Now that you have decided how you are going to display your portraits and what the general style will be for clothing, it’s time to think about tone and color.
The tone and color of your wardrobe is sometimes determined by the background or setting. Other times, the color and tone determine where you will best be photographed.
Choosing a Tone
Tone refers to the lightness or darkness of the subject matter or background. Ideally in a portrait we want the viewer to look at faces and not necessarily the background or the clothing. They should be secondary. The tone and color of your background or setting should complement the tone and style of your clothing. Darker colors and tones look better on a more muted darker background, this way, the faces stand out. Lighter clothing and a lighter background or a softer more muted setting is a nice pairing because you will be drawing the eye to faces rather than distractions.
To begin decide if you’d like to have a light, medium or dark tone in the wardrobe you choose. Once you select that, choose a neutral color in that tone. For instance, if you like a darker tone, you may select black, gray or navy as a neutral. If you like a lighter tone, you might choose white, khaki or taupe.
Next for color, build off the neutral tone with accents of colors from the same families. Blues, purples, and greens are all cooler colors and reds oranges browns and yellows are warmer tones. For example, if you choose a darker tone and gray and black are your neutrals you could choose plum and blue as your color accents. You would want to avoid someone in that situation wearing a gold sweater or a white shirt as they would obviously stand out more than anything else in the composition.
Art on your walls
It may seem strange to put lighter colors on a lighter background and darker colors on a darker background but visually it’s more pleasing to the eye. Once the pictures are hanging on your wall or displayed in frames you will find them a wonderful complement to the environment and rather than looking like a knick knacks or something to fill up the space. Your portraiture will complement the room like a piece of furniture or a design accent, much like a work of art.