March 2014
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5 Photo Tips – Shooting portraits – Clothes for the portrait (contd..)

This is a new series of posts that I am doing on portraits, with the current set of posts focusing on color and clothes. The last such post (Clothes for the portrait) was about the clothes worn in the photo session and accessories.
When you think about portraits, you might think about getting a tripod for some rock-stable shots, about posing, about checking for light / exposure, whether to use Prime or Zoom lenses, or so on. All of these are important, but it is also important to understand the overall environment related to portraits – this could be the color of the environment, this could be the types of clothes being worn, and so on. However, a fair warning is that once you get into subjective parameters, opinions could change, the requirements could change, and so on, so change and twist these tips below into the way you want. And of course, some of this also varies depending on whether you are just doing this at a strictly amateur level and don’t care too much about the results, or are experimenting with portraits and want to tweak the settings. So here goes:

Tip 1286 (Talking to family members before the shoot): When you have an extended family getting ready for a photo-shoot, it makes sense to ensure that the family has discussed the clothing before the shoot, especially the color of the clothes. When you have a number of people appearing in the same shoot, having a wide variety of colors can be jarring for the photo, so it makes sense to discuss the color of the clothes. Atleast, it should be ensured that everybody is either wearing light colored or dark colored clothes, since having people wearing bright colors and dark colors can be very jarring in terms of the photos.

Tip 1287 (High heels for the women): High heels are to be avoided for continuous use since they can cause a lot of stress for the feet. However, for short occasions, such as when shooting portraits, with dresses such as skirts, high heels can be beneficial. The high heels actually makes the feet seem more toned, looking more shapely.

Tip 1288 (Look for ensuring that clothes are not too baggy or too tight): Whether clothes are too loose or too tight can cause the body to look different. When somebody is more hefty or fat, wearing tighter clothes should be avoided. These tight clothes on a heftier body can showcase the fat parts of the body, and these do not really come out well in the photo. Wearing clothes that are looser leads to the body looker far better. On the other hand, when you have a person who is thin, you need to ensure that the clothes are not very loose, since these will cause the clothes to seem as if they are hanging from the body.

Tip 1289 (Legs and hands of babies): When you have babies, unless you are in a position where it is cold, always try to ensure that their hands and feet are left bare. For babies, the limbs come out pretty well in photos and should you should avoid trying to cover them during the course of a portrait photo.

Tip 1290 (Give time for hair styling): When you are looking to put in a lot of focus for ensuring that the portrait comes out well, then you need to ensure that the people participating in the portrait have had the time to have their hair styled and cut to the right length (in many cases, people do not even think about this, although they do want the portrait photo to come out well). This is true for men, women and children (why I mention this is that sometimes people only think about women when it comes to stuff such as hair styling, but it is true for everybody).

Gregory Heisler: 50 Portraits Family Portrait Photography 95 Inspiring Ideas for Photographing Your Friends

Some videos from youtube on Portraits:

Portrait Photography : How to Dress for a Portrait Sitting

Portrait Photography with Graham Monro

Natural light 50mm portrait photography

Direction of Light: Your Key to Better Portrait Photography

5 Min Portrait – Portrait Photography Full Photo Shoot

Select the right lens for your camera (Lens and DSLR)

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