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Created date

June 25th, 2014
portrait of man
portrait of man

If you have an occasion to be the subject of a portrait, here are a few tips about what to wear and how to present yourself that might be useful. 

Clothing. It is best to wear soft hues and colors that complement your face and hair coloring in preference to all-white or all-black clothing. However, colors shouldn’t be too vibrant. Clothing with texture and patterns are very effective if they are subdued. Layered clothing allows many options, but the basic rules of colors and patterns should be observed. Because bare arms are a distraction, it’s better to wear sleeves—the longer the better.

Makeup. Apply makeup as you normally would. A light powder application will help prevent harsh light reflections. Use bright lipstick. Pinch your cheeks to make them rosy.

Expression. A smile seems to create a favorable response to a portrait. Practice variations of smiling in front of a mirror, then try smiling just with your eyes. Think good, happy thoughts. Thinking happy thoughts will reflect in your eyes and overall appearance. For a more natural smile, silently say “nice” rather than “cheese.” You don’t always have to show teeth when you smile. Simply smile with your eyes and upturn the corners of your closed lips.

Head position. The direction of your gaze can affect the viewer’s attention and emotional response. Gaze at something within the picture—a birthday cake, a glass of wine—and the viewer’s eyes will be drawn to it. If you look outside the frame, the viewer might wonder what you are looking at. Look directly at the camera and everyone’s attention will be on you. Tilting the chin upward opens your eyes, giving you an alert appearance. A woman might try tilting her head to either side for a softer, more feminine look, while a man looks more masculine with his head erect. If you want a serious portrait, looking to the side or downward can create a pensive mood.

Body position. Turn one shoulder toward the camera in a head-and-shoulder pose. In most cases, this is more attractive than a flat, full-on shoulder position. However, a straight-on pose is best for a full-figured person in a head-to-toe shot. Your photographer might suggest a number of body and head positions, giving you a choice when you select your portrait.