Making the most of your Portrait Session

For High School Senior session tips check our "Senior Tips for Guys & Gals" by following this link.

Memorable portraits take careful planning, and the clothing you choose is very important to your portrait's success.  Planning your portrait will help us to create an artwork of  a very personal nature. As a decorative focal point in your home or office, it will serve as a reflection of your good taste, as well as a most appropriate expression of your personal style.  These guidelines will help you make important decisions about your portrait.

Tips for Clothing Style and Accessories

Very simple garments always photograph best.
Turtle necks or V-necks are flattering provided that neither is exaggerated in style. Avoid very wide or particular deep V-neck garments, as wall as bulky cowl neck sweaters that completely hide the neck.
Long sleeves are essential for teens and adults, as bare arms call attention to themselves and will over power the face.
Women being photographed in full length should wear long skirts, pants or dark stockings 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 , make certain shoes and stockings are in keeping with the visual intent of the portrait.
Men should have a hair cut about one week before the portrait session. Women should be photographed when ever they are happiest with their hair in relationship to the time it is styled.
If clothing changes are planned, bring clothing on hangers rather than in plastic bags.

About Clothing Color, Tone, and Style ...

The goal of any fine portrait ... is to direct the viewer's attention to the face or faces in the portrait. Simple long sleeved garments in medium to dark tones of brown, rust, burgundy, green, or blue are pleasing choices when photographed against a dark background.

Proper clothing allows the face to dominate the portrait. all other elements should be secondary.
Bold stripes, plaids, checks and prints are confusing and do not photograph well.
Especially bright colors, such as red and orange will completely overpower the face and ruin a portrait.
Light-colored clothing calls attention to itself and away from the face. Avoid light colors that approximate flesh tones such as peach, beige, tan, pink white, and yellow. They overpower the face, make the subject appear unusually pale, and add bulk to the subject. Darker shades are more flattering and slimming.
Light colors are appropriate against a white or pastel background or ... with a dark background when interpretive "pictorial" study is planned.
Couples or small groups should choose simple garments within the same tonal ranges. Light and dark tones together create visual confusion, as one subject comes forward and the others recedes.

Clothing for Families

In a family group, proper clothing coordination is critical. When decorating a home, a major concern is to coordinate the colors and tones for the walls, carpet, draperies, and furniture.  Choose clothing in the same tonal ranges so no single member of the family stands out because the clothing is too light or bright compared to the rest of the group.


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