Familiy Portrait Tips
Beautiful and memorable portraits do not just happen, they are carefully planned. I know how to capture your special expression. You will be photographed in an artistic and flattering way that will add a dimension of luxury to your portrait. I can not accomplish this, however, without your help. Please take a few moments to look over the following suggestions to see how you may participate in the planning of your "very special personalized portrait". I are here to help. Feel free to discuss any questions or ideas you may have in advance of the sitting.
First, choose a color theme that simplifies the look of your family portrait. Too many busy patterns and colors are especially distracting in group portraits. While all the clothing does not have to match, the colors should be harmonious. Coordinate the clothing for all subjects in a group portrait so that one person will not dominate the scene. A family group should choose clothing that blends with each member's attire as well as with the background, rather than creating conflicting focal points that distract from the group as a whole. Color coordination lends harmony to the portrait.
Dark clothing tends to minimize body size, and light tones tend to emphasize body size.
A "high key" background will show off skin tones best when white, ivory or pastels are worn. With only two subjects in the portrait, it is especially important to dress in the same color(s) to capture their relationship. A busy pattern is distracting.
Shoes and socks are often overlooked as a significant aspect of portrait clothing. They should compliment, not contrast. Carefully consider your apparel from head to toe as a variety of full length and close up poses may be taken.
Dress for Small ChildrenWhile cute, play clothes detract from your professionally made portrait. Their appeal is usually short lived. It is best to select clothing that will stand the test of time. Instead, select clothing that is timeless; apparel which will yield an image that can be enjoyed for many years to come.
Dress for Outdoor PortraitsAs a background, the outdoors is very busy. It is important to choose only one or two theme colors, with your subjects wearing shades of those colors. While blues are excellent all year, white, ivory, khaki and salmon are great against lush green foliage. Burgundy, brown, tan and gray are nice late in the season. Avoid all greens, as they clash with Mother Nature. The simplicity of two colors help separate family from the scenery. Busy backgrounds and busy clothes result in hard to find faces
Color Harmony and Portrait PlacementAlso consider the location where the portrait will be displayed. Study the relationship between your initial choice of clothing and the décor in the room itself. By laying clothing out on the couch where the portrait will be hung, anything that clashes will be obvious. Make your final selection much as you would if you were choosing throw pillows. This process will assure that you choose garments that are most suitable.
OK, TAKE A DEEP BREATH... HERE ARE KEY POINTS TO REMEMBER.
Simplicity is the keynote. Avoid busy patterns and bright colors.
Light colors are best with light backgrounds and fair complexions.
Darker colors look better with deep backgrounds and dark hair or complexions.
White, ivory, khaki or pastels are best with a white or high key background.
Avoid wearing yellow or green as they can adversely affect skin color.
Shoes and socks should be in key or just go barefoot.
Teens and adults should wear long sleeves to cover elbows.
In a group portrait, skirts should cover the knees.
When you follow these tips and coordinate your dress from head to toe, you are well on your way to a Perfect Portrait!
Senior Portrait Tips
I love to hear any ideas you may have as far as clothing, your own props, photos with friends, family, or pets, and/or unusual location of your choosing. My main goal is to portray you as a unique person, and hearing about your interests and likes helps me accomplish that.
You may bring whatever outfits you want to wear. However, there are some clothes that photograph better than others. Patterns and/or words tend to be distracting. The brighter the patterns, the more distracting they will be. This isn't to say that patterns or words are ALWAYS a bad idea - if you really like the outfit please bring it in - but solids generally photograph better than bright patterns.
Certain colors look worse outside (but are fine in the studio). Orange, teal, any kind of green (except deep forest green), and pink tend to clash with many outdoor locations, especially areas with the green of trees or grass. I suggest mid-toned solids or darker solids like black, any kind of blue, browns, red (or burgundy), purples, or grey. Yellow can also work (but tighter fitting yellow outfits can accent weight). Young women may wear dresses or skirts outside, but pants or shorts allow a greater range of poses and are recommended.
Keep in mind that lighter colors (especially white), tight fitting tops, and horizontal lines tend to accent weight (very loose fitting white usually looks fine). If you don't want your arms to be obvious, wear a short or long sleeve shirt instead of a tank top. Darker colors (especially black), loose-fitting clothing, and vertical lines have a more slimming effect.
Fashions can be great, but it's a good idea to wear at least one outfit that will likely not be labeled as obviously trendy. The thing about fashion is that it goes out of fashion. You might be happy with your photos for a few years, then be terribly embarrassed you actually wore such an outfit ten years down the road.
It you have a class ring and want it in some of your photos - remember to bring it!
Feel free to bring in outfits related to any activities or sports you are involved with. Most people will bring a few casual outfits, a uniform of some sort, and a dressier outfit - but again, everyone is different - you bring in what you want and what reflects you as a person.
If you are uncertain about your clothing choices, bring in more than the suggested total outfits and I can help choose what will look best!