

Kate Graffiti 80th Photography Backdrop No Wrinkle Hip Hop 80's Party Decoration Photo

Your skin tone determines what kind of contrasting colors your skin can handle. If you have light skin, you can typically handle warm color contrasts, like reds and yellows.

People with darker builds are better off with cool contrasts like blues and greens because these don't clash as much with their skin tone.

2. The Personality of the Family (Hobbies and Interests)

One way to capture that candid, everyday life of your family is by having them do what they love. This means choosing colors and hues that reflect the family's interests and hobbies.

With this in mind, you can have a variety of options to choose from instead of just picking one particular color scheme. For example, if your family loves the beach, you can choose beachy colors instead of matching white and black in your family portrait.

festival family photo with Kate Warm Christmas Backdrop Window for Photography

Kate Warm Christmas Backdrop Window for Photography

3. Occasion

Choosing the best colors for family pictures outdoors is not just about picking out what looks good. It's also about choosing colors that fit the purpose of the picture.

If it is an official occasion like a wedding or graduation, it's best to go with darker colors to match the mood. If it's a family reunion or a day at the beach, brighter colors work better.

4. Season/Weather

Different colors work well in different weather conditions. For example, during a sunny summer day, it's best to choose light and bright colors to reflect the sunlight. And during the winter, choose muted colors that are harmonious with the weather and snow you are photographing.

Chirismtas family photo in read and black with Kate Deep Green and Brown Texture Abstract Background Photos Backdrop

Kate Deep Green and Brown Texture Abstract Background Photos Backdrop

5. Location

Your surroundings also play a significant role in choosing the right colors. For example, beach photoshoots call for different colors because they may stand out against the blue water.

Forest photoshoots call for different colors because the trees may clash with the clothing. It's best to check with a location before choosing your colors.

6. Size of the family

Generally, for large families, it's best to choose solid colors that are muted. This will help capture everyone in one frame. For smaller families, you can choose a variety of light and bright colors to portray how fun the family is.

12 Best Colors for an Outdoor Family Photoshoot

1. Red and Blue

Red represents energy, drive, passion, and action. When used with blue, it gives a sense of serenity, coolness, and sophistication. It's also a combination that is used often because it can be made to suit any occasion or taking photo in red and blue with Kate Christmas Backdrop Store Gift Tree for Photography

 Kate Christmas Backdrop Store Gift Tree for Photography

2. Navy, Cream, and Tan

This combination is perfect for outdoor family shoots. It's sharp, professional, and very versatile.

Navy blue is good for a formal family portrait because it's the color of establishment. Cream and tan are the colors that stand out in this combination because it makes everyone appear smooth, polished, and elegant.

3. Black and White and Gray

This combination is more traditional because it reflects a sense of formality as well as power and elegance. This is why it's commonly used for official occasions and family portraits that are a little more formal and traditional. 

4. Crimson, Tan, Denim

This combination is perfect for outdoor family pictures. It reflects the outdoor, casual lifestyle of families. The bright reds and oranges are a sharp contrast against the tan and denim, which make everyone stand out.

Christmas family photo with Kate Christmas Tree Backdrop for Photography

Kate Christmas Tree Backdrop for Photography

5. Red, White, and Blue

This combination is very patriotic and can be used during any occasion, especially those that call for respect, pride, and celebration of your country or culture. White makes everything bolder, whereas blue gives it a more calming feel.

6. Gray, Pink, and Gold

This combination is very elegant and sophisticated. It reflects how grand, elegant, and well-to-do families are. It's also considered a very feminine color scheme because of the delicate elegance that it portrays.

7. Turquoise and Tan

Turquoise gives a very tropical feel to the picture. It has a happy, positive feeling that can lighten even the darkest family moments, making it the ideal color for capturing candid moments.

8. Navy Blue, White, and Cream

This combination is a classic family portrait color scheme. The cream and white stand out against the navy blue and make everyone seem like they're living in a storybook or movie.

family photo in black and white with Kate Solid Black Grey Cloth Portrait Photography Backdrop

Kate Solid Black Grey Cloth Portrait Photography Backdrop

9. Blush and Tea

This combination is youthful and fun. Pink is a very cheerful color that will lift your mood. The tea balances out the color, making it more sophisticated and refined.

10. Navy Blue and Beige

When you combine navy blue with beige, you get a very sophisticated and classy family portrait color scheme that is extremely elegant and well-dressed. Because they're two shades of the same color, they look perfect together.

11. Navy, Yellow, White

This combination is very formal and formal for a family portrait. Because it's a color combination of the most classic colors in the world, it's perfect for very formal occasions.

12. Bronze, White, Tawny

This combination can be used during any season or occasion because of its sophisticated elegance. You can use it to suit your official family portrait needs as well as your casual family photos without having to change a lot.

8 Tips for a Successful Family Color Scheme

The best family portrait photography is done the right way the first time. So, we've got some foolproof tips that will help you get the perfect look:

1. Early Planning

group Christmas photo with Kate Christmas Room Backdrop Tree Warm by Chain Photography

Kate Christmas Room Backdrop Tree Warm by Chain Photography

It's best to plan early for your family photo shoot. Have something in mind for your color scheme, and decide what you want to wear ahead of time. The more organized you are, the easier and smoother everything will go.

2. Keep It Simple

The simpler the color scheme, the better. This helps direct focus towards the real subjects of your picture; you and your family. It helps avoid a cluttered family portrait where everyone is fighting for attention in their own way.

3. Pose Ideas

Finding the perfect pose for your family portrait is essential. It will help you out in the long run by finding a great balance between expressing your family’s personality and their individuality. Below are some pose ideas:

4. Standing Poses

This classic pose is simple, yet it will make your family look neat and orderly. It’s a good choice for formal family portraits because it allows everyone to look their best.

5. Sitting and Lying Down Poses

big family photo with Kate Brown Abstract Old Master Backdrop for Photography

Kate Brown Abstract Old Master Backdrop for Photography

Sitting poses should not be too close to each other. Furthermore, sit your children down on something that is comfy and sturdy. This will help them stay relaxed and prevent them from falling off their perch.

6. Outfit Ideas

Wearing clothes and accessories that complement your color scheme is one way to make your family picture look great. This will help you achieve a harmonious look that you can be proud of. For example, if you're using a lot of blue, it's best to wear blue-toned accessories.

7. What Not to Wear

Avoid one-color clothing. When you wear solid colors, they should be as varied as possible in terms of shades and tones. You can avoid this by wearing clothing that has more than one color.

Go for solids and not too many patterns. Solids are stable in print and easy to work with. They won't distract from the faces of your family members. This means no big prints and loud patterns.

family photo of mum, dad and baby with Kate Wood Door Barn Backdrop Designed by Arica Kirby

Kate Wood Door Barn Backdrop Designed by Arica Kirby

Also, don't wear too many accessories, such as, hats, necklaces, and bracelets.

8. Incorporate Your Family’s Ideas

Teamwork makes the dream work. Sometimes, it might be more helpful for you if you let the other family members have their own say rather than making everything fit your idea of what a perfect family portrait should look like.


You don't have to be very creative or talented to come up with a great family portrait color scheme, anyone can do it. It just takes a little planning and organization. By following these tips, you will have a wonderful family portrait that captures everyone's personality perfectly.

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