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Secrets Revealed: How Color Theory Transformed My Portraits Forever!

Hey friends! I’m so sorry I’ve been MIA but I had to pop in and share one of my secrets that’s been helping a lot lately.


Ok so, you take amazing photos. The quality is there but something is just missing. Let me tell you my secret to planning out my portrait sessions! Whether you're planning your statement looks or setting up a really dope scene, color theory is your secret weapon to make everything pop! Let's get into the wonderful world of color and learn how to use color blocking to create eye-catching visuals for your next photo shoot.


color blocking with models

First things first, what exactly is color theory? Don't worry; it's not as complicated as it might sound. Color theory is all about understanding how different colors interact and how they can evoke specific emotions or moods. By using this knowledge, you can strategically plan outfits and set designs that harmonize beautifully.


Ok boom! Let's talk about color blocking. Imagine your photo frame as a canvas, and you're the artist selecting colors to paint your masterpiece. Color blocking is all about combining colors in distinct blocks or sections, rather than blending them together. This technique creates a visually striking effect, drawing attention to specific elements within the photo.


So, how do you choose the right colors for your shoot? Start by deciding on the overall mood you want to convey. Are you going for a vibrant, energetic vibe or a more serene and elegant ambiance? Once you've determined the mood, it's time to pick your colors.


Complementary colors are a great way to create contrast and make your subjects stand out. Remember that color wheel from art class? Complementary colors sit opposite each other on the wheel. For example, pair blue with orange, or green with red. The contrast between these colors adds a special touch to your photos.



Color Blocking Photoshoot black man in white suit
photographer: Deseri Rice Model: Darnell

If you're aiming for a harmonious look, try analogous colors. These colors sit next to each other on the color wheel and create a sense of cohesion. Think of combining various shades of blue and green or orange and yellow. This palette is perfect for a soothing and balanced vibe which is definitely my goto style.


This one is my all time favorite; monochromatic color scheme. This means selecting different shades and tints of a single color. Sounds simple, but trust me, the impact can be truly stunning. Picture a photo shoot with varying shades of red, from deep maroon to soft coral. You can even contrast with texture! The result? Pure elegance.


Now that we've got our color palette sorted, let's get into some creative ways to use color blocking in your shoot:


1. Wardrobe Wonderland: Coordinate your models' outfits using the color blocking technique. Dress them in complementary colors or experiment with monochromatic looks. This will create a cohesive and visually captivating scene.


2. Background Brilliance: Set design is just as important as the wardrobe. Consider using bold, solid-colored backdrops to serve as the canvas for your color blocking.Texture is a bonus! This will make your subjects pop even more, instant attention.



color blocking with props

3. Props and Accessories: Don't limit color blocking to just clothes and backdrops. Use props and accessories that complement your chosen color scheme. A pop of color through props can elevate the entire composition and make the visual make sense.


4. Nature's Palette: If you're shooting outdoors, take advantage of nature's color palette. Use the lush greenery, vibrant flowers, or serene blue waters to add depth and dimension to your photos.


5. Lighting Magic: Experiment with colored lighting to add a unique twist to your color blocking. Colored gels over your lights can create a surreal and mesmerizing atmosphere.

color gels lighting in portraits


Remember, color theory is all about experimentation and having fun. Don't be afraid to think outside the box and try new combinations. Trust your instincts and let your creativity guide you.


Now you know my secret, what you want to do with it? Let your imagination run wild. I’d love to see how you’ve incorporated color into your sessions. Drop them in the comments for a possible feature shout-out!

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