Tuesday, March 30, 2010

What to wear? That is... for a group portrait!

The most common question I am asked when booking a portrait session is "Cindi, what should I wear?" There is no easy way to answer this, and so I will try to give some examples.

1. What type of image do you want to create?
Personally I love "contemporary lifestyle" images, which to me is colorful, simple, everyday clothing. I want my personal portrait to speak of where I am now in my life, and everyday. My family and I are simple people with a fun lifestyle, those are the images that will hang in our home. If we dressed up too much it wouldn't portray our true personalities, the clothing would limit us and of course the final image. What is your style? Or what do you want this next portrait style to be? Contemporary? Traditional? Playful? Solemn? Old fashioned? Black and whites ONLY?

2. Where is the background?
Is it a beach, light tan sand, blue water, tons of light? Well then I recommend bright colorful outfits. Unless of course you want the serene monotone look then go for white, tan, light denim.
Is it a park, with bushes, flowers, ponds, grasses areas? Well then I recommend colors that will stand off of those colors. Don't wear greens, you'll be lost in the tones of the park.
Is it a wooded area with brown leaves, sand, tans, and pine trees? Then do cool colors, vibrant and simple.
Is it an urban area with concrete, brick, traffic, signs? Well then I recommend a more city nights looks. Sleek lines, form fitting, fun. Pick something that makes you feel like shaking it and being playful!
Is it your home? Consider the light, colors and scenery of the area where the portrait is being taken.

3. What's in the closet?
Once you've decided on the style and the background you're ready to hit the closet. NO you don't need to go shopping quite yet... Look through your closet, LADIES, pick your favorite outfit FIRST! Then lay it on the bed. Find something in your husbands wardrobe that compliments yours and then on to the children. Squint your eyes and see if any of the choices punches you in the face! If it does pull that item out of the mix and look for an alternative. IF someone needs an updated shirt or pants then you can shop til you drop. You'll know your working palate of colors and have a goal in mind before you head out to the store.

Good images require a certain comfort level from you, the subject. If you are scared of losing your balance in high heels, exposing sensitive areas or sweating in a tight shirt then good pictures are going to be harder to come by. Stick to clothes you like, that build your confidence, are functional, and comfortable.

4. Fashion No-No's
-Avoid crazy patterns, designs and logos too. Clothing with distinct lines, dots and bright patterns can be troublesome too. Same goes for shiny fabrics.
-Keep your jewelry choices simple and minimal.
-Trendy clothes date the image, so watch out for fads... (remember parachute pants?)
-Overgrown haircuts, chipped polish, treat yourself to the salon.
The goal of clothing is to add interest to the portrait, however you don't want it to distract from the expressions and emotion of the image. Enjoy the preparations and don't over think it. Visit my portfolio at the link below to see some great clothing choices. Cindi's Website
I hope that this entry has helped you in some way. If you're ready for an updated portrait please think of Cindi with an eye!

Email Cindi with an Eye
Cindi's Website

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