Value refers how light or dark a color is. Using the gray scale found on many color wheels, we can identify our own features (hair, skin and eyes) and the colors in our outfits as light, medium or dark values. Think pale pastels (8-10 on the gray scale below) to medium denims (4-7 on the gray scale) to deep, dark colors like burgundy (1-3 on the gray scale).
Value contrast refers to the difference (contrast) between two or more colors in terms of how light or dark those colors are in comparison to each other. In an outfit, value contrast would refer to the comparative light and dark colors in each article of the outfit.Using the gray scale we can identify the value of each article. Then you compare the value of each piece to determine if there is high, medium or low contrast in the outfit, and if the overall value is light, medium or dark.
The goal is to create harmony between the colors in your outfit and your own coloring. When your outfit has similar value contrast as your own features it is ‘harmonious’ with your coloring.
Color contrast refers to how many colors versus neutrals occur in her hair, skin and eyes. The best look for you is in harmony with your own color contrast. Let’s look at Marissa’s coloring.
Overall Deep Value
We can see in this pink cardigan and pastel blue top, the eyes are distracted to the outfit. The value contrast is so much lighter than her own. These lighter values wash her out and draw attention to the colors in her outfit away from her face.
In a side by side comparison it’s easier to see that the overall deeper values (on the right) look more harmonious with her own coloring. The pastel lighter values (on the left) are a sharp contrast to her dark hair and eyes creating a disconnect from her own features. Wearing colors disconnected from your own features create body focus because the eye is drawn to the colors that are out of sync.
If you need a photographer for an event or portraits, consider Marissa Jean Photography. She is not only passionate about her photography but a delight to work with.