Memorable portraits take careful planning, and the clothing you choose is very important. These guidelines will help you to make clothing decisions that will enhance the style of your artwork. Our goal is to create portraiture as individual as the subjects we photograph.
In a family group, proper clothing coordination is critical. When decorating a home, a major concern is to coordinate the colors and tones of the walls, carpets, drapes, and furniture. Similar coordination is necessary when selecting clothing for a group portrait. Choose clothing in the same tonal ranges so that no single member of the family stands out because the clothing is too light or too bright as compared to the rest of the group.
Careful clothing selection makes the difference between a portrait that appears to be unrelated individuals and one in which every member of the family “belongs” to the group.
Tips on Preparing For Your Portrait
Ladies please get your hair done the way you like best. Please use some makeup to enhance your features. Cameras tend to eat makeup so please use a little extra as if you were going out to dine at fine restaurant or on a date.
Bold stripes, plaids, checks, and prints are visually confusing and should be avoided. Turtlenecks or V-necks can be flattering, but they must not be exaggerated in style. Avoid very wide or particularly deep V-neck garments or bulky cowl-neck sweaters that completely hide the neck.
Long or ¾ length sleeves are better for teens and adults, as bare arms call attention to them and will overpower the face. Bare shoulders or tops with “spaghetti straps” often make the subject look heavier and take the eye away from the face.
Please wear long skirts, pants, leggings or jeans. Avoid shorter skirts or dresses in order to keep the eye from being directed toward the legs and away from the face. If feet are to show in the portrait, please make sure that shoes and stockings are in keeping with the clothing style.
Men must shave just before coming. Five o’clock shadow is hard to clean after the session. Beards are ok but must be neat and clean. Dress shirts with rolled up sleeves for a casual look are best. A sport jacket, sweater or vest makes you look a little dressier. Pants and Jeans are preferred over shorts. Again your legs aren’t as flattering and distract attention. If wearing a suit, make sure it fits perfectly.
Simple long-sleeved garments in medium to dark tones of brown, rust, burgundy, green, or blue are pleasing choices when photographed against a medium or dark background in studio. Because darker clothing is slimming, it often is a good choice for full-length or three-quarter-length portraits in which a medium to dark background is used.
Outdoor location Portraits
Light-colored clothing is appropriate against a white or pastel background and in outdoor setting. Dressy casual clothing complements portraits made in outdoor environments. But please coordinate your colors with the rest of the family members. Colors should be coordinated but not “matchy-matchy” or looking like a uniform. The goal of any fine portrait is to direct the viewer’s eye to the face(s) in the portrait. All other elements should be secondary.