Feb 7, 2011

10 Tips For Better Portraits

By Yasmin Tajik of Shalimar Studios

Here are some of my favorite tips to share with clients for stunning portraits, whether it be a portrait session, or your wedding.  Read through these ten tips and use them as a guideline and starting point when you contact us for your consultation.  We want to learn as much as possible about you and your style so that we can make this a fabulous experience for you!

 10 Tips for Better Portraits

1.  Cut/color your hair at least 2 weeks before your portrait session or wedding.  This allows for more of a natural look with a little regrowth, rather than a freshly cut look in your images.  Remember, we still want the images to look like you naturally, not as if you just got up from your stylist's chair.

2.  Drink a lot of water the entire week before your session for flawless skin.  This is a Red Carpet secret in Hollywood, as you'll often see starlets downing bottles of water in the week prior to any appearance.  Utilize this tip by keeping your skin hydrated for a beautiful glow for your portrait session.  Trust me, even your MAC makeup will look better and stay on longer.

3.  Get plenty of sleep the night before.  Nine hours is ideal.

4.  Have your hair and makeup professionally done the day of your session or wedding.  This is one way to let the experts play up your best features while making you still look like yourself.  Trust expert hair and makeup stylists such as Your Beauty Call or Hera Beauty who know what will make you look your best and who also know what photographs the best.

5.  Dress head to toe.  Full length images will show everything, and shoes speak volumes of you and your style, so don't forget to bring those fabulous Christian Louboutins or Jimmy Choo heels!

6. Have a theme in mind that represents you through your clothing style.  We work with a few select stylists and they have wonderful ideas on how to create the perfect outfit to showcase your personal style through accessories, props, or anything that may be of importance to you and your fiance or family.  Ask yourself, is your style modern, chic, bohemian, glamorous, sporty or edgy?

7.  After choosing the theme that reflects your personal style, schedule your consultation with us so that we can choose the perfect location for you.  If you're bohemian, we may suggest shooting in a field of tall grass. If you're modern, we may suggest shooting amongst contemporary buildings or offices.  And if your edgy, we might suggest shooting in the Arts District.  Together we'll pick the perfect backdrop for your personalized and unique session.

8.  Look through magazines for inspiration and brings clippings with you to your consultation.  Knowing ahead of time what style, poses and overall feeling you are attracted to, helps us better understand how to capture similar moments for you.

9.  Choose the time of day very carefully.  The time of day is crucial when shooting on location.  The golden hour is 1 hour after sunrise or 1 hour prior to sunset.  That is the best light of the day and will only enhance your portraits with soft, beautiful lighting.  Shooting midday usually is very harsh lighting with high contrast between highlights and shadows, thus producing unpleasant images.  Make a commitment to schedule your session during these key periods of the day.

10.  Have fun!  The most important aspect is to walk way from the session energized and excited to see the end result.  I want you to have a wonderful experience knowing you just had images captured of artwork you will cherish for generations.


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