Memorable portraits, and even quality family snapshots, often take careful, thoughtful planning, and the clothing you choose is one of the most important aspects of the photography if you want to insure the success of your final images.
To help you avoid future retouching or restoration costs, we'd like to offer a few tips for making the most of your portrait sessions and family photos.
The primary goal of any fine portrait is to direct the viewer's attention to the face or faces in the photograph. Simple, long sleeved garments in medium to dark tones of brown, rust, burgundy, green, or blue are pleasing choices when photographed against darker backgrounds.
Proper clothing allows the all important face to dominate the portrait. All other elements of the photograph should be secondary. Bold stripes, plaids, checks, prints, floral patterns, and ill fitting clothes are confusing and do not photograph well. Especially bright, bold colors, such as red, purple and orange, completely overpower the face and ruin an otherwise beautiful portrait.
Light colored clothing calls attention to itself and away from the face. Try to avoid light shades of color similar to flesh tones such as beige, tan, peach, pink, white, and yellow. Darker hues are more flattering, not to mention slimming.
Light colors are appropriate against a white or pastel background, or with a dark background when an interpretive pictorial study is planned.
Couples and small groups should choose simple garments within the same tonal ranges. Light and dark tones together create visual confusion, as one subject comes forward and the other recedes.
In a family group, proper clothing coordination is crucial to a fine portait. When decorating a home, a major concern is to coordinate the colors and tones of the carpets, walls, window treatments, and furniture. This kind of coordination is also necessary when selecting clothing for a group portrait.
Choose clothing in the same materials and tonal ranges so that no single member of the group dominates the photograph because the clothing is too light or bright as compared to the rest of the subjects in the group.
Clothing that blends harmoniously creates timeless portraiture because the viewer's eyes are drawn directly to the faces.
Clothing in medium shades complement portraits made in outdoor environments.
More portrait tips coming soon.