Questions and Answers

Questions and Answers

What should we wear for our portraits?

Portraits whether it is seniors, children, or groups, are about the peoples face. Keeping that in mind it is best to wear clothing that will not compete with attention to the face. Below are some things to consider in making your portrait session successful:

  • Wear pants not shorts, and I suggest that you wear long sleeve shirts.
  • Don’t wear overly bright colors with distracting patterns. Again bright colors will draw your eyes from where the focus should be (your face).
  • Specifically avoid strips (horizontal strips give that prisoner look), large bright floral patterns (if you want the Maui look then it will work, but still I suggest a small pattern less bright Hawaiian shirts), T-shirts with strong patterns on them and or titles and words, colors classified as neon etc.
  • Specifically dark clothing can help in making your appearance slimmer (most people want this). Generally solid colors work best dark or light in color, or clothing with subtle patterns.
  • If it is a group portrait, the group should wear similar clothing. A family that wears the same style and color of clothing will look like they belong together.

Think momentarily of some of the beautiful portraits you may have seen. A big part of having good looking portraits relies on how you dress. People (almost) always look good in their wedding photos. It is no coincidence that they look good in wedding pictures; after all they are well dressed and are well groomed (and usually hired a competent photographer).

I am not advocating that you wear formal attire but dressing nice is a big factor in making your portraits successful. Will your pictures turn out horrible if you don’t follow the advice listed above? No, but the pictures may not be as nice as they could be.

Where do we have the portraits done, or where is a good location?

I shoot location, so portraits can be done anywhere you choose. That being said, many times I will suggest a location if I know you want a certain look. You shouldn’t have to worry about details, let the photographer earn his pay and worry about composition, how the background looks in your photos etc.

Don’t worry if you don’t know where to have portraits done, that is the photographer’s job. If you don’t know a good location we can find one together that will suite your needs and wants. Ideas of where portraits can be done are: your home, a favorite park, a historical part of town, that empty field behind your home or even your own backyard. It all depends on what you want. One thing to remember is to tell the photographer what you want then let the photographer make it happen. If you have a photo (could belong to someone else) to demonstrate what you want, show the photographer (after all a picture is worth a thousand words).

When is a good time to do portraits (time of day)?

The best time to do portraits is later in the day. There are a couple reasons for this; one is that people look better later in the day. Early morning is not the best, people still have puffy eyes, and some people have a hard time controlling drool at those early hours (I am one of them). Mid afternoon, works fine if the photos are done indoor, but generally evening is best. Evening is when there is the best natural light available and people generally look their best (yes I do use natural light).

What about the time of year, does it matter what time of year we do pictures?

Any time of year is great for pictures. Winter, summer, fall, and spring all come to mind as great times to do portraits. Fall is generally a favorite but sometimes doing a different time of year can look fresh. Try it out; you may like winter for instance.

If you want outdoor portraits (my personal choice) then weather is a much more important factor. High winds and rain can ruin any hair!

Is there anything else I should consider?

Your children, if you have young ones, think of their schedules (if they have schedules). There are certain times of the day where they will be happier. Generally it seems that early evening is best, after a meal and any nap times. Schedule the portraits too close to nap time or bed time may not be ideal. If there is a time of day that they are happiest then this is when you should schedule to do the pictures. This means that the light may not be best, but the photographer should know that working with light, is much easier than working with unhappy little ones (I know, I am a father).

Put off getting a haircut or facial if it is too soon before pictures. Maybe your hair turns out great, you love the way it is after a haircut, and facials didn’t actually make your complexion worse (both take a few days to look good), so why chance it. Give the hair and face a little time to get back to normal. How long? I don’t know but it is just one more thing to consider. Getting your hair styled, nails done, visiting that high priced make-up artist, and visiting the Gym, are fine ideas though.

My last comment is to be happy. I will do my best to make the experience enjoyable, because happy people look better!

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