Tips and Hints

Beautiful and memorable portrait does not just happen. They take a bit of pre-planning. MWD photography has the skills to capture you in a flattering and artful way, but there is little that can be done (without the computer) to downplay competing patterns.

Here are some hints and tips to consider before having your portraits taken.

Consider the location where the portrait is to be displayed. By laying the clothing out in the area in which the portrait is to be displayed, anything that clashes will be obvious. Make your final selection much as you would if you were choosing throw pillows for the room.

Avoid large bold patterns and bright colors that may tend to draw attention away from the face, especially in group portraits. You want the fact to be the focal point, so long sleeved solids or very subtle prints are usually most flattering.

Consider the background you want for your portrait. Medium to dark clothes are best for a dark background. Medium to light clothes are ideal for a light background.

While cute, play clothes may look cute on children, their appeal is usually short lived. It is best to select clothing that will withstand the test of time.

Shoes and stockings/socks are most often overlooked. They should compliment, not contrast. Remember to fully coordinate your attire from head to toe.

Busy patterns and bold colors tend to make a person look larger than they are. Dark clothing tends to minimize body size.

Necklines are important. A "V" or scoop neck is best if your neck is short and you face is full. A turtle neck or high necked garment is more flattering if your neck is longer and your face is slender.

Dress everyone in the same style of clothing. Do not mix casual and formal attire.

Keep the tonal range of clothing within the same group. Do not mix light and dark colors. Save patterns for small accent items like scarves and neckties.

Women being photographed in full length should wear long skirts, pants or dark stockings in order to keep the eye from being directed toward the legs and away from the face.

Men should have their hair cut about one week before the portrait session.

In children's photography, pajamas and slips for little girls always create a storybook portrait.

Props should be considered clothing when planning a photograph. Don't bring in a blankie unless its colors are subtle.

It's not a bad idea to bring along several additional clothing choices just to be sure.

Overall, simplicity is the key. Let the faces and the setting take more precedent than the clothing.

If all else fails, keep in mind that any color can be changed with the use of digital enhancements where the negative is scanned and the image is altered on the computer. "Head swaps" are also possible if you have one picture with one child smiling and another picture with another child smiling. Swapping heads will allow one portrait with both children smiling. So if the pre-planning stage is overlooked, there is always the post-session enhancements.