F.A.Q. Getting Ready for a shoot

These are some of the most frequently asked questions from my clients prior to a portrait shoot and generally what I advise…

  • What should we wear?

It pays to think about matching colors and clothing styles when dressing your famiy

The clothing you wear says as much about you as the location that is chosen to have your portrait made. It is an important consideration, but one that need not generate a lot of stress. The first thing you should consider is how formal or casual you would like to appear. This will guide the rest of the decision making process.

If you choose formal, then you are adhering to a standard that will enable everyone in your party to match. Black tie for the men means evening dress for women. Take care to have complementary or matching colors in the womens dresses and or mens accents.

If you choose casual, then you are wanting generally to match or at least go well together. Avoid stripes, patterns, or logos. You are looking for “block colors” which means a blue shirt that is all the same tone and color for example. Here, there is more freedom to have primary colors (Red, Blue, Yellow) and stand out against your backgrounds. For a slightly more classic look, blue jeans and white shirts is always going to be in style.

  • What location should we use?

The location for your portraits can say as much about you as the clothes you wear or how you interact in front of the camera.

The location is the second major element that sets the stage for the shoot. This can be a fun element in getting dressed up and going out for a photo shoot- choosing a location that in some way means something to you or reflects something about your interests.

If the shoot is in the studio, then backdrop choices are the main consideration. Generally, I work with a black or white backdrop depending on the dominant tone or color of clothing. I will try to create contrast with the background (using a white backdrop if the subjects are wearing a lot of white).

  • What time of day is best?

The right time of day increases your chances for getting really pleasing and flattering light.

The best time for photos is early morning or late afternoon. The best time for portraits is any time the light is soft and flattering. AM or PM works in all weather, or if it is overcast, any time is good! In most locations, there are areas of “open shadow” that offer these soft light conditions even in the midday, traditionally the worst time for portraits.

If there are kids in the photo, then the best time is when they are at their best. Well rested, fed and in a happy mood that is ready for fun. It is possible to adapt the shoot to suit the kids. Great light is no good if everyone in the shots is freezing, tired or miserable. Aim to have the shoot be fun, spontaneous time to spend with your loved ones.

If the kids are having fun and are in good spirits, it makes for a much more rewarding portrait shoot!

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