Colours have a different meaning and it’s important to know how we can express certain feelings and emotions through colours.

When you create images or the recipes for your blog, or you create images for your clients, the first question that you get is: What do you want to evoke through this image? What feelings and emotions do you want to tell? What is the story of this image?

Understanding the psychology of colours helped me to understand my clients better as well. Clients often don’t don’t know about the colour theory, and it’s not their role either. Their tasks is to know what feelings their images should evoke, and it’s your role to advice them on what colours to include.

I just want to mention, that I haven’t studied officially the colour psychology, so we don’t go deep into details of this topic. I will be speaking about the Colour Psychology in a way, that should be enough for you at this stage to understand better about colours, and I hope this topic will inspire you to seek for more resources about Colour Psychology.

The psychology of colours




Red

Red colour symbolises energy, power, energy, strengths and excitement.

It’s a warm colour that adds the sense of passion and excitement in food photography images.




Orange

Orange colour evokes excitement, enthusiasm and warmth. It is a fun and energetic colour.

Orange colours associates with courage, confidence, warmth, energy, innovation or friendliness.

In food photography images, orange colour evokes energy, it makes people feel hungry. It is a colour of sunset, citrus, and pumpkins, and it’s a great colour for autumnal recipes.



Yellow

Yellow is a warm and cheerful colour.

It makes people feel hungry, happy and optimistic.

Yellow colours is associated with creativity and intellect too, it is a colours that gives us a lot of energy.

This colours is mostly associated with summer, as yellow is the colour of the sun and sunlight, or of fresh lemons.


Green

Green is calming, restful, and pleasing colour.

It is associated with nature, freshness, hope, growth or prosperity. Green is the colour of forest and nature.

In food photography, green colour represents natural and eco-friendly food or products.

Green colour makes us relax, it adds the sense of calmness and harmony.

Use green colour if you want to photograph natural, healthy, vegan, vegetarian or fresh food.

Green herbs are always a great choice for adding an element of interest.



Blue

Blue colour is a cold colour and it evokes sense of calmness, relaxation, loyalty or trust.

Blue colour doesn’t make people hungry. Blue colours in food, is associated with loosing the appetite, and it’s used in weight-loose programs. Keep in mind this, when using this colour in food photography.

But, in food photography, this colour is used to add the contrast to an orange looking food.


Purple

Purple colour is on the edge of cold and warm colours. Blueish purple can evoke the sense of calmness, while reddish purple can make people feel hungry.

Purple colour is associated with royalty, bravery, wealth, luxury, and sophistication.

Purple is not a very common colour that is used in food photography, but it can add a lot of interest if used well. You can get food photography backdrops of a purple colour and combine it with other colours of foods.




Pink

Pink is a warm colour, that is very much connected to red. It evokes passion, energy, and creativity.

Pink colour is a romantic and sweet colour.



White

White colour is the absence of colours. For this reason, it is associated with pureness and innosence.

White colour evokes clarity, simplicity, freshness, sophistication or cleanness and because white colour doesn’t contain any colour, it can be combined together with any other colours.

White colour is not appetising colour but it is always the right choice to include it into your images as a supporting colour.



Black

Black is a total absorption of all colours, therefore it is associated with the power, security, elegance or authority.

Black colour is timeless and sophisticated, it’s elegant, stylish and mysterious too.

Black colour adds the mood, depth and interest in the image. Because of it’s neutrality, it helps the main hero stand-out and therefore it’s very each to work with this colour.



Grey

Grey colour is modern and sophisticated, it works well for expressing timelessness, luxury or balance.

It is also associated with strength and intelligence.

In food photography, grey is a great supporting colour. It’s a neutral colour that doesn’t express any feeling, therefore you can combine it with any other colours and it will never take attention from the main food.

Interesting combinations of colours to keep in mind

  • red, orange yellow – red colours evokes passion and energy, while yellow and orange makes people feel hungry. When you combine these colours into one frame, you make people passionately hungry.
  • combination of green and earthy tones evokes eco-friendliness, natural, organic, healthy food.
  • blue is a cold colour and generally speaking, it helps us to loose the appetite. Blue colour doesn’t make us hungry, but in a combination with orange, you can create beautiful colour contrast and lot’s of interest in your images.

Key take-away

  • yellow and orange colours are the best choice if you want to make people hungry
  • choose green colour for vegan, vegetarian, eco-friendly, natural and organic food
  • blue makes people loose the appetite, use it as the contrasting colour to make the orange food stand-out more
  • yellow makes people feeling energised, playful and happy, it’s a great colour for spring or summer
  • orange colour can be a great choice for autumnal recipes
  • purple is the colour of luxury and wealth, although it is less present in food photography
  • black, white and grey are a great supporting colours that you can always combine with any other colour, without taking attention from the main hero
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