General TipsGreat photographs don't just happen. They are the result of efforts on both sides of the camera. Your portraits will reflect the thought and effort you put into them. The more that we plan in advance, the more successful your finished photographs will be. Here's a few things that you are in control of: hairstyles, facial hair, nail polish, makeup, jewelry, sunburn, and especially wardrobe selection.
SessionsSessions are conveniently done in our studio, in your home, or at a location that is special to you. When possible outside of the studio natural light is used, because of its beauty and ability to provide a more relaxed environment.
During the warmer months many of my clients like to do a mixture of indoor and outdoor photos. I am happy to make arrangements for this as I love variety and change within a session.
I do not put any limit on poses or outfit changes. For maternity sessions I suggest having three or four options ready, if not more. In your home, sessions last approximately two hours though they may last a bit longer depending on what you would like to accomplish. It is very important to me that you do not feel rushed. The more relaxed you are, the easier it is to get good photographs.
Portraits are best when the viewerís eye is drawn to your face. Unless you choose your clothing carefully, itís possible for the viewerís eye to be diverted to the clothing. Below are some very important tips we recommend you follow in order to look your best for your portrait session.
Close-Up PortraitsFor your traditional head-and-shoulders portrait, dress in something very simple, both in color and style. Men can choose a suit, sport coat or sweater. Women, a plain dress, sweater, or shirt with a simple neckline often looks the best. Both men and women should wear long sleeves to keep the eye from being drawn to the flesh of the arms.
Clothing Color & StyleWith clothing, simplicity is the key. Solid clothing--items without patterns, stripes or logos--work best. Patterns and prints can be very distracting in your images. Try to stay away from "loud" clothing or anything that is trendy.
Proper clothing allows the face to dominate the portrait, with all other elements being secondary. Against a medium or dark background, colors that photograph best for the portrait and other close-up poses are medium to dark tones of blue, brown, rust, wine, or green. Keep in mind that darker shades tend to be more slimming and figure forgiving.
Against a medium or dark background avoid light colors that approximate flesh tones such as beige, tan, peach, pink, white, and yellow. These colors not only dominate a portrait and overpower the face, but also drain color from the face and make the wearer appear unusually pale.
Families and groups should try to stick with wearing the same colors, i.e. everyone wear shades of blue or black, for example. This keeps the focus on the faces, not the clothes. Mix-matched patterns and colors often take away from your portrait.
Dark colors are more flattering and slimming.For family groups, it's important to coordinate colors in the same tonal range so that no single family member stands out because their clothing is too bright as compared to the rest of the group. Also, coordinating colors has the psychological effect of showing closeness in the family.
When choosing clothing colors, remember that dark to medium tones (brown, burgundy, green, blue, black) always photograph well. The lighter colors, on the other hand, call attention to themselves and away from the face. Not only do the light colors dominate a portrait, they also add bulk to subjects wearing them.
Another thing to consider when selecting colors is the location of the final print. If it will hang in the den over the sofa, you should try to incorporate the color scheme of the room into your clothing choices.
Choose outfits that fit your personality and make you feel attractive. Create color harmony and ensure that all outfits are coordinated. Avoid patterns or stripes; solid, neutral colors look best. Avoid wearing short skirts or shorts, as they make posing more difficult. Long, flowing dresses, jeans, and khakis make better selections.
Sleeveless shirts or tops with very short sleeves are sometimes very unflattering in portraits, and should be avoided. Also, unless you don't mind people seeing all of your curves, it's best to avoid tight fitting tops.
Because shoes often show in portraits, ensure that the shoes you wear compliment your clothing. However, bare feet also work in many cases. Consider dark socks instead of the eye-catching white ones.
Enjoy the Fun of an Outdoor SessionBring a casual outfit that will blend with natural outdoor settings. Earth tones are an excellent choice. Also, remember that simple styles photograph the best.
Planning for Your Session
HairDonít try a new hairstyle just for your portrait session, and if you need a haircut, do this at least two weeks prior to your appointment session.
Skin ProblemsDonít worry if you develop a skin problem before your portrait session. Our finished portraits can be fully retouched to eliminate blemishes, soften harsh lines and smooth stray hairs.
GlassesProblems with glasses can lead to extra retouching charges. We can remove normal glare on glasses, but tinted lenses cannot be lightened. If your glasses are tinted or exceptionally thick, they can distort the way the camera photographs the eye. In this case, you should ask your optometrist for a pair of empty frames to wear for your portrait session. If you have any questions regarding your glasses or extra retouching charges on glasses, please ask us.
Avoid fake tans and especially sunburns before your portrait session. These can make your skin look "muddy", and is very difficult for us to correct, if it's possible at all.
Please don't experiment with a new hairstyle for your portraits. There's nothing we can do to create a portrait you'll love if you hate your hair. And guys, get the haircut a week or two before the session, not to mention shaving off the 5 o'clock shadow.
Start thinking about props! This can make your photograph unique. Consider a picnic basket, wine glasses, a musical instrument, or even pets. We can also work with larger objects such as boats, sports cars, planes, or motorcycles.
We recommend that you do not schedule other activities close to your photo session. Rushing in for your session or "clock-watching" while you are with us creates stress and fatigue that can be reflected in your portraits.
Don't worry about the location! Once you choose your wardrobe and props, schedule your appointment and we will discuss a location and times with you. We have access to many secret hideaways. Just tell us what you envision, and we will create the rest!
Become alert to interesting photographs. Look out for awesome postcards or magazine advertisements. Often we re-create art with you as the subject!
Keep in mind that many families choose to display their portraits. Consider a designer frame, guest book (great for birthdays, showers, or celebrations), and holiday greeting cards. Also keep in mind that framed portraits make great gifts!
Have fun! Let us capture you being you!