Oxford School of Photography

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Advice for portrait photographers and their subjects

On a link back to our site I found this advice, aimed at potential photographic portrait subjects but good advice to photographers on how to help their subjects do better. From Inside Photography

  • Wear solid coloured clothing (patterns can be distracting or photograph poorly).
  • V-neck tops or shirts with collars accentuate the neck (men with long, slim necks should wear crew neck or collared shirts that can be buttoned up).
  • Don’t wear turtle-necks unless you know that’s the look you want. You could end up looking like a floating face.
  • Take a couple of shirt options if you’re unsure (one black, one white or light colour – different collar styles).
  • Choose colours that compliment your skin tone.
  • Long sleeves tend to be better than short sleeves or tank tops, unless you have killer, sexy arms.
  • Your jacket, if you wear one, should contrast with your shirt.
  • Ties should also contrast with shirts.
  • Avoid ties with bold or loud patterns, unless, of course, that’s the look you want.
  • Don’t over-do makeup or jewelry. The more subtle, the better.
  • Wear make-up and jewelry that make you feel good. If you don’t usually wear make-up, or it makes you feel awkward, don’t wear it for your shoot.
  • Avoid logos of any kind. This is a photo of you, not an ad for that company.
  • Drink lots of water the day before and day of your shoot, eat a healthy, light meal before your shoot (this will help you look content and refreshed).
  • Bring water with you to the shoot, especially if having your picture taken makes you nervous.
  • If you’re getting your hair cut, do it a week before your shoot so it has time to “settle.”
  • If you’re getting a perm, do it two weeks before the shoot so it has time to relax.
  • Bring a little make-up with you (if you wear it) for touch ups before/during the shoot.
  • Think about what you want your photos to look like. Surf the web for portraits or head shots to get an idea of what’s out there. Your photographer probably has their own ideas, but should be happy to hear yours as well.
  • If you are nervous about having your photo taken, tell the photographer. They may have techniques to help you feel more comfortable.
  • If you are nervous or don’t like having your photo taken, feel free to bring a friend who can chat with you during the shoot. Not all photographers encourage this, but it can be a great way to stay relaxed.
  • Don’t be afraid to speak up if you aren’t happy with how things are going. Feel free to make suggestions and ask questions.
  • Show up prepared to relax and have fun. Even if the shoot is for a more subdued or serious commercial head shot, your sense of calm and happiness will make your photos more attractive.

Full article here©Mario Testino – Kate Moss

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