Mixing Colors and Patterns in Family Photos

As a mom of three boys, I’m a big fan of family photos. They’re a great way to capture a moment in time, but they can be challenging to pull off in a way that looks good. Photographers always talk about coordinating, but what if you wanted to spice it up even more?  Today I’m going to give you some ideas on how to mix colors and patterns in your Houston family photos. 

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First off, a lot of people think that it’s easy to “mix and match” the colors in a family photo. Yet, that’s only true if you have a simple family photo. When you start adding multiple people to a single picture, things get a little trickier. This is especially true if you have a large family wearing lots of different clothes or accessories. In this post, I’ll show you how to use colors and patterns to add depth, texture, and dimension to your family photos.

Benefits of Mixing Colors and Patterns in Family Photos 

Mixing colors can be a fun way to create new images or enhance old ones. You can use different colors to give your photos a unique style. It’s also a great way to change up the look of photos in your home so they won’t all look the same.

two sisters running and playing, child photographer lifestyle family sessions

Color Schemes

When I say color scheme, I mean how colors work together. It’s a bit like the color wheel, but you’re looking at the entire picture, not just a small section. Incorporating complementary colors is the key to mixing patterns that look great in family photos.

One family member can wear a solid color shirt, and then add a cardigan or vest in an accent color. This helps create dimension and opportunities for other family members to add patterns. 

You’ll then use one of those two colors for your patterned clothing.

Clothes in a patterned set are more interesting and will help you stand out. However, if you are going to use patterns, make sure they’re used sparingly. If you want the focus on the kids, it’s a great idea to dress one of them in patterns.   So you don’t want everyone in the family to wear a pattern.

You also don’t want patterns that are too distracting. Refrain from wearing clothing with logos if you can help it.

Examples of patterns to mix in family photos 

I know some photographers are against it, but I think plaid shirts tend to look great in family photos. Plaids are a great option for dads, but try a solid color for mom instead.

If you don’t like the idea of plaid, then you can try mixing patterns in other ways.

Some people like to wear solid colors with patterns on accessories. This works well for moms and dads. For kids, try pairing solid colors with patterns on accessories.

Small dots or floral designs are other great pattern ideas. I will warn you, polka dots don’t always look best. As long as you keep the polka dots in the background and don’t wear them on top of your outfit, you can get away with it. 

It’s always worth noting that you don’t want to overdo it.

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Using accessories to mix colors in family photos

Accessories are one of the easiest ways to add a lot of interest to the photo. You simply add a solid colored or patterned scarf that contains 2 of your colors and voilà!

As a general recommendation, for every 5 people in your family, one can wear a scarf. Here’s an example of how I used a scarf in my own family photos.

Photo by K. Nicole Photography

Incorporating Textures 

The third element of a family photo that you can mix is texture. You can add texture by adding fabric or other accessories. It’s not just about adding a scarf or hat to the shot. It’s about using something that will make the image pop.

Solid color dresses with added texture or embroidered designs are also another option. Textures or things with ‘grit’ really help make your family photos unique, yet not ‘busy’. 

Mixing Colors and Textures in Family Photos Summary

To summarize, family photos are a great way to show your loved ones how much you care about them. They’re also a great way to capture memories, which is why so many people take family photos every year. But, the best family photos are about capturing memories. That’s why it’s important to add elements like these when mixing colors and patterns.

Are you considering mixing and matching patterns and colors in your family photos? I think you should give it a try! Let me know how it goes. 

Hey, hey! I’m Niesha, a Houston family photographer serving The Woodlands, Kingwood and Greater Houston area. For me, it’s not just about taking portraits, but creating lifelong relationships with clients as well. 

When you’re ready to book your Houston family photo session, click the button below. 

Still have questions or can’t seem to find what you're looking for on the blog or website? Shoot me an email with your name and questions you have. 

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