Demands in flow cytometry for increased multiplexing (for detection of multiple antigens) and brightness (for detection of rare entities) require new fluorophores (i.e., “colors”) with spectrally distinct fluorescence outside the relatively congested visible spectral region. Flow cytometry fluorophores typically must function in aqueous solution upon bioconjugation and ideally should exhibit a host of photophysical features: (i) strong absorption, (ii) sizable Stokes shift, (iii) modest if not strong fluorescence, and (iv) narrow fluorescence band. Tandem dyes have long been pursued to achieve a large effective Stokes shift, increased brightness, and better control over the excitation and emission wavelengths. Here, the attractive photophysical features of chlorophylls and bacteriochlorophylls – Nature’s chosen photoactive pigments for photosynthesis – are described with regards to use in flow cytometry. A chlorophyll (or bacteriochlorophyll) constitutes an intrinsic tandem dye given the red (or near-infrared) fluorescence upon excitation in the higher energy ultraviolet (UV) or visible absorption bands (due to rapid internal conversion to the lowest energy state). Synthetic (bacterio)chlorins are available with strong absorption (near-UV molar absorption coefficient ε(λexc) ~105 M-1cm-1), modest fluorescence quantum yield (Φf = 0.05–0.30), and narrow fluorescence band (10–25 nm) tunable from 600–900 nm depending on synthetic design. The “relative practical brightness” is given by intrinsic brightness [ε(λexc) x Φf] times ηf, the fraction of the fluorescence band that is captured by an emission filter in a multicolor experiment. The spectroscopic features of (bacterio)chlorins are evaluated quantitatively to illustrate practical brightness for this novel class of fluorophores in a prospective 8-color panel.