Is It Ok To Wear Black In Family Photos (Should You Never Wear Black In A Photograph?!)

Do you have a family photo coming up and want to know if you can wear black or not? Maybe you have heard you should not wear black in photographs and want to know if that is true?

Is It Ok To Wear Black In Family Photos (Should You Never Wear Black In A Photograph!)

Or are you curious and want to know more? No matter the reason that brought you here, we have the answers for you! 

Finding out if you can wear black in family photos, or photos, in general, can be tricky. You head online for some advice but are met with page after page of conflicting and confusing advice.

Frustrated and disappointed, you are left unsure where to turn or who to trust. How will you know if you can wear black or not in family photos?

That’s where we come swooping in to save the day! Today we are here to tell you if it is okay to wear black in family photos or not and if you should wear black in photographs (see also: Simple Family Photo Poses And Tips For The Photographer)in general.

Keep reading for your ultimate guide to wearing black in photographs. 

Can I Wear Black In Photographs?

Let’s dive straight into the article! We recommend avoiding black in photographs. While many people opt to wear a black T-shirt, jeans, or an entirely black outfit in photographs, it isn’t always the best idea. 

Entirely black clothing will draw in light and can cause the photographs to look flat. Most cameras struggle to understand dark surfaces like black clothing, causing them to think that the lighting conditions aren’t right.

The cameras will then adjust to compensate for the dark surface, leaving you with flat pictures or poorly lit ones. 

No one wants that in their photographs! 

Although we do not recommend wearing black, there are ways that you can wear black clothing in photographs if you wish. Let’s take a look at your options now. 

Don’t Go For Solid Color 

If your shirt, top, or part of your outfit isn’t entirely black, you can wear it in the photograph. For example, if there is some black in the pattern of your shirt, this will be fine to wear, especially if there are other colors within the pattern.

Any small amount of black in your outfit will be okay providing it is complemented by other colors. 

The same applies if the black in your clothing isn’t entirely black. Black mesh, for example, tends to work, as the color isn’t solid. Likewise, if your black clothing is faded or quite light, it can work in small amounts. 

Layer The Black Clothing 

You can stop black clothing from appearing flat in photographs by layering it.

This breaks up the harsh color and adds a nice contrast to the image. You could layer a black long-sleeve top with a light-colored or patterned t-shirt over the front. 

You could also wear a black suit jacket with a crisp white or light blue shirt underneath. Leave the jacket open to add some clean lines to the photograph and a pop of color from the shirt underneath. 

Keep Black For Indoors 

Black clothing doesn’t usually work well in outdoor photographs, so keep it for indoor photographs or professional (see also: The Benefits Of Hiring A Professional Family Photographer)shoots where the lighting can be adjusted. Black clothes can look harsh when worn outside, especially in green spaces.

The darkness of the color can seem unbalanced next to the softer palette we usually see in nature. 

When having photographs taken outdoors, leave the black behind and opt for more neutral colors instead. These will work well with the background and ensure that your photographs don’t look flat! 

Can I Wear Black In Family Photos?

Generally speaking, we advise against wearing black to family photos.

Is It Ok To Wear Black In Family Photos (Should You Never Wear Black In A Photograph!) (1)

This is because it can make the image seem flatter due to the harshness of black. We recommend that you avoid everyone wearing black in the photograph, as this will make it seem very flat and dull. 

Often, families try to wear matching or coordinating outfits in family photos, which adds a nice touch.

However, doing so in black can cause your pictures to lack depth. It can also impact the lighting in the photograph, as not all cameras register black clothing correctly.

Instead, they assume there is an issue with the lighting and make adjustments to compensate for the black. 

If your family wants to wear coordinating outfits in the photograph, you can opt for earthy or natural tones.

You could stick to a color group to add variety and depth to the photograph, or all wear the same color like a beige shirt or burnt orange jumper. 

If you do choose to wear black in your family photo, be sure to use the tips that we outlined earlier. Opt for a small amount of black on part of your outfit, like a top or shirt.

Where possible, layer the black clothing with other lighter colors to prevent the black from being too dark and causing the photos to look flat. 

If everyone in the photograph plans to wear black, this will make the photograph look flat. Opt for a small piece of black clothing, like a jumper or shirt that can be layered where possible.

You could also consider people in the photographs wearing alternative colors, such as one in black, and another in a light neutral color. This will provide plenty of color to the photograph, without the black making it too flat. 

Final Thoughts 

And there you have it! You can wear black in photographs, but it is something we advise against.

Black can be a harsh color that can make the photographs look flat. It can also impact the brightness of the image, which no one wants! 

If you do want to wear black in the photographs, we recommend using the tips that we outlined earlier to ensure that your photographs are still full of brightness and depth!

Laura McNeill
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