"Preparing for your portrait session"
Scheduling the session:
- If you plan to use the photos for a special family announcement (birthday, anniversary, holiday, etc.) then you will want to schedule your session early enough that you can shoot, get your images back, design the announcement, and leave time to get cards printed and mailed if that's part of the program. I suggest a minimum of 4 weeks out from the date you plan to post the announcements.
What to wear:
Here are few general rules but, As always, rules are meant to be broken and if you are on the fence about an outfit please feel free to ask me beforehand or bring it along to the session for some advice.
- Wear solid colored clothing so that we see all of your faces and no one person stands out. If you wear stripes or flowers, you will stand out from the rest of your group in an awkward way.
- Choose muted tones that are a bit subdued so that you are the subject not your clothes and you don't stand out from the group. Bright colors project (especially reds, oranges, and yellows), which also makes you look larger.
- Choose 1-3 colors for your group portrait, ones in the same color family or complimentary colors that go nicely together and have everyone work within that color palette. For example: dark green, navy, and burgundy -- all dark jewel tones. OR tan, a lighter olive green, and denims -- all lighter, softer tones. So that we see the people first and your portrait looks stunning. Wedding group photos look so good because they're all wearing the same colors and the people stand out!
- Choose a top with sleeves at least to the elbow because your arms take up more skin area than your face and will draw attention and it may also make your arms look larger.
- In general it's best to choose long pants for men/ladies or a skirt below the knee for ladies so that your legs don't take attention from your faces, and you will be able to sit and bend without showing too much leg. (Beaches and summer casual portraits are two examples of possible exceptions to this.)
- Choose dark socks and footwear (unless it's a barefoot photo on the beach) because white just sticks out like a sore thumb and that's all you'll notice in your portrait.
- Keep jewelry simple and minimalist because too much quickly draws attention from your face.
- Style your hair the way you would normally do it while wearing these clothes -- no fancy up dos with jeans, no pony tails with evening gowns, etc. UNLESS you really want to make a specific statement with your portraits. I have definitely had some fun shoots with clients who enjoyed the eclectic mashing of seemingly disparate styles.
- If you're planning on getting a haircut or new hairdo, make your appointment at least 2 weeks prior to your portrait session. Ladies need time to practice working it, and men need it to grow out just a little. Allow some time to live with your new look before you have your portraits made.
Makeup and hair:
Here are a few tips from professional makeup artists that will help you look your best in front of the camera.
- Go slightly brighter/heavier on your cheeks, eyes, and lips than you normally would. Makeup tends to look more toned down in photos so in order for it to look like you are wearing any at all you need to go slightly heavier and use colors that have a tiny bit more "pop".
- Stick to matte textures unless you really know what you are doing. It is super easy for shiny/glittery/shimmery makeup to reflect light, in unflattering ways that can make you look oily or blotchy in a photo. So stick to nice matte finish powders and eyeshadows for flawless looking skin.
- Always wear a powder over your makeup to set it and also to maintain the matte appearance.
- False eyelashes can be your best friends. They make an awesome impression in photos and are a great way to add some flare without looking too unnatural.
Now, just relax and enjoy the session!