What to wear for portraits.
KEEP IT SIMPLE:
Keep your clothing simple and coordinating. It must be carefully selected to blend the bodies together. Avoid loud or busy patterns and large logos. Solid colors are best. First, decide whether the basic tone of the clothing will be warm-toned (browns/reds/oranges, etc.) or cool-toned (blues/grays/blacks, etc.) Keeping a group in similar colors focuses the attention of the portrait to the faces and individuals that make up the portrait. Dissimilar colors in groups tend to be more distracting.
A WORD ABOUT WHITE:
White is great if we are going to the beach for portraits, but otherwise it’s to be avoided. White tends to draw the eye and generally is brighter than you are. We want you to shine and not just see your white shirts.
A WORD ABOUT BLACK:
Black is classic and always in style – looks good in just about every environment – except the beach, where white is your best choice. Black by itself can be boring, so adding a pop of color with belts, scarves or other accessories is great; or pairing a black jacket over a grey or colored top is also a great choice.
SAY NO TO PLAID, STRIPES, LARGE PRINTS, & NEON!
Plaid, small checks, stripes, loud large prints and neon are very distracting in an image; we highly recommend you avoid all of these for your portrait.
CHOOSE YOUR COLOR PALETTE:
Matching colors or similar colors and tones make for great portraits. Here are some ideas for your color choices based on your location.
· Wooded area: Greens, Browns, Grays, Black – accented with muted yellows, reds, blues, and purples
· Downtown area: Grey, Black, Blue – accented with reds and blues
· Beach: Solid white, light beige, cream – typically, strong accents will be a distraction on a beach, but a light pastel of sea foam green or sky blue can be nice; just think light and clean!
COORDINATE OR MATCH
Everyone should have color-coordinated outfits (not uniform necessarily, but there should be a theme). For the children, choose outfits that fit well without a lot of “growing room.”
ON THE BOTTOM
Keep everyone with the same color on the bottom. If you are going with jeans make sure everyone’s jeans are similar in tone. You DO NOT want a washed, faded jean with a dark jean; keep it the same... change it up on the top.
ON TOP - WHERE TO START:
If you are struggling, I suggest you choose a color that you can start with: If you like purple, then you can mix grays and blacks with a variety of shades of purple. If you like green, then browns and blacks tend to look nice with that. Think in terms of keeping the family in the same palette of colors. Go to Home Depot or Lowes and look at color swatches of one main color with variations. Layers are always good and can add a pop of color or bring things together.
Here are some ideas grabbed from the web; this is to give you some ideas and direction:
Brown & Orange --- the plaid on a little guy is okay but not for the adults.
This grouping is great for holiday portraits that are winter themed: green and navy; OR red and black. Even though some white is pictured, it is to be used sparingly and we suggest consulting with your photographer before choosing anything white.
What you will notice about all the suggestions is the importance of simplified and solid colors for almost everyone; the exception is for children, and the patterns or prints are still small. For older children, choices shown for adults would be more appropriate.
If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to reach out to your photographer or portrait consultant!