Planning Your Portrait

      Whether you are a new customer or long-time client, the Design Consultation is a crucial part of creating beautiful imagery. Our photography reflects a balance between subject matter, lifestyle and decor. A Design Consultation will allow us to harmoniously blend all these design elements into one fabulous portrait. The following guidelines and suggestions will help you prepare for a successful session.

  • Timeless Clothing will help your portrait withstand the test of time. Clothing is the one factor that we cannot control at the studio and is of the utmost importance in a portrait. Ideally we want clothing that compliments the image and does not distract the viewer.

    Color Portrait Clothing:

    • Select subtle colors such as ivory, taupe, navy, black or earth tones. Avoid bright colors, such as reds, which demand instant attention.
    • Colors should blend harmoniously amongst subjects. For instance if everyone in the family is wearing ivory except for one person in navy, the person in navy will become the focal point. Aside from standing out from the family, that person will look like they do not belong with the group because of the different color.
    • Absolutely avoid clothing with any pattern. Stripes, plaids, florals, and such distract the viewer particularly in large family groups where everyone is wearing different patterns. Patterns also date clothing much quicker in terms of fashion changes.
    • We do a combination of sitting and standing poses so feet will sometimes be shown. When applicable we prefer to keep everyone barefoot; however, shoe choices are important. Avoid gym shoes or other "clunky" big shoes like boots. Simple and discreet are always best.
    • Also keep in mind that lighter colors add weight while darker colors subtract weight. Multiple layers of clothing can also add weight.

    Black and White Portrait Clothing:

    • Darker colors work best for more dramatic black and white portraits. Darker colors blend seamlessly into the background placing greater emphasis on the subject matter and relationship between subjects.
    • It is highly recommended that simple, long-sleeved black or navy shirts work best. Turtlenecks are preferred over oxford shirts since turtlenecks hide the neck, which is slimming. Also be sure to wear black or dark pants as well. Dark denim can add a more casual feel.

  • Jewelry: Be sure to keep jewelry simple and avoid wearing a watch to your session.

  • Makeup: Feel free to bring any makeup and hair styling products to your session. In photographs, particularly black and white, makeup does not show up as it normally would. It is recommended that makeup be worn a shade or two darker than normally worn. Be sure that makeup is well blended. French manicures photograph the best in both black and white and color.

  • Mood and Style: When working with children, the window of opportunity is small. If we do not have a clear vision of what the ultimate goal of the session is, it leaves us scattered. Too many outfit changes and pose changes wear children out even quicker. During your Design Consultation we will want to determine the first goal of the session so that we can concentrate on what is the most important.

  • Working with Children: Children have good days and bad days just like adults. To help ensure a good portrait day keep the following suggestions in mind:

    • Avoid mood altering foods and beverages that contain a lot of sugar and caffeine.
    • Fed children are happy children.
    • If your child follows a nap schedule, please be sure that they get their nap in the day of the session.
    • Please do not schedule doctor or dentist appointments the week of your session. The after effects of shots or other treatments can linger for quite sometime.
    • If your child has a cold, fever or other illness, please reschedule your session. Even remotely sick children never photograph well and the experience ends up scaring them against later sessions.
    • Let children know that they are getting their portrait done and that it will be fun. Resist the urge to tell them that they "have to" smile or that they need to be on "their best behavior" since this often backfires. We work with children on a daily basis and know what it takes to get them at ease.

Preplanning ensures piece of mind and smooth sessions!
Call the studio at 937.296.0200 to schedule your Design Consultation.