Saturday, September 01, 2018

The List: Preparing for your Professional Portrait

Staff Portraits: The Optical Society

Preparing for Your Portrait Session

Small details matter when planning your portrait photography session.  Below are a few hits experience has shown contribute to the best possible results


Keep clothing simple. Clothing should highlight your face and personality without being distractive.  Your mode of dress should make you feel good.  It should be representative of your professional environment. 
For Success Magazine
  • Solid color clothes are often better for your photo.
  • Designs, patterns, and bright colors can distract unless your business is fashion, then all bets are off. 
  • Dark clothing minimizes body size.  Light colored clothing accentuates body size
  • Most people wear long sleeves in photos unless they are athletes.  Athletes might consider more form-fitting clothing that highlights their physique.
  • Subjects with short necks and a fuller face may discover V-neck styles flatter them.  Conversely, subjects with longer necks and slender faces should consider a higher neck shirt or top or scarf.
  • Full length portraits require clothing coordination from head to toe.  The tonal range of your clothing should be consistent. 
  • It is wise to alway bring additional clothing items in the case something happens, you spot it or your first choice doesn't look right photographed. 
  • Avoid shiny clothing that can reflect back into the photograph. 
  • Avoid clothes with padded shoulders. 
  • If you wear glasses, they should have non-reflective lenses.  It not possible, reflections can be minimized or eliminated by the photographer through the use of changing angles that eliminate the catch light.
  • Group shots should keep all these items in consideration.  Coordinate clothing style, (casual or formal) tonal range consistent (dark or light), and solids.


For Indiana University
Alumni Magazine
A few days before your shoot, drink plenty of water. Properly hydrated skin photographs better.  Get a good night's sleep; Photoshop adjustments can only do so much!  Practice facial expressions in the mirror.  Be aware how your smile appears.  Too many teeth? Eyes squinting? What is your "best" side.  Your best side should be closer to the camera.  Do you have a favored hairline?  Stand straight or sit straight, it elongates you.  Slouchers look heavier on camera.  Put your hands where they are comfortable, the photographer will help you.

  Moments before the First Shot

2017 Miss USA Kara McCullough 
Check your look.  Clothes straight? Take a breath to relax.  Look in the mirror.  Hair in place? Makeup applied correctly? Tie straight?  Scarf in place? Clothes wrinkle free? Lint rolled?  Be confident, YOU ARE READY!

Your photographer will help you look your best.  Relax and have fun.  Preparation gives you the assurance and self confidence that you will radiate in your finished portrait

For more information, contact Larry Levin.
Click on images to see larger.  
Larry Levin works as freelance as a photographer, photographing portraits and events, conferences and meetings for for corporate, association, and NGO clients in Washington, DC. (and wherever people send him.)  

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