Designing a Successful Portrait
Memorable portraits take careful planning, and the clothing you choose is very important to your portrait’s success. These guidelines will help you to make important decisions about the clothing and style of your artwork.
Tips on Preparing for your Portraits:
- Turtle necks or v-necks are flattering provided that neither is exaggerated in style. Avoid very wide or particularly deep v-neck garments or bulky cowlneck sweaters that completely hide the neck.
- For close-up portraits, long sleeves are essential for teens and adults, as bare arms call attention to themselves and will overpower 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, assure that shoes and stockings are in keeping with the visual intent of the portrait.
- Men should be clean shaven or facial hair should be carefully groomed, with their hair cut about one week before the portrait session. Women should be photographed whenever they are happiest with their hair in relation to the time it is styles.
Clothing for Individuals:
The goal of any fine portrait is to direct the viewer’s eye to the face(s) in the portrait. All other elements should be secondary. For individuals, simple long-sleeved garments in medium to dark tones of brown, gray, burgundy, green or blue are pleasing choices when photographed against a medium or dark background.
Clothing for Small Groups:
Couples or small groups should choose simple garments within the same tonal ranges. When subjects appear in a mixture of light and dark tones together, there is a visual confusion–as the light color comes forward, and the dark color recedes. When this happens, one person before dominant and appears heavier than in reality.
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 of the walls, carpets, drapes and furniture. Similar coordination is necessary when selecting clothing for a group portrait. Choose clothing in the same tonal ranges so that no single member of the family stands out because the clothing is too light or bright as compared to the rest of the groups.
Creative Style and Personality:
Our goal is to create portraiture as individual as the subjects we photograph. Our tools include various styles, techniques, and settings that make each portrait a unique artwork.