What colors look best for your senior photos?

Ideas for Senior Girls, Ideas for Senior Guys, Senior, Senior outfit ideas and session prep

July 6, 2021

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Senior Info

How do you know what skin tone you have? And why does it matter? By determining your skin tone, you can determine what colors will look best on you for your senior photos. The colors you wear can affect how you look in your photos and by wearing the correct colors, the colors that work best for you, you can ensure that you and your photos look great!

So how do you determine your tone? There are a few tests you can do to find out your skin tone.


The Paper Test – Hold a white piece of paper up to your face and look at your skin against it.
– If your skin appears yellowish or sallow beside the paper, you have a warm skin tone. – If your skin appears pink, rosy or blueish-red, you have a cool skin tone.
– If your skin appears gray, you have skin with a neutral tone.

The Vein Test – Hold out your arm in natural light and look at the color of your veins.

– If your veins appear blue or purple, you have a cool skin tone. – If your veins are blueish-green, you have a neutral skin tone.
– If your veins appear green or olive, you have a warm skin tone.

The Sun Test – Ask yourself how your skin reacts to the sun.
– If you burn fast, you are most likely a cool tone.
– If your skin tans but it can also burn, you have a neutral skin tone. – If you tan easily, you are a warm tone.

The Metal Test – When it comes to jewelry, what color metal looks best on you?
– If silver looks best on you, you are a cool tone
– If gold looks best on your, you are a warm tone
– If either looks great on you, then you are a neutral tone.
So now you have taken all the tests and gotten the answers about what tone your skin is, it’s time to determine the colors that look best on you!


Here are the different skin tones broken down by what colors look best for each:
Warm Skin Tones – If you have a warm skin tone, you will look best in colors with a warm, golden undertone. Generally warm tones look best with hair color that ranges from golden blonde to medium golden brown. Avoid harsh, bright colors such as fluorescent yellow, hot pink or lime green.
List of colors that look best for warm tones: Brown, Yellow, Orange, Green, Ivory
Cool Skin Tones – If you have a cool skin tone, you will look best in colors on the cool end of the color wheel spectrum. Generally cool skin tones look best with hair colors that are cool, ash colors such as platinum blonde or dark colors such as brown or black with blue undertones. Avoid oranges, beige, browns and other warm type colors.
List of colors that look best for cool tones: Blue, Emerald Green, Purple, Pink, Gray, White
Neutral Skin Tones – A neutral skin tone is one in which a mixture of cool and warm tones work. This skin tone is lucky because you can play around with all tones to find ones that work best. Be sure to try on a variety of colors to see which look best on you.
List of colors that look best on neutral tones: Soft Pink, Medium Blue, Green, Taupe, Gray

No matter what skin tone you have, it is important to try on clothes in different colors to see what will work best for you and your tone. And don’t assume one color is the best color for photos- such as white! Just because a certain color is popular doesn’t mean its the best one for you! Remember to bring variety and not have every article of clothing be the same color. And colors that pop will pop in your photos too! Subdued colors will be subdued in photos! Think about what you want for your photos and find colors that express that! And think about your shooting location in Jacksonville and Saint Augustine, and your session season as well! All of these work to make your style selections work! Another benefit of Kelleen Hite Senior session is we will do all of this during your style consult!

Want some more ideas? Click here to download our color guide for your skin tone!

  1. Kelly, OMG this information is so perfect to help your teens choose outfits for senior pictures!! Your free guide to help figure out your skin tone is priceless. Yes, I already downloaded it! LOL! Your seniors must love you for helping them choose the best colors for their outfits!

  2. Brandi says:

    What helpful information to help seniors decide what colors will look best on them for their senior photos!

  3. Dawn S says:

    This is so helpful with wardrobe selection and in the end making senior portraits look phenomenal!!

  4. You are SO right, the colors that the Seniors choose for their session can absolutely compliment their eyes and skin tones so greatly. The information in this article is good to share with all Seniors before their session when they are deciding what to bring for their photos.

  5. Susan Blackburn says:

    Great article on what colors look best for Senior Portraits–much of this information was new to me!

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