Clothing Suggestions For Your Portrait Photography Session.
The selection of proper clothing for your portrait is a critical factor in the preparation for a successful portrait. If the clothing is noticeable or overbearing in a portrait, it could easily become a distraction. Clothing that does not attract attention to itself is the ultimate goal. It could be the difference between a very successful portrait and just another picture.
Dark clothing tends to slenderize. Darker clothing helps to blend the bodies with the background, so that the faces are the most important part of the photograph. Dark colors definitely tend to slenderise the subject.
Tone down bright colours. Bright colors attract attention away from the face and may be reflective. Avoid wearing red, bright pink, bright green etc. When choosing lighter colors, stick to pastels, but avoid pink tones. Pale yellow and pale blue work well, especially with jeans or kaki pants.
Light clothing can look beautifully fresh. If you are worried about not appearing slender then it is safer to avoid white. White can look beautifully simple and fresh. White shirts and/or blouses under a dark jacket are perfect.
Prints and patterns. This includes logos. Avoid prints of any kind and patterns. it will become a distraction. In the case of digital portraits,
Avoid short pants. Long sleeved clothing is a MUST! For casual portraits it is equally important to wear long pants instead of shorts. When legs are exposed to the camera there will be more flesh in the photograph in those areas than on the face, itself. This is a major distraction.
Don’t over accessorise! Overbearing or heavily noticeable accessories can be a major distraction. Simple and minimal works best.
Glasses. Eye glasses may or may not be worn. Non-reflective lenses, of course, are a big help. Better yet, sometimes it’s possible to obtain a matching set of frames without any lenses. This is particularly helpful, if your lenses sometimes distort the outline of your face.
Group / family portrait sessions. Keep your clothing simple and coordinating. It must be carefully selected to blend the bodies together. Avoid loud or busy patterns and large logos. Solid colors are best. First, decide whether the basic tone of the clothing will be warm-toned (browns, etc.) or cool-toned (blues/grays/blacks, etc.) Then, make sure to follow all of the above instructions. Keeping a group in similar colors focuses the attention of the portrait to the faces and individuals that make up the portrait. Dissimilar colors in groups tend to be more distracting. White tops with khakis or jeans can look very nice and casual, but if anyone in your family is super pale, white can make pale skin look paler. Jeans are the timeless choice and they’re great for fun, casual pictures because they are flattering and don’t show wrinkles or panty lines. Lighter shirts on top give the pictures a more casual and bright look. Pastels are also usually appealing because they enhance natural skin tones. Black or other dark shirts on top give the portraits a more serious and thoughtful feel (not to mention that black is slimming). Everyone should have color-coordinated outfits (Not a uniform necessarily, but there should be a theme). For the children, choose outfits that fit well without a lot of “growing room”. Jeans / khaki’s and white or black tops are always very nice for a family portrait.
Tip. Lay out all the clothing onto a bed. Shoes, socks, stockings – everything should be included…shoes, too! Then, take a careful look at the collection. If your eye goes to any one item in particular, you can be certain that the same thing will happen in a photograph. That item should be changed. Clothing should not be too tight or too loose.
Toddlers and Kids. Don’t forget hats, sunglasses, boots, blankets, jackets, etc. can be great to show personality and bring out their silly side. Feel free to bring any other prop or comfort item that you want to include.
If you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask me before your portrait session. See you at your shoot!