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Five steps to great portraits

Planning for great portraits

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Planning for Great Portraits


Clothing for Individuals

The goal of any fine portrait is to direct the viewer’s eye to the face(s) in the portrait. All other elements should be secondary. For individuals, simple long-sleeved garments in medium to dark tones of brown, gray, burgundy, green or blue are pleasing choices when photographed against a medium or dark background. Bold stripes, plaids, checks, and print are visually confusing and do not photograph well. Bright colors such as pink and orange will overwhelm the face. Light colors that approximate flesh tones will overpower the face and make the subject look unusually pale.



Clothing for Families

In a family group, proper clothing coordination is critical. Choose clothing in the same tonal ranges so that no single member of the family stands out because the clothing is too light or bright as compared to the rest of the group. Know ahead of time the type of portrait you would like your family to depict. Bare feet, kaki or denim, and solid color polos create an informal portrait for a laid back family. Shoes, kakis, button down shirts, and sweaters provide an elegant touch to your family portrait.


Popular examples: Males in one color tops and females in a different color (all members should wear same color bottoms.) White tops with khaki or denim bottoms. Black tops with khaki or denim bottoms. Shades of tans, browns, and creams.



Clothing for Couples or Small Groups

Couples or small groups should choose simple garments within the same tonal ranges. When subjects appear in a mixture of light and dark tones together, there is a visual confusion. For example, as the light color comes forward the dark color recedes. When this happens, one person becomes too dominate and appears heavier than in reality.




At ages 2-3 your child will be more independent; being able to walk and run will allow for a more challenging session. Bring in your child’s favorite toy or stuffed animal to add a personal touch to your portraits! At ages 4 and up your child will be talking well but is most likely shy to strangers. Arriving a few minutes prior to your scheduled time will allow some time for your child to become acquainted with the studio and the photographer, resulting in a more natural and relaxed session.




Diapers, diaper covers, and / or onesies in white or pastels such as pink, blue, green and yellow are preferred. Infants, having small features, tend to get lost in clothing so photographing them as natural as possible is best. Babies may be smiling, not smiling, drooling, sleeping and so on; all of which are cherished. Babies able to sit up also usually respond with smiles. They are also able to stand while balancing on a prop of some sort; therefore many different poses can be made. Clothing selection at this point is up to you! The photographers will accommodate to the clothing selection of your choice making sure backgrounds and props coordinate accordingly.




We recommend taking your pet for a walk just before the appointment in order to release any excess energy or excitement. Arriving a few minutes early will give the pet a chance to sniff around and become accustomed to the sounds and smells of the portrait studio. For dog appointments a leash is required. All animals welcomed! 




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