Do you think I like Black?
OK. You’ve probably noticed I do tend to swing towards a certain style for my family studio portraits…
I love it.
I love the fact that it’s just that little bit different from the usual bright (white background) photographs that you see all the time.
Now before you start thinking I’m starting to sound bitter and wouldn’t photograph someone in the bright/light style. That’s not the case. I’m more than happy to photograph you in any style if asked. However I do tend work with clients that are looking for something a little more artistic and special. Something that’s going to go up on the walls of their home and stay their for a long time, just like a piece of artwork.
My photo sessions are about you and what I can do for you. So while I do show a lot of the black style I love to shoot (and what previous and existing clients come to me for) no matter what sort of style you need, I want you to feel your best and be comfortable during the session.
In essence the more relaxed you are the more natural the portraits will be.
There is no right or wrong to what you’d like to wear, or what you feel comfortable wearing; everyone’s different and I’m certainly not going to demand you wear what I want!
The following few principles and clothing tips are just a guideline; there’s really no right or wrong in them, they’re just observations that can help take your portraits to the next level.
Bright reds and oranges are close to skin tones and can distract from the face.
Light will reflect off very strong bright colours and this can lead to unwanted colour casts on the skin. Go for pastel and earthy colours instead.
Wear similar or neutral tones
Something that can be overlooked is the tones that you are wearing. A person’s eyes are generally drawn to the lightest or highest contrast part of a photograph. For example; in a family group shot if one person is wearing a white top but everyone else is wearing dark tops then your attention will be drawn then the person in white. This is fine if there is a specific reason for doing so, but generally it’s better to blend more.
Wearing the same thing
A photograph is more interesting when there are differences; go for coordinated colours or tones rather than all wearing matching tops. Having layers can add interest too.
Avoid wearing busy patterns, branding and logos.
Stripes, spots, plaids, vivid prints, logos of any kind and busy patterns all tend to distract your eyes from a person’s face; Keep it simple.
Keep to a style
If the shoot is casual, then all be casual! avoid mixing up formal with casual; think about the seasons too, mixing a summer dress with someone in a winter jacket is not really going to work!
Accessories are great, but where possible avoid anything with large shiny surfaces, for example a large belt buckle; again, this could be distracting.
If you wear glasses all the time then feel free to wear them… we can work around reflections, remember we are going for what is natural to you and if you are used to having them on then you will be more relaxed
Longer sleeves over shorter
Reduces the amount of skin that can compete with people’s faces.
Fitted rather than baggy
Fitted clothing is much more flattering than baggy clothing especially on women; baggy can infer lager size and lacks shape.
You are having a portrait! A fresh clean and dry face can reduce shine and reflection on the skin in men; for women unless there is a specific reason go for light/powder makeup for the same reason.
A portrait is about capturing expressions but your hands may also appear during the session, think about clean hands and trimmed nails for both men and women and the kids!
… above all be comfortable!
As I’ve already said, these points are just guidelines and things to think about and to enhance your portraits; I want you to enjoy the session as much as the end result so I’m certainly not going to tell you to take of your favourite football shirt if that’s what you feel best in!