The autumn is here. There's a crisp and cool feeling in the air and the leaves are getting ready to turn brilliant shades of orange, gold, red and brown (why yes, there is a brilliant shade of brown).
You could spend your time kicking through the leaves and picking apples for pies. You could be shopping for Halloween costumes or pre-gaming for Thanksgiving dinner (food scientists are still divided over whether you should fast or feast to get ready for the big day). Or you could get a few portraits done.
For many Fall is the time to go back to school or start new projects. The summer is over and the winter is looming, it's a good time to evaluate what you're doing before you're trapped in the ice for a few months. It's a time of transition that should be commemorated with a sitting whether it's your last year of high school, the lead up to a wedding, maybe you want to have a photo for your Christmas cards, or you want to see how you really look in that Patriot's face paint.
As I get ready for portrait season I thought that I might like to offer a few suggestions for clients to get the most out of their session.
You want to ask yourself one question when you get a portrait. What does this picture say about me?
With that question in mind you can find an answer for where you should be, what you should wear, and maybe even how you should pose.
The first step - as they say in real estate - is location.
Since I specialize in environmental and lifestyle portraits there isn't a boring studio for you to sit in while you force a smile to your lips. Pick a location that says something about who you are (or in the absence of any real substance, something that looks stunning). For couples this can be a little easier, the site of a first date or a proposal but others might have to get a little more creative. Perhaps for the die-hard football fan you might want to show off your tailgating setup. For the young or just young at heart there are always piles of leaves to bounce into.
The second, though perhaps more important, point is what you should wear. Here you are simultaneously trying to be yourself, look your best all while not distracting anyone from the subject of the photo.
There are a few quick tips to remember:
- Keep it simple. Don't wear lots of clashing colors and patterns, patterns and prints draw attention away from you. If you can, solid and bold colors (that fit with the season) are preferred.
- Avoid hats if possible, they shade the face which is obnoxious.
- If you're getting your portrait shot with other people, coordinate your outfits with them. Unless your theme is "a little bit country, and a little bit rock and roll."
- Take care of your personal grooming. Ladies go easy on makeup (especially dark eyeliner), touch up your fingernails and guys please shave (unless that's your thing).
- Don't try out a new hair style right before your shoot. No need to risk wearing something you hate in a picture you'll have for years to come.
- If you have any specific features (moles, scars, blemishes) that you don't like please let me know if I should touch them up.
As far as posing is concerned, most of that will flow organically during the session and you'll have a chance to try out a couple of different poses throughout the session. A few quick pointers are keeping your chin up (to avoid looking like you have two), don't mind the camera so much, and most of all get relaxed and have fun.
Hopefully these will help you get through this portrait season. We'll see you soon.