Portrait Tips...

Tips for Preparing for your Family Portrait

It's the perfect time of year to schedule your family portrait; whether it be at the beach, amidst the leaves or in the studio, we guarantee we'll make you smile! In portrait taking, as in life, a little planning goes a long way. Let us help you plan your family portrait session...here is a short list of items to help you enjoy your portrait session and, more importantly, love your portraits in the years to come.

1. Determine the type of portrait that you want by scouting out the locations in your home where you would want to hang your family portrait. Often the decorating style and colors in the room will dictate the style and colors of the portrait. While a beach portrait is lovely, the cool pastel colors of the ocean wouldn’t work as well in a room dominated by darker and richer tones.  We have dozens of backgrounds and portrait vignettes and will be happy to help you choose the best studio or location option for your family.

2.  Clothing choices will be dictated by the style of the portrait that you want to create.  Generally, simple is better and while you don’t need to wear a uniform with every member of the family being in the same color, you want the individual items to “go together.”  Try to limit the number of different colors in the portrait and stay away from large prints, patterns and designs.  Longer sleeves are more forgiving if you need some forgiveness in the arm area (and who doesn’t?).  Not all outfits are good “sitters.”  Take a look in the mirror while seated and observe  how the outfit hugs your body.  We can do a lot in photoshop but we like to minimize it when we can.   Your hair and make-up should be pretty close to how you wear them everyday or you won’t look like yourself in the photo.  You want your portrait to look as timeless as possible.  I still regret the gigantic glasses of the 80’s.  I ruined every family photo of that era with those gargantuan frames.  If you can do without the glasses your beautiful eyes will be able to be seen.  The best bet is contact lenses or, if you must wear your glasses, try for non-reflective lenses.

3.  Don’t over-prepare your children for the session or try to help them perfect a smile for the camera…it never looks natural and since they want to please mom and dad they will try their best to produce the practiced smile in the studio.  Children are beautifully un-selfconscious just as they are.  We'll laugh and play and pretty soon your kids will be having a great time.
4.  Let us help you.  We do this every day and can guide you to a fabulous portrait taking experience.


Decorating with Portraiture

1. Location, location, location: The placement of portraits in relation to the room’s furnishings is critical when their purpose is to create a dramatic, decorative focal point. Whether the artwork is the central component of a room concept or an isolated accessory, all of the elements of design---color, style, composition and size---must work together with the room’s color palate. Carefully chosen clothing and background elements can add richness to the room’s color scheme.
2. Determining size: An appropriately sized portrait is one that dominates the space in which it is hung, but does not appear to crowd that space. When planning an individual portrait or a collection of images to be hung together, be sure to establish whether the space lends itself better to a vertical or horizontal composition.
3. Choosing the Framing: Truly the “finishing touch” of portraiture, framing must be both complementary to the image---so as not to distract the viewer’s attention from the subject matter---and an appropriate accent for the room’s furnishings.

Portraits present an endless array of decorative possibilities that are as diverse as the individuals and families they reflect. They are appropriate as focal points in both public and private rooms, so display them where you, your family and your guests can enjoy them every day. Families today are choosing to preserve their heritage and commemorate their lifestyles in photographic portraits that serve as decorative focal points in their homes and offices. When portraiture is a primary design element, it makes the decor of any location you choose more personalized and cheerful, or even more dramatic.

Giving life to your personal artwork begins with a planning session, during which we will explore your ideas and discuss creative possibilities. When the finished work is on display in your home or office, you will find that it serves as both a tasteful reflection of your individual decorating style and as a tribute to the ones you love.


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