Besides light, colors are the be-all and end-all of photography. Of course, a good photo also “lives” from factors such as environment, image composition, as well as charisma and the body language of a model. But what first catches the eye are the colors.
They are the initial optical allure for the viewer, and, without a doubt, if the color scheme is not right, our optically saturated gaze will hardly stick to an image… Swipe down, out of sight, out of mind.
Colors transport moods and so they are important for the emotiveness of a photo. Two simple examples are the color blue, which we associate with cold, and the color red, which stands for warmth. Cold colors cause discomfort more quickly, whereas warm colors convey well-being. So warm, cold, bright, or muted colors can trigger completely different emotions.
Colors are therefore an important design tool in photography because they help to attract the attention of the viewer. The better a photographer knows the effect of color tones on human perception, the more specifically he or she can use them in photos. This is especially true in stock photography, considering its wide variety of motifs.
How do colors evoke emotions?
Based on our experiences and our thinking structure, we associate different colors with certain moods. So color psychology has to do with instincts, and these instincts can steer us in this or that direction. Our subconscious is spoken to via the optical sensory perception of a color. The color psychologists Max Lüscher (1923-2017) and Heinrich Frieling (1910-1996) intensively analyzed the effects of colors on the mind. They recognized the following connections between color tones and the feelings and characteristics associated with them:
Yellow: stimulating, cheerful, liberating, intuition, contact
Orange: joy, warmth, brilliance, sun, fertility
Brown: dry, sober, real, banal, solid
Red: exciting, lively, fire, danger, love
Pink: sweet, reserved, delicate, distance
Violet: mystical, restlessness, high standards, rapture, magic
Dark blue: profound, constructive, dominant, philosophical
Light blue: longing, cozy, welcoming, clarity
Dark green: dominant, natural, calm, damp
Light green: delicate, intimate, soft, protective, soothing
Heinrich Frieling applied this feelings–colors scale to building projects worldwide. Many interior designers and architects also use it; they use certain colors, for example, to promote the creativity of the people working in the offices.
Color at Westend61
Of course, we at Westend61 also think in certain color patterns during our productions and photographer briefings. This is particularly evident in our VISTA collection, which deliberately focuses on warm and inviting colors. But the world of images lives in constant change, so we do not want to set any limits to the color preferences of our photographers.
We are happy to have artists on board who dare to experiment with colors and who always surprise us with new, colorful compositions. After all, it is primarily the individuality and creativity of our photographers that make the Westend61 look so special and distinctive!