Color in Photography

Color in Photography

You can use color in your photographs to convey emotion and mood. Choose colors that are consistent with your message to tell a strong story. Watch below to find out more!

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Video Transcript

Hello! It’s Julie from Ultimate Photo Tips. I want to do something fun for today’s two minute tip. I’m going to talk about color. Specifically, I’m going to talk about how color in photography can convey emotion and mood.

We humans are very sensitive to color. And we’re also really good at making associations; our brains are wired to do it. Ideas and concepts get linked together through our experiences and our learning. It’s not really surprising then, that we have associations with different colors. Think about it. Red is the color of love, or sometimes anger — definitely a passionate color. Blue is calm and tranquil, and makes us think of water. Green evokes images of Nature. White is pure, clean, innocent. We also divide colors into warm and cool.

When you are taking photographs, you can use these color associations to strengthen the story you are telling. Here’s an example. Imagine that you are shooting an advertisement for a resort in the Caribbean. The resort wants to draw snowbirds down from up north to enjoy the hot weather. You want to photograph a beach scene with golden sand, a woman wearing a yellow bikini, lying on an orange beach towel, under a red umbrella. You get the idea — use the warm color palette. Now the resort wants to get the message across that when it gets too hot, you can cool off at their swim-up bar. Then you want to photograph a woman beside a sparkling turquoise pool, wearing white, and blue, and sipping on a mint green cocktail. That cool color palette will really emphasize your message.

Imagine for a moment if you were to reverse the color palettes for each of those two shots. In that case, the colors would be working against your message, and you would be weakening your story.

[wearing warm colors] Look at the colors you are seeing right now in this video. I’m ready for the beach with my lobster pal, Thermidore! What feeling do these colors give you?

[wearing cool colors] Okay, see the difference? These colors tell an entirely different story. How do these colors make you feel?

So, the bottom line is: using color in photography that is consistent with the story you want to tell will strengthen your message.

That’s it for this week! If you enjoyed this video about color in photography, please spread the love, and share with with your friends! And I’ll see you next time.

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