Are you getting ready for portraits and not really sure what to wear?  Here are some tips to help you with your selection.

Mid-tone and Dark Solid Colors Photograph better than Light Ones.

It’s probably easiest to go ahead and state up front that the focal point on any portrait is YOU! Specifically your face and even more specifically your eyes. Thus, the goal of your clothing is not to distract, but rather to draw the viewers to your face. Wearing dark, solid colors really accomplishes this well. The eyes are naturally drawn to the brightest part of the picture, so when you wear dark clothing your face is more likely one of the brighter elements in the picture. The opposite occurs when you wear white, or other bright clothes and the clothes compete with you face. Plaids and busy shirts with a lot of print can also be a distraction for the viewer. Note the following images and see which one your eyes are more naturally drawn to the faces of the subjects.

Of course both are nice portraits, and wearing a brighter color certainly won’t ruin a picture, but the darker outfits usually make for a more pleasing image.

 

Bring a Variety of Outfits

You’ll be more pleased with your session if you bring a variety of outfits.  Some casual and some that are more dressy.   Also vary up the color some so that you don’t have all your pictures with pink tops.  As the scene changes, some outfits and colors are going to look better than others.  When in doubt bring it to your session and let me help you make some choices.

For the Weight Conscious

If you are self-conscious about your weight you will especially want to avoid anything tight-fitting that is white or light colored as it will tend to add weight to the portrait.  Loose-fitting and white is not as noticeable and most people can get away with.  Horizontal stripes are also notorious for adding weight and if you are self-conscious about your arms you’ll be much more pleased with your pictures if you wear long sleeves.  Dark colors especially with long sleeves do the best job of camouflaging any extra weight.

Color Selection

Some colors simply don’t look that great outside.  Orange, teal, any kind of green (except deep, forest green), and pink tend to clash with many outdoor locations, especially areas with the green of trees or grass. Mid-toned solids or darker color solids like black, any kind of blue, browns, reds (or burgundy), purples, or grey.  You’ll also want to avoid colors that are close to skin tone as they can have a tendency to give a washed-out look.

One of my primary goals as a photographer is to capture images of my clients that I know that they will love. One of the important elements of a great photograph is the pose of the subject. Here are just a few basics to keep in mind when posing for your photographs.

Don’t directly face the camera

Instead slightly angle your face and shoulders away from the lens. This will have a slimming effect and add interest to your portrait. Here’s an example of a senior who has her head and shoulders slightly angled away from the camera.

Bend that arm

Ever wonder what do do with your arms? The best thing is to give them a little bend. For girls this is easily accomplished by putting your hand on your hip while for guys a hand in your pocket works well. Here’s an example from a bridal portrait.

Keep your weight on the back foot

Have your weight on the foot that is furthest away from the camera. Let your front leg serve as an accent to the picture by giving it a little bit of bend. Note in the following picture how the bent leg helps her to form an “S” shape in her pose.

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