Did you know that wardrobe can make or break a portrait? You can have the best smiles, great poses, and a beautiful family - but the end picture may not be what you hoped for. Has that ever happened to you? The problem may be that the clothing selected just didn't work out. It may have looked great in a catalog or on a store ad, but those are designed to sell the clothes, and if you purchased them it WORKED! However, they may not be the best choices for a family portrait, because in a family portrait we want to see your faces rather than the clothes first!
The good news is there is a relatively easy solution to all of this! Less can be more - not less clothing that is, but less prints, less distracting colors, less skin showing. Prints, patterns, and bright colors can be scene stealers and distract the viewer's eye from what's really important - YOUR BEAUTIFUL FAMILY!
Some rules of thumb to think about when selecting wardrobe for your family portrait.
1. Solids are a far better choice than patterns and prints. Your photograph will be hanging proudly in your home and a few years down the road you don't want to ask yourself. "What was I thinking?" when this year's trendy print is next year's fashion disaster! My advice is to look for cooler dark colors that will complement the room where your finished portrait will hang. Cool colors allow warmer skin tones to project and are less likely to compete for attention with those beautiful faces.
2. Longer sleeves are better than shorter sleeves and pants are better than shorts. Why is that you may be asking? Well, as humans we associate to other humans with exposed skin. Adults have more surface area in arms and legs than they have in the face, so the eye goes to the areas of larger exposed skin first. That's why many times I hear comments "I don't like how my arms look" well the solution to that is to cover them up with long sleeves or some kind of long sleeved sweater or jacket. Same goes for the legs - so my advice is we can cover up problem areas and then they aren't problems. The exception is covering up the neck, we don't want to do that as having no neck puts visual weight on you, and you don't want that. Proper posing can help eliminate neck problems.
3. White socks and white undershirts. You may think they won't show, but rest assured they will show up and they will steal the show with the announcement - here I am BRIGHT WHITE contrast point and our eye loves to go to areas of high contrast. So white socks and undershirts provide that eye catching distraction that once you see you can never unsee! So dark socks and dark undershirts for the win!
These are just a few of the items we discuss during pre-session consultation along with several more suggestions to help make your portrait look the best it can be! Just another example of the value you get with working with a Master Portrait Photographer! I want my clients to look their very best, because if they don't look good, I don't look good!