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.
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.
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
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
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
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!