I know I’ve taken a break from blogging, and I think we can just go ahead and blame that on 2020 like everything else!  Although the blog has been behind, there has been a TON going on photography wise – despite the craziness of COVID-19.  I had to pause weddings, family sessions, maternity sessions, and newborn shoots, which was definitely disappointing.  However, in the meantime I have been collaborating with some amazing fashion designers and shops, and have really enjoyed growing the branding side of the business!

One of the shops I’m SO excited about is Johnny Banana Co!  This clothing brand is homegrown right here in the US, based in Chicago.  Mom run and operated, they focus on kids clothes that stand out, but are extremely soft, comfortable, and high quality!  They definitely caught my eye when looking for unique and quality items for my kiddos, and one of the MANY things I love about them are the awesome, vibrant colors!  If you love any of the outfits in this post as much as I do, feel free to use the code MILLERNANA at checkout to save money on your order!

Shop the look: Pop Art Shorts and matching Pop Art Tank by Johnny Banana Co.


One of the challenges that I have run into as a photographer is taking photos of subjects wearing vivid or bright colors.  I offer a lengthy style guide for clients who are looking to coordinate outfits for family or engagement photos, and here’s a free tip directly from the guide – neutrals and soft colors photograph best.  Well, here I am, going to tell you otherwise!

Okay, not completely otherwise 🙂 – for family photos that you will hang on your wall, I stand by the style guide.  It’s hard to coordinate and decorate your house with family photos when everyone is wear hot pink and lime green.  That being said – KIDS photos are all about FUN!  And one of the things I love most for my kids, are fun colors.  So here are some challenges that come with photographing bright and vibrant colors, and tips on how to combat them!

Shop the look: Blue Emoji Shorts by Johnny Banana Co.



Challenge One: Coordinating multiple kids

When you want multiple kids in a photo, and there are a bunch of bright colors, it can easily get overwhelmed.  One suggestion is to NOT go 100% matching, and instead try picking one color to coordinate them, while still allowing their individual outfits to shine. Take Charlie and Matty for instance:

They are both rocking their Johnny Banana roll tees!  I love the bright colors, and wanted to stick with that theme.  Since I was working with a purple and pink tee, I chose to give Charlie pink pants to tie his outfit to Matty, and then I gave him white accessories.  For Matty I went with lime green, and while they are both bright and vivid, the pink ties them together!  Charlie just wishes Matty would keep his sunglasses on!
Challenge Two: Competing Backgrounds
I live in the middle of nowhere northern NJ, and mostly around my house is grass, trees, and more trees.  The occasional bear.  And while I love where we live, the one thing it is not great for is taking pics of the kids!  It’s hard to see the beautiful colors of an outfit if the background is mostly dark green grass or trees.  Finding a location with a neutral, clean background is key!  Having a grey, cream, or beige wall will make the colors pop and won’t distract from them.
Shop the look: Hot Pink Roll Tee by Johnny Banana Co.
Challenge Three: Color Cast
Here it is… one of my bigger challenges.  One of the reason I suggest wearing neutrals most of the time.  Color casting.  UGH!  What is it exactly?  It’s when the bright colors from an outfit are reflected back onto the subject.  It can turn their skin green, red, blue, or any number of somewhat alien looking colors.  It’s hard to avoid if someone is wearing a bright color, but there are definitely things you can do to minimize it!
Cement.  Sidewalks.  White walls.  These are a few of my favorite things!  The light bounces off these surfaces and reflects beautiful white light back onto the subject.  Anytime I am shooting on a white sidewalk or have a white cement wall to work with, I try to get the kids to look at it.  Look at the wall, Matty!
Another helpful tip?  Taking the hat off for a few pics. Hats are one of the biggest culprits in color casting because the brim color reflects directly on their face.  Spike up the hair and rock it!

Or better yet – put it sideways or backwards!  Andy may look like he disagrees, but he secretly likes his sideways hat 😛

Shop the look: Lavender Roll Tee by Johnny Banana Co. 



Challenge Four: Editing

Editing can be tricky when you are working with bright colors.  I try to keep photos true to life, and sometimes raising the shadows can result in some funky colors.  While it does help to have a nice neutral location to shoot in, the HSL section in Lightroom becomes my BFF when editing pics.  It enables me to tone down or raise specific shades of colors to ensure they are featured properly.  The goal is not to increase saturation or make them look different than how they appear in real life – it’s simply to showcase them properly!

Shop the look: Cloud Blue Roll Tee by Johnny Banana Co. 



I hope you found these tips helpful!  Thanks so much to Johnny Banana Co. for sponsoring this blog post – Go Bananas, Be You!


More about Johnny Banana Co.
Johnny Banana Co is a modern clothing brand based in Chicago, IL founded by model and mama of two, Birgit DeVae. My motivation for starting the company was from my inability to find modern and unique clothes for Johnny, my oldest son, when he was a baby. It seemed like everything was covered in cheesy sayings or googly eyes and it was so hard to find simple and fun clothing that fit his joyful, energetic personality. I come from a modeling and fashion background and have known how to sew since I was a kid so decided to create what I was unable to find.
My mission is to design and make clothes that stand out and allow kids (and adults!) to show off their unique and beautiful personalities while also being extremely comfortable and durable. The clothes aim to empower kids to look and feel hip but not be hindered from exploring the world and doing things like rolling around in the dirt if they so choose.
Every item is designed by me and proudly made from the highest quality materials and construction in Chicago, IL USA. I am so pleased to share my heart and soul with you and your precious little ones and hope to bring joy, self expression, and pride to your closet.


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