So much goes into planning that senior portrait session. In previous blogs, we have discussed time and place, so our next consideration is wardrobe. Most will stand in front of a closet or dresser and look for that outfit that will be just perfect. So many factors can determine which clothing options might be better than others. Today's blog is meant to help you make some wise choices that will lead to your beautiful portraits.
First of all, why narrow it down to just one outfit? You have many sides to your personality, so you should have many styles to reflect those qualities. However, we don't want to spend the whole session changing from one outfit to another. We do need to actually take the portraits. So, finding a way to filter through the many options will be necessary.
As in so many tasks, I advise my seniors to keep it simple. The fewer layers that you have to adjust and the fewer pieces of jewelry that we need to straighten, the better. I do not make this statement out of a desire to rush through your session, but rather from experiencing the visual result of too much going on in a portrait. Remember, these are portraits of a very special individual (you) at a very special time in your life. We want the focus to be on you, and not on all of the things attached to your body.
Keeping it simple usually lends itself to my next piece of advice, which is to be comfortable. I'm going to be working hard to get natural expressions and easy smiles. That is so difficult if you are struggling to breathe because the neck is just too tight, or gritting your teeth because the sweater is just so itchy. We want to look at these portraits and think about how much they reflect the real YOU. So, choose pieces of clothing that you would actually be seen wearing in real life. If you absolutely never wear a shirt with a collar, then don't buy one just because you think you should have it in a portrait. You will probably need a formal shot for the yearbook, but there is no need to pretend you are someone else for your portrait session. That defeats our whole purpose, which is to showcase you as the special individual that you are.
Since we are showcasing YOU, choose clothes that are flattering to you. Think about anything that tends to elicit complements when you wear it. We all have parts of ourselves that we like better than others. Think about what might help to highlight your favorite traits and camouflage the ones that you are a little self-conscious about. Be careful to avoid clothes that are too tight or revealing. It can become very distracting in a portrait. Consider tan lines or exposed straps that may require continual adjustment. If we have too many things to watch out for, chances are, something will be amiss in that favorite shot and we won't catch it until I am in the editing phase when it is too late.
One of the most important considerations in your wardrobe is color. Oh, we can have so much fun with some variety in color. The first thing I will ask to see when we meet at a portrait session is your variety of outfits. I will be looking at the colors and making my decisions about which locations will be best for each outfit that you have packed up in the car. The season and location can play a role in making decisions on color. Also, be sure to consider your skin tone, hair color, and eye color. You probably know what colors are especially complementary to you. Make sure to bring those colors along.
As you dig through your closet, my suggestion is to bring more than you may actually use. I will be happy to look at your collection and advise you on which pieces will be your best choices. In the end, you will have beautiful portraits that fit your personality, demonstrate the many sides to your personality, and are cherished because the focus is on you.
You make the memories; I will help you cherish them.
Love and smiles,