Suggestions below only apply to casual photo shoots – pre-wedding, family, etc. The wedding rules are completely different of course.
A few observations we found useful in preparing for any photo shoot
- Wear solid coloured clothing. If you wear stripes, flowers, or something similarly contrasty, it will be a portrait of your clothes, not your face.
- Choose similar brightness for your top and bottom (both dark or both light) so that one doesn’t look bigger than the other. White top, dark trousers will make your top look bigger. White trousers, dark top will make your bottom look bigger.
- Choose a top with sleeves at least to your elbows – otherwise your arms take up more skin area than your face and draws attention from it.
- Choose long trousers for men/ladies or a skirt below the knee for ladies, so that your legs don’t take attention from your faces, and you will be able to sit and bend without showing too much leg.
- Choose muted colour socks and footwear because white really stands out and that’s all you’ll notice in your portrait.
- Keep jewellery simple and minimalistic, because too much draws attention from your face.
- If you want to wear make-up, be sure to apply more than you normally would. Cameras never capture make-up in quite as much vibrancy as is visible in real life. Eyes are the focal point in portraits – make sure your make-up exaggerates your eyes, so they stand out.
Pre-wedding/Engagement session or any group session (family, etc.)
- Choose muted tones that are a bit subdued so that you are the subject, not your clothes, and you don’t stand out from the group.
- Choose 2-3 colours for your group portraits, ones with similar tones that go nicely together, and have everyone work within that colour palette. For example: dark green, navy, and burgundy – all dark jewel tones. Or tan, a lighter olive green, and denims – all lighter, softer tones. You don’t need to wear all the same colours, but do limit their number and make sure they go nicely together.
- A close-up picture of your hand with your engagement ring looks beautiful. A manicure will make it look even better.
But most importantly…
…make sure you stay true to yourself and like how you look. A portrait session is about having fun and creating good memories – don’t let any guidelines to stop you from doing that!