Family Photo Color Schemes Examples

San Antonio Family photography session in a field with golden, boho color schemes.

Looking for some family photo color schemes to plan your upcoming session? Here’s some examples to help you create beautiful, captured memories with your loved ones.

Family, Photo Tips

A family photo session is perfect for documenting the seasons that pass too quick. They’re also a great way to update your walls with smiling faces. But when you’re looking for ideas on how to create a family photo scheme, it can seem like the options are endless (and overwhelming). I’ve got you covered with some of my favorite color combinations!

As with all suggestions, these are 100% a personal preference. Not every color may work with you. It’s important to consider your personal style, too! And how your photographer edits and what your location looks like are also other influencing factors. But after capturing countless families, I’ve seen color combinations that work well… and some that don’t.

Jump to it—

Family Photo Color Schemes NOT To Wear

The Best Family Photo Color Schemes To Wear

My Favorite Neutral Family Photo Color Schemes

Golden, boho colored family photo session with San Antonio photographer, Bianca Flanagan.
Family Photography session with San Antonio Photographer, Bianca Flanagan.

What are the best family photo color schemes?

What Family Photo Color Schemes to NOT WEAR

Before I share my favorite color schemes for family photos, let’s talk about styles to avoid. From experience, these colors or combinations take away from the people in the photos. Remember, the goal of your family photos is to highlight you and your family. Your wardrobe should simply complement!

Black

Avoid wearing too much black for your photos. And especially, limit black if you’re taking your photos outdoors or somewhere with a lot of décor. That’s not to say keep it out totally. Black can work if your family is taking photos in a bright, open space like a studio. Or you can style your family’s wardrobe with some black boots or a classic pair of charcoal pants. Simple black pieces like these can balance photos with lots of family members. You can also use darker tones like black, brown, and charcoal to give your photos a moody feel. Keep in mind, in contrast, brighter colors will make your photos lighter and more classic.

Overall, if too many people are wearing black, the details can get lost and people begin to get camouflaged with one another. In the end, decide what style you want to achieve and make sure the heart of the photo is YOU and your family!

Neon & Bright Colors

Bright, neon color schemes can be distracting in family photos. These colors often cast onto skin, reflecting a color that appears different from your natural skin tone. Instead of using bright oranges, red, or yellows, swap them out for muted tones, like mustard, rust, or maroon. Do them same for bright greens and blues. Replace them with a dusty blue or muted sage green for a natural, earthy look.

In the end, it’s totally fine to include a pop of color! Just make sure that color won’t be too bright against the overall color scheme or stick out too much in your location.

Too Many Patterns

While this isn’t a color, I can’t pass this one up! But don’t stress if you’ve found the perfect floral dress. If you can’t wait to dress your little one in a patterned, handmade heirloom, you still can! It’s 100% ok to play with patterns and textures. Just don’t overdo it.

A good rule of thumb is to choose one pattern for one family member. Then you can coordinate everyone else’s wardrobe to complement it. I loved this newborn session at the San Antonio Botanical Garden. This sweet family used a combination of my client closet and my Style & Select tool. (Shameless plug: I offer both of these for my photography clients here in San Antonio!) The result was the gorgeous, golden color scheme below with some green, brown, and cream. It’s earthy, and it has a very natural vibe. Plus, mom looked incredible in this Free People floral dress (from my client closet). It was the perfect addition for a fun pattern.

Family & newborn photo session at the San Antonio Botanical Garden with nude, golden color schemes for an earthy, bohemian aesthetic.
Family photo session styled and captured by Bianca Flanagan Photography.

Large Logos & Characters

Again, this one doesn’t fall into the category of color schemes, but it’s too important not to mention. Being a toddler mom, I know all about the Disney characters and fun clothing. But when you put these in your family photos, they take away from your faces. Wording and logos also distract. While those handmade “big brother” or “big sister” t-shirts are soo adorable, unless you plan on staying still the entire time, the words will be hard to read.

Bright White

I love creams and ivory for family photos. But too much solid, bright white can be difficult to capture. This is because white can appear blue or wash your photos out. If you go with white, make sure you anchor it with some earthy browns or nudes. But in the end, I always recommend going with ivory or textured creams, like cottons or linen fabrics. These will complement one another in your color schemes. This gorgeous, smocked Free People dress below is a great alternative to bright white. This creamy neutral dress is one of my favorites from my client closet. It pairs perfectly with so many other colors and adds a subtle yet fun pattern.

Bianca Flanagan, Family Photographer San Antonio at a neutral studio for a branding photography session.

Matching Outfits

The key to gorgeous family photos is coordination, not matching! We’ve all seen the photos where one person’s shirt perfectly matches another person’s shoes which perfectly matches someone else’s pants… and so on. Thankfully, this trend is mostly in the past!

The Best Family Photo Color Schemes To Wear

Now that I’ve covered what not to do, we can finally get to what you’re here for. Choosing a color scheme can feel daunting. You want an outfit that flatters you. The entire family needs to be cohesive. Plus, you want to let everyone’s personality shine, too! Like I said… daunting.

