Creating a Timeless Portrait

A Guide To making portraits that touch the heart and decorate the home.

Planning the best decorative investment you’ll ever make…

…an investment in yourself and your family’s heritage.

~ About clothing, color, tone, and style ~

When more than one person is to appear in the portrait, or when a special stylistic effect is desired , clothing and prop choices can make or break a portrait.

~ Skin tone considerations ~

Whether working with light or dark complexions, the objective always is for the face to dominate the portrait. Accordingly, skin highlights must be the lightest, brightest, or most intense areas of the portrait.  So when a medium to dark background is used, all subjects photograph best in medium to dark tones, whatever the skin tone.

~ Clothing for small groups ~

Couples or small groups should choose simple garments within the same tonal ranges. When subjects appear in a mixture of light and dark tones together, there is a visual confusion–as the light color comes forward, and the dark color recedes. When this happens, one person becomes dominant and appears heavier than in reality.

~ Clothing for families ~

In a family group proper clothing coordination is critical. When decorating a home, a major concern is to coordinate the colors and tones of the walls, carpets, drapes, and furniture. Similar coordination is necessary when selecting clothing for a group portrait. Choose clothing in the same tonal ranges so that no single member of the family stands out because the clothing is too light or bright compared to the rest of the group.

~ Clothing for individuals ~

The goal of any fine portrait is to direct the viewer’s eye to the face(s) in the portrait. All other elements should be secondary. For individuals, simple long-sleeved garments in medium to dark tones of brown, gray, burgundy, green or blue are pleasing choices when photographed against a medium or dark background.

Here is a great example on why you should always wear long sleeves in your portrait.

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See how much of a distraction the arms are with the short sleeve?  isn’t less distracting with the long sleeves? Now the emphasis is on the subjects face.


~ Tips on preparing for your successful portrait ~

~ Turtle necks or V-necks are flattering provided that neither exaggerated in style. Avoid very wide or particularly deep V-neck garments or bulky cowl neck sweaters that completely hide the neck.

~ For close-up portraits, long sleeves are essential for teens and adults, as bare arms call attention to themselves and will overpower the face.

~ Woman 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.

~ If feet are to show in the portrait, assure that shoes and stockings are in keeping with the visual intent of the portrait.

~ Men should be clean shave or facial hair should be carefully groomed, with their hair cut about one week before the portrait session. Woman should be photographed whenever they are happiest with their hair in relation to the time it was styled.

~ Creating style and personality ~

Our goal is to create portraiture as individual as the subjects we photograph. Our tools include various styles, techniques, and settings that make each portrait a unique artwork.

~ Decorating with portraits ~

Giving life to your personal art work begins with a planning session, during which you and the photographer or design consultant can explore your ideas and discuss creative possibilities.
When the finished work is on display in your home or office, it will serve as both a tasteful reflection of your individualized decorating style and a tribute to the ones you love.
If you have any questions or would like to schedule your portrait session, please feel free and contact us at 727.459.4594