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Family Portraits:What to wear and what not to wear

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Family Portraits: What To Wear And What Not To Wear

When it comes to your family portraits, there are different styles to choose from. However, regardless of what style you go with, there is some basic choices to make with your clothing and accessories that will improve your portrait results. However, you can also detract from your photo with the wrong choices that you may make. Here are a few suggestions that should help you in your planning for your photo session.

For a more distinct photo that accentuates your face, hair and hands, the following is recommended for your clothing tops:

· Colors should lean towards the extreme ends of the spectrum with either very dark or very light. This allows your top to highlight you and your face, regardless of the backdrop.

· Avoid more intermediate colors as they generally don’t produce as well and will cause your facial tones to blend in with your top.

· Include interesting collars and/or sleeves on your tops.

· Tops with interesting textures, such as, a sweater, can add richness or depth to your photograph.

· Avoid busy colors, stripes and noisy patterns. Quite often these don’t reproduce well and can distract from viewer from your photo.

In addition, if you bring with you enough clothes to change into for your session, then also consider bringing a variety of styles in your colors, textures, necklines, as well as undergarments for a variety of different looks.

Other suggestions when it comes to colors is with the darker colors you will get a more slimming effect in a photo, while you may get the opposite wearing lighter colors. Also try to avoid clothes that may create reflective colors against your skin tones. The camera readily picks this up and reflects the color cast, which in turn can cause you to look somewhat off color. Bright reds, oranges and yellows are common colors that can produce a more true color cast. Compare that to in terms of pastels or soft colors and you should be just fine.

If your images are to include you below the shoulders during your portrait session, it is usually suggested that your bottoms be a pair of blue jeans, dark slacks or something similar. Of course it will depend on the look you are looking for in your portraits. In addition, dark shoes will also reproduce well on film while your portraits are taking place when your feet are included. You will want to bring a couple pairs of shoes that are appropriate for the type of clothing you may be wearing, as well as other items such as socks/stockings. This could enhance your full posed photos.

You will also have to consider whether or not your outfit could be considered outdated in the near future. What may be today’s fashion statement, may be tomorrow’s faux pas. In addition, try to avoid any clothing that may contain distractions such as logos or slogans, as they to can become outdated or bring you embarrassment.

Jewelry is a nice way to accessorize and highlight your portrait session, but try to keep it simple and elegant. Overdoing the jewelry or jewelry that is too large and gaudy will distract and draw your viewer’s attention from your portrait and sometimes in an unflattering way. This approach should also be taken into consideration when choosing other sorts of accessories as well.

One of the biggest challenges with portrait taking is with glasses. The lenses have a tendency to cause the face to come out distorted, which could result in a less than picture perfect effect. Consider your photos without your glasses or bring frames without lenses. Experience shows that you will be unsatisfied with your portraits that were taken with the lenses on your existing glasses. So prepare yourself to have your portrait shots taken with either your glasses without lenses or without glasses altogether.

When all is said and done, you will look your best if you are wearing something comfortable and with your own sense of style. After all, they are your portraits. The above suggestions are to allow you to get the best looking portrait possible.


Portraits, what to wear

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Jewelry And Accessories
Keep it simple is the best advice here. Remember, the part played by accessories and jewelry, the same as with clothing, is simply to flatter the subject, not steal attention from the subject: you. Unless an accessory or piece of jewelry is essential to the look or feel you want in the portrait, or is something you wear all the time, or has special meaning to you, leave it out.

On the other hand, if something is important to you such as your great aunt’s locket, or great granddad’s walking stick, or plays an integral part of your life such as a stethoscope, or a canoe paddle, talk with your photographer about how to include it in some of your portraits.

Makeup
Men will tend to skip right over this while women will zoom in…MEN: before by-passing this whole topic, look in a mirror at your face. What color is your skin? How’s the complexion? Circles under the eyes? Are your nose and forehead shiny? You want to look your best in your portrait, and it’s perfectly OK for men to blotter the forehead, put a little powder on for portraits. Even a little lightener under the eyes or blush on the cheeks! Even Arnold, and Steven Segal wear makeup when on camera!

Now, Ladies, just do what you do normally in applying your makeup, as if preparing for an evening at a benefit gala: tastefully a little stronger than for daytime. It’s a good idea to bring all your makeup to the session along with some tissues and cold cream. Your photographer may have some suggestions for color changes or additions.

Hair
Real basic here: Make sure your hair is clean and styled the way you want it when you get to the session. And bring your brush, comb, spray, gel, whatever you might need to re-do it! If your hair needs to be cut before the session, have it done at least a week prior to having your portraits made. If you are having your hair styled specifically for the session, have it done just before going to the studio.

Posing
Whether your portrait style will be literal or interpretive, if you give some thought to posing before going into your session, it’ll be easier to work with your photographer, and you will look more natural and relaxed in your portraits. In the weeks or days preceding your portrait session be particularly aware of people you see in commercials, movies, magazines, TV shows, at the park, at home, at a friends house. Try to see poses of individuals, or groups, which look good, and portray a quality of feeling or emotion as in a good painting. Imagine yourself or your group in the same or similar pose.

When we see ourselves in a photograph, or portrait, we don’t always look the way we think we do, or should. Fact is all faces are asymmetrical to a greater or lesser degree, and we can present different looks from different angles. It’s a good idea to look at your face in a mirror and ‘practice’ looks that you think are flattering to you. Check your smile from different angles. Look at your nose and chin from different angles. What looks best to you? Work on reproducing two or three looks that you like. When you get to your portrait session show your photographer what you like, and ask for help if you think you can use it. Remember, the lighting your photographer uses wont be the same as you have in your bathroom or hallway where your mirror is, so if he knows what you like, he’ll be able to reproduce it for you with his lighting.

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