How to Prepare for Your Portrait Session
The goal of any fine portrait is to direct the viewer’s attention to the face or faces in the portrait. Proper clothing allows the face to dominate the portrait. All other features should be secondary. Here are some helpful suggestions for a great portrait!
SIMPLE – Very simple garments always photograph best; classic clothing styles will stay in fashion year after year. Avoid busy patterns and bright colors - no plaids, stripes, bold designs or anything that will distract from your face. Wear solid colors or subtle patterns - darker colors have a slimming effect - deep rich tones such as navy, dark forest green, deep maroon, burgundy, black, or charcoal with subtle accents of jewelry, ties, etc. Avoid wearing bright yellow or green as they can adversely affect skin color. Neckties should be toned down in color with minimal patterns. On adults, long-sleeved shirts or sweaters look better than short sleeves.
OUTDOOR PORTRAITS – Wear earth tones, solid colors such as dark navy, green or maroon or very subtle patterns. For a more casual look, denim looks great, or dark cotton slacks and shirt within the same tonal ranges.
GROUPS/FAMILIES/COUPLES – In a group portrait, proper clothing coordination is critical. Choose clothing in the same tonal ranges so that no single member of the group stands out because the clothing is too light or bright as compared to the rest of the group. Medium to deep tones look the best.
NECKLINES – An open neckline tends to thicken the neck in a photograph. Instead, a neckline that comes up to the base of the neck, like a turtleneck or a V-neck top, frames your face beautifully. With a collarless blouse or sweater, a scarf loosely tied around the neck will also help to frame your face. Avoid bulky cowl neck sweaters that completely hide the neck.
HAIR STYLE and JEWELRY – Keep hairstyles and jewelry simple. Don't try a new hairstyle or haircut just before your sitting.
GLASSES – If you wear glasses on a daily basis, then plan on wearing them in your portrait. If lenses can be removed that is best, but not mandatory. Or when possible, borrow a set of matching frames from your optician that have the glass removed. This eliminates the glare, distortion and discoloration that could appear in your eyes.
RELAX – Get plenty of rest and don’t rush to your appointment. Please allow about an hour for your portrait session.