This blog post is a work in progress as a guide to preparing for our portrait shoot together. I can take care of the creative direction and photography, and it’s really worth considering the visual consistency of staff and people in the shoot to make it all come together.
Here are my tips to ensure our portrait shoot together is a visually positive one!
1. Keep clothing simple
Try to choose solid colours for your portraits. Avoid large, bold patterns such as plaids and stripes. Remember, bright colours also draw attention away from your face.
Avoid short sleeves and tank tops unless you want to feature attention. Keep in mind that long sleeves will draw attention away from your arms and helps bring the focus back to your face.
If you have booked a full-length pose make sure you coordinate portrait clothing from head to toe.
Darker clothing slims. Choose shades of black, brown, blue, dark green and other jewel-toned colours. Light tones tend to emphasise body size.
Scoops or v-necks flatter shorter necks and full faces. Turtlenecks or high-necked garments flatter longer necks and slender faces.
Keep clothing consistent. If there are more than once in the group then dress everyone in the same style. Don’t mix casual and formal clothing in portraits.
2. Avoid creased clothing
For the best results it’s recommended that creases in clothing are kept to a minimal to avoid looking scruffy and un tidy. Simply hanging clothes up several days prior can help reduce creasing, yet the best option is to bring attire ironed and change on site for the shoot.
Generally my post processing costs don’t cover fixing up excessively creased clothing so to avoid more costs, come prepared.
3. Coordinate colours
Wear light on white. Light pastel or white clothing looks best against a light-coloured or white portrait background.
Wear dark on dark. Dark clothing looks best against darker backgrounds and creates a more formal mood in portraits.
Don’t mix light and dark colours in portraits. Show your style in small accents. Save stronger colours and patterns for accessories like scarves and neckties.
4. Is it an outdoor shoot?
Depending on the time of year it’s recommended to dress accordingly. In between takes can be quite warm or cold so plan ahead. If the location is a hike, then it’s best to come prepared for all weathers. Also it’s a good idea to bring some snacks for the day.
5. Shoot expectations
A good nights sleep, and if possible a haircut and some pampering will go along way to ensuring subjects look their best! A ‘head shot’ is exactly that and the time spent will focus on the waist up and cropped in close.
Full body will often be captured with a wider lens and include the environment. Each style of shoot is very different in their own way, and require time to set up and direct, so please focus on what was agreed in the brief and estimation.
6. What about post processing?
Unless agreed prior to the session, the post processing of your images will generally include minor blemish removal and skin softening, colour correction and some sharpening.
If your subject requires anything more work such as extensive skin softening/ blemish removal, removal of dark rings from eyes, creative photoshop etc. then you will need to look at additional costs. Remember a headshot for Linkedin is very different to a masterpiece that lives in the hall of a grand house!
If you have any questions about my portrait photography or preparing for your shoot – please let me know.