It may seem that way! But choosing a family photo color scheme is simple when you stick to neutral tones.

What are neutral tones?

There are three categories of neutral tones. Pure neutrals: black, brown, white, and gray. These neutrals are void of colors causing them to be “pure.”

Then there are also near-neutral colors, or neutrals with color undertones. These are colors like tan, beige, cream, and ivory. Mixing a primary color with a neutral color creates a near-neutral. They can have a variety of toned-down shades such as off-white, eggshell, taupe.

Finally, there’s also colors with neutral-like tendencies. These colors aren’t neutral colors, but they complement other colors in a similar way. Colors like olive green and coffee brown are bolder versions of neutral colors. These neutral-like colors are popular because they’re also cohesive with other colors.

How to pair neutrals in family photo color schemes.

The good thing about neutrals is that they all complement one another. Mixing a variety of neutral tones will look great in almost any backdrop or location. And you can usually blend all types of clothing styles or textures in family photo color schemes.

My Favorite Neutral Family Photo Color Schemes

Creamy Neutrals

Going with a mixture of creams is classic. Think ivory blouses, beige linens, or cream button ups.

These two gorgeous mamas below used the same dress from my in different locations. The creamy, gingham dress looked stunning in our San Antonio grassy field session. She paired her son in a creamy white polo with some brown shorts. For spring mini sessions, I paired this dress with mama and daughter in a mixture of cream and clay. I knew this puff sleeve dress from my client closet would coordinate well with the minimal studio décor. With a neutral backdrop, most assume that you need to wear contrasting colors or you’ll get washed out. This shows you can totally rock a classic neutral even with neutral surroundings.

Taupe Tones

Taupe is an earthy mixture of browns and grays. I love the combination of taupe and softer cream colors in a family photoshoot.

This precious moment below was captured at one of my in-home San Antonio newborn sessions. Big brother is wearing the warmest color in the group: a simple, taupe shirt. It balances out everyone else’s creamy-toned shirts. The family also added added different textures and fabrics to make sure no one became camouflaged. It created the dreamiest session right alongside little brother’s sweet slumber.

Neutrals + Denim

Combining neutrals and denim will give you a casual, laid-back look. I love when families pair varied fabrics and textures with light-wash denim (like the newborn session above).

Below is another example of casual, laid-back look with Dad and son. Both were wearing denim, paired with cream-toned shirts. These colors looked great against the golden San Antonio grass. Then when we moved to a spot with more natural greenery, this color scheme still was the perfect.

San Antonio Sunset Photography Session by Bianca Flanagan Photography.

Greens + Browns

Three different family photography sessions. Three totally different locations. But one color scheme that looks flawless throughout.The olive green in all three family photos was just the right pop of color without taking away from anyone. I also love using olive green as an alternative to black. You can use a dark green to get moody, natural images without wearing too many charcoals or black pieces. Or bring in some classic, well-loved sage greens paired with creams and browns for a natural look.

Neutrals & Pastels

Another way to add a pop of color, that’s not too much, is to dress one family member in a muted pastel color. This family photo color scheme is classic and clean. I love how mom dressed in a fun, dusty blue dress here. The textured pattern and ruffled sleeves adds some fun. Meanwhile, Dad and son’s off-white button ups helped anchor. Pastel colors like dusty blues and muted pinks or reds look great for this vibe. Just make sure you use muted pastels. Anything too saturated to take away from you and your family!

San Antonio Photography Session by Bianca Flanagan Photography.

Bright Neutrals

Do it right, and you can get a stunning look combining bright, neutral colors.

In this sunset San Antonio maternity session, mom wore a cream dress with a bright, off-white lace overlay. Big brother looks adorable resting on mama’s bump in his ivory jumper. Since they used contrasting textures and patterns, nothing nothing blended together.

Mom and son at a sunset photography session in a San Antonio grassy field.
Captured by Bianca Flanagan, San Antonio Family Photographer.

Earthy Brown Tones

It’s no secret that combining earthy browns is my favorite for family photo color schemes. My client closet is full of dresses with colors like rust, camel, cinnamon, and taupe. These colors make magical photos, especially for outdoor photoshoots. And they’re also favorites for fall color palettes and sunset sessions. But no matter if you have a golden, sunset backdrop or a bright, studio wall, earthy browns are the perfect pop. Plus, these colors pair well with creams, ivory, and darker browns.

Which of these family photo color schemes was your favorite?

Pick any of these family photo color schemes for your session, and you’ll be sure to have stunning pictures. Remember, the process doesn’t have to be stressful! Stick with a mixture of neutral tones, add in some textures, and if using a pattern, limit it to one. And above all, have fun! Having a cohesive a color scheme is important. But enjoying the experience and making memories is what the day is for!

Interested in having your family photos made with my client closet? Reach out to me or join my mailing list for updates on my 2023 calendar. I’ll be sharing lots of fun info throughout the year for Christmas, spring, and fall mini sessions. My email list always gets the booking link before the public link goes live. So don’t miss out!

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