J&K Creative! 

portrait hints and suggestions  

Proper clothing and makeup choices are important in the preparation of a successful portrait session.  If the clothing stands out, if hair falls over the face or makeup is unevenly applied, it can lead to problems.  It is important for you to observe a few simple guidelines to assure good results.  We want you to enjoy your portrait session and have a great time. 

Your Face Is Number One!

Naturally, faces are the most important part of a portrait.  Foundation makeup should be blended at the jaw line for smooth transitions between face and neck.  The camera picks up details in makeup very well and too much will not look good.  Usually a natural, clean look works best.  Although makeup will be available during your session, you may wish to bring your own personal choices.  Makeup is often used on men just to keep "shine" down during a sitting.


Hairstyles that are simple and off-the-face photograph well.  Hair falling down onto the sides of the face can create distracting shadows.  Bangs that come down too low keep light from getting into the eyes.  


You decide if you would like to wear your glasses while being photographed.  If you choose to wear them, you may be asked to tip them up off your ears a bit to cut glare from studio lights.  In some cases it's possible to obtain a frame set similar to your own from your eyewear specialist.

Clothing Choices

Try not to make clothing choices that will be distracting.  The color of clothing should usually be toned down.  Bright colors almost always detract from the face.  Further, fabric prints of any kind and pattern can also be a problem. Darker clothing helps to blend figures to a background and tend to slenderize the subject, while light colors seem to add weight.  An exception to this rule may be in the use of light clothing for "high Key" situations, such as portraits at the beach where elements are generally brighter.  Lay out your clothing choices on a bed where you can see them all at one time.  Be sure to include your shoes, socks, stockings (dark) and any accessories.  Carefully look over your collection.  If one piece stands out too much, it probably is not the best choice.  Usually clothing below the waist should be darker than above.  Obviously, clothing should not be too loose or too tight fitting.  You will look your best when you are comfortable!  

Proper Necklines

The most flattering necklines tend to come close to the neck.  A wide, open neckline can tend to thicken the look of the neck.  By contrast, a neckline that comes up to the base of the neck, such as a v-neck or turtle neck top, are generally most flattering.  

Avoid Short Sleeves and Short Pants

Long-sleeved clothing is usually best.  For casual portraits, it is equally important to wear long pants rather than shorts.  When bare arms and legs are exposed to the camera, the added skin tones will take attention away from the face.  White or pastel shirts and/or blouses under a dark jacket are perfect.  A simple scarf loosely tied around the neck also helps to frame a face beautifully when a collarless blouse or sweater is worn.  Neckties should be toned down in both color and pattern. 

Group Portraits

Clothing for group portraits need to be carefully selected to blend group members together.  Decide whether you wish to blend by using warm-tones, such as browns and tans or cool-tones, such as blues, grays and blacks.  Consult with your photographer when assembling a wardrobe for your portrait session.


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Jon may be contacted at:

J&K Creative!
2400 Interlachen Rd. #303
Spring Park, MN, 55384
All Artwork featured in this presentation are copyright 2018 by 
Jon Wright and J&K Creative! 
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