Choosing the right clothes for your skin tone at your photoshoot

We all know the clothing we wear goes a long way to shaping how other people see us and how we see ourselves.  One look at the vintage clothing trend and you’ll see it’s not all about which designer you’re sporting either.  The color and cut of the clothing you’re wearing goes a long way to making you appear more vibrant and energetic, or more professional and conservative.  When it comes to engagement sessions or family portraits, our goal is to make you look as amazing as possible.  So we tend to suggest combinations that bring out your energy and excitement.  Picking the perfect light is our job and you’ll probably see us walking around like goofballs looking for that “perfect” light, but there are several factors to consider while you’re picking out the right colors for your photoshoot, including hair, eye and skin tone/color.

You’ll often hear us talking about “warm” and “cool” light during shoots.  Nah, we’re not talking about that scorching hot bulb on the strobe light (although that does remind me I need to put those gloves back in the lighting box), we’re talking about the Kelvin temperature of the light.

Definition of “Cool”

Definition of “Warm”

So when we talk about “cool” skin tones, we’re looking at the folks with relatively fair skin tones that have a rosy or pink color to it.  If you have rosy cheeks, you probably fall into this category.  No worries, you can’t complain with sharing the same skin tone with Reese Witherspoon, right?

  • Awesome colors for the “cool” people:


Photography, Brunette, brick, portrait, Sean Purcell Photography  Now People with “warm” skin tones tend to have more of a “golden” tone.  They tend to tan after spending some time in the sun and have frequently just have a naturally darker complexion.  If you look at the wrists, their veins look more greenish than the blue veins of the “cool” folks.  Think Daniel Craig or Jennifer Lopez and you’re on the right track.

  • Some colors that are on the go-to list for “warm” people.


Portrait, Sean Purcell Photography, brick  Of course all of these are just guidelines.  We all know there are folks who break the rules and get away with it.  When it comes to what to wear at your photoshoot, the general rule is to be comfy, have fun and wear something you believe makes you look amazing!  If you feel like the next Brad Pitt or Beyonce (or the AMAZING Gianna Giorgi above), that comes through and you can’t help but look amazing in front of the lens.

Here are some tips that we send out to our clients before their shoots. 

Still not sure if you’re a “warm” or “cool” person?  Here’s a handy quiz to help you out. 

Hey Michigan, we’re headed your way soon!  We’ll be in Port Huron July 12th-14th for some awesome sessions.  We still have some openings or If you’re in the area, we’d love to say hello.

Purcell-79Hey, don’t just stop here , let’s get social 🙂  Come visit me on Facebook or Twitter and join in on the fun.  Or if you’re looking for something on the light side lets share our odd little worlds on “Instagram” at Sean_spphotography.   See you next time everybody 🙂


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5 thoughts on “Choosing the right clothes for your skin tone at your photoshoot

  1. Pingback: Prepping for a Photo Shoot | Sean Purcell Photography

  2. I figured for sure I was a “cool” but based on the quiz I am a “warm” lol Keep up with the useful articles Sean!!! (This is my first comment, but I’m pretty sure I have read them all!!)


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