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.
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.
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.
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